As the largely undefined concept of sustainability continues to mainstream, foodservice professionals are faced with a series of questions: What does sustainability actually mean to my operation? How do I better serve socially and environmentally conscious patrons? How does my menu continue to evolve when faced with the most recent cultural shift around health and holistic living?
Hosted by Salem, Ore.-based Truitt Bros., Aug. 14-16, 2011, the fourth annual Northwest Discovery Tour goes 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, Ore., 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 will guide participants through a valuable cache of data, consumer insights and ideas from some of the most innovative operators in the business.
“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,” said Peter Truitt, president of Truitt Bros. “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. Panelists include 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, La. Guests also 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 Live Well 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.
The event is open to all multi-unit commercial and noncommercial foodservice professionals for a fee of $395, including all sessions, Tastemaker Forum and Report, tours and meals (excluding one lunch at the Portland food carts), which promise to be culinary experiences only possible in Oregon. Space is limited and registration will be accepted until August 5. For more information and to register, click here.
And for more on the topic of sustainability, click here.