PEI

P.E.I. food symposium showcases storytelling at the chef's table

The second year of Forage, a culinary food symposium, wrapped up on Friday, where chefs and participants gathered for the two-day event to share food and tips in the food industry.

'We can help each other and it's really how we fuel each other's tanks if you will'

Chef Michael Smith speaks to the Forage participants during the event at his property, The Inn at Bay Fortune. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

The second year of Forage, a culinary food symposium, wrapped up on Friday, where chefs and participants gathered for the two-day event to share food and tips in the food industry.

The goal of the event is to bring together people from P.E.I. and beyond to learn more about how culinary tourism is evolving.

It was also a chance to better share the Island's food story to 250 participants — including 100 students and instructors from the Culinary Institute of Canada.

"I think the authenticity of the Island is what draws people to come here, especially the discussion about, let's call it the farm-to-table activities that are so prevalent here on the Island," said Karl Bruenjes from Atlantic Beef Products.

"Just about every restaurant here on the Island has a strong belief that the way to make people interested and the way to engage people with the food of the Island is to talk about the farm-to-table story here."

People taking part in the food symposium learned and sampled different foods and drinks. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

The two-day food symposium spent time in Charlottetown and at the Inn at Fortune Bay.

There were sessions on story-telling and the latest food trends, as well as how P.E.I. is doing at keeping up with evolutions in culinary tourism.

'Help each other'

"I think that it's so important for farmers and fishermen and cheese mongers and chefs to get together," said Farmer Lee Jones.

"We can help each other and it's really how we fuel each other's tanks if you will."

One of the samples on offer was the Fortune Bay Oyster Rock. A freshly shucked oyster, covered in 'Love Butter' cooked over hardwood coals. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Jones is from The Chef's Garden in Huron, Ohio. He travelled up to take part in the food symposium.

"Prince Edward Island has so much potential," he said. 

"This should be a global destination for anybody in the world to come and experience the cuisine of Prince Edward Island. It's fantastic what's happening here."

Farmer Lee Jones, from The Chef's Garden in Huron, Ohio, says he was honoured to come to P.E.I. to speak about the relationship between farmers and chefs. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

University of Guelph food laureate Anita Stewart said the symposium was engaging for all who attended, especially the culinary students.

"That to me probably was the highlight of yesterday's meeting that we had in Charlottetown," Stewart said. 

"The enthusiasm, that sort of wide-eyed 'Oh I love this,' sort of thing amongst the kids and also the other attendees as well, I mean, they are learning a lot."

Other chefs also had samples, techniques and tastes from their repertoire to share during the food symposium. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

She said that the symposium has been amazing.

"Canada as a culinary nation is maturing," she said. "The ingredients can stand on any world stage, but we need to share them more actively and we need to be prouder of them."

The sold out event ended on Friday.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Nancy Russell

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