Hosted by Salem, Oregon-based Truitt Bros. on August 14-16, the fourth annual “Northwest Discovery Tour” will go straight to the source of the sustainable movement—the Pacific Northwest—to demonstrate how responsible foods can lead to menus that are more wholesome and healthful to the consumer. From a base of Portland, Oregon, a series of keynote presentations, panel discussions, and interactive food tours will explore how a responsible menu is developed, from culinary inspiration and innovation to sustainable food sourcing and patron marketing. The event culminates with the Tastemaker Forum, which guides participants through a valuable cache of data, consumer insights, and ideas from some of the most innovative operators in the business.
“We look forward to welcoming operators from across the country to the beautiful, bountiful state of Oregon, to explore the journey from farm to table and discover foods that make a difference,” says Peter Truitt, president of Truitt Bros. “This year’s event is structured as a step-by-step analysis of the creation and evolution of a responsible menu, covering everything from evaluation of ingredients and suppliers to recipe finalization and promoting. From the pioneering operators and industry experts of the Pacific Northwest, our guests will learn practical methods that can be implemented immediately to stay relevant and expand their business among the growing number of conscientious consumers.”
The program will feature keynotes from Cory Schreiber, culinary artist in residence at the Art Institute of Portland; Tamara Barnett, senior ethnographic analyst with The Hartman Group; and Ruth Coyne, group account director at Noble. Moderator Alison Dennis, executive director for the Center for Global Leadership in Sustainability at Portland State University, will lead a panel discussion for noncommercial and commercial operators. Steven Hiatt, food & nutrition department director for Oregon Health Science University; Richard Satnick, chief burrito officer with Oregon-based Laughing Planet Café; and Dickie Brennan, owner of Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Palace Café, Mr. B’s and Bourbon House in New Orleans, will share their real-world experiences in applying the theory of responsible sourcing to the menu. On farm to table tours, guests will visit the fields to get a first-hand look at responsible farming practices, view the facilities where food is processed, and taste the final creation on the dinner table.
Paul Barron, founder of Digital Coco, will open the Tastemaker Forum with data from the Consumer & Restaurant Industry Report, a four-month study revealing how consumers view the restaurant industry and the topic of food and healthy eating. Participants will receive a complimentary copy of the report, derived from more than 21 million social profiles indexed and targeted as consumers that eat out often. Following Barron’s discussion, Anita Jones-Mueller, founder of Healthy Dining Finder and the new Kids LiveWell initiative with the National Restaurant Association, will deliver a keynote presentation on how to connect with the new breed of savvy, health-conscious patrons. The concluding Consumer Insights Panel will expose the reality of consumer perception through the voices of real-life, social media influencers.
“We are proud to announce the addition of the Tastemaker Forum to this year’s Northwest Discovery Tour,” says Barron, founder of the Tastemaker Forum. “The future of the food and restaurant industry lies in the hands of the new age consumer. Increasingly, social media is playing a major role in where consumers share their real thoughts about products, services and companies. This is the first ever event to merge the socially-savvy consumer with the passion of the operator and the artistry of the supplier in a compelling forum of bright ideas, creativity and real world solutions.”
For more details, visit the Tastemaker Forum blog at http://tastemaker.squarespace.com/.