Where to Eat in Tucson, AZ


Amazing Latin food in a lively atmosphere, this is a great restaurant. I dined alone and sat at the bar which allowed me to chat with the super friendly bartenders and other restaurant patrons. The food was fantastic, especially the featured tuna ceviche and the elote.

Tuna ceviche with Peruvian potato chips

Tuna ceviche with Peruvian potato chips

Be advised, the ceviche is huge.

This dish was amazing.

This dish was amazing.

Their elote (grilled corn with lime aioli and contija cheese) is a necessity.

The arepas sampler.

The arepas sampler.

Continuing the trend, the arepas were good, but enormous.






Although Contigo offers a (slight) discount for three arepas, you really only need one if you’ve had an appetizer. The pollo arepa would be my first choice, featuring a great meat to condiment ratio, and the right amount of spice. A great place to get Latin food that is not the typical “Tex-Mex” variety.

Price: $$$



A great restaurant, it looks a little tacky on the outside thanks to their neon sign. Do not be dissuaded. The food is delicious and well-prepared. Their menu changes fairly frequently and I opted for the specials on the night I dined: savory lobster bread pudding, venison steak, and lemon madeleines.

The lobster bread pudding was epic.

The lobster bread pudding was epic.

The lobster was a great choice, but very rich and heavy.

Medium rare venison loin.

Medium rare venison loin.

Luckily the venison was lean and served with simple yet delicious grilled vegetables.

Delicious madeleines.

Delicious madeleines.

The lemon madeleines with blueberry curd were fantastic. Light and fluffy yet crispy and chocked full of sweet and tart flavor, they were the perfect way to end the meal.  This is a very solid restaurant serving a European fusion style fare that is a bit hard find elsewhere in the Tucson area.

Price: $$$





Poppy Kitchen

Great for brunch or dinner with fantastic views of Tucson and attentive service, this restaurant is a winner. Again, the menu changes frequently as it’s based off seasonal availability – a good indicator of fresh locally sourced food.

Heaven on a plate.

Heaven on a plate.

While dining there, the Seared Filet of Beef is not optional. This decadent dish includes a six ounce filet topped with melted brie and served with an amazing lemon potato gratin and balsamic drizzle. The flavor combinations are stellar.

A solid start.

A solid start.

My beet salad was an excellent start to the meal and the beignets were a delightful end.

A nice way to end the meal.

A nice way to end the meal.







The real star of the show was the beef filet. This restaurant is located on the Westin La Paloma property. While fantastic for hotel guests, it is a bit of hike for anyone based in downtown Tucson; though this does provide a great excuse to get out to the foothills and soak up the desert ambiance.

Price: $$$


Prep & Pastry

Although they don’t serve dinner, Prep & Pastry is a good choice for all your other meals. I stopped in for lunch and fell in love with the space.

My future home may look like this.

My future home may look like this.

The interior is filled with light and decked out in a modern-rustic design scheme. Luckily, the food lives up to the local hype. My Cuban sandwich was fantastic – as any sandwich with duck confit should be.



Salty, juicy, and savory with a little tartness from the mustard and pickles, this sandwich has my number. Combined with a good glass of iced tea – I was in heaven. Most locals that work or live in the northeast area of Tucson (Catalina foothills) rave about Prep & Pastry. Stop in and see why.

Price: $





Pricing key based off one course for lunch and three courses plus two alcoholic drinks for dinner all including tax and 20% tip:
$ – under 20     $$ – 50 and under      $$$ – 75 and under     $$$$ – 100 and under          $$$$$ – Over 100 – Break out the high limit credit cards – this is a special occasion restaurant






On a recent trip to Spain I discovered a deep and abiding love for Sherry. This fortified wine is produced in the Jerez region of Spain. There are many different styles of sherry, but it helps to group them into four camps: Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximenez. The Palomino Grape (yes, spelled like the horse) is used for the about 90% of sherry production and is the sole grape found in Fino and Amontillado sherries. Pedro Ximenez is used in producing the Pedro Ximenez style and blending with the palomino grape to produce Cream and Oloroso sherries.

A chart might help....

A helpful chart – click on the image for a sharper view


Fino is the driest style of sherry and pairs well with shellfish and other seafood. It is a pale yellow in color, similar to any white wine, and different from all other sherry varietals which are brown or very dark gold in color. Personally I am not a fan of this particular style, but other Sherry enthusiasts rave about its ability to compliment fresh oysters.


Amontillado may be the most famous sherry varietal due to its literary associations. Made from the palomino grape this sherry is oxidized and aged in oak barrels. This sherry is dry and tannic (think of a good Cabernet Sauvignon), with nutty flavors and an occasional caramel aftertaste. I would pair this type of sherry with a salty meat and cheese such as jamon serrano and aged manchego, or a grilled steak.


Oloroso sherries are made from Palomino grapes, oxidized to intensify the flavor profile and create a darker coloration, and then blended with Pedro Ximenez generating a richer mouth-feel and adding a touch of sweetness. The term oloroso means fragrant and these wines live up to their moniker. The ever popular Cream sherries fall into this category as do most medium-dry varietals. Depending on the level of sweetness, these types of wine can pair well with charcuterie and cheeses or be used as a dessert wine or aperitif.


Pedro Ximenez sherries are unctuously sweet and thick. I would compare them to a Tokaji in terms of body and sweetness. Made solely from the Pedro Ximenez grape, these sherries are frequently referred to as PX and are best suited as a dessert. Like a Tokaji, I would recommend pairing PX with a sharp blue cheese like valdeon.

Fried Green Tomatoes in Savannah, GA


Ever since their national introduction via Hollywood in 1992, fried green tomatoes have had a deep, historical association with the American south. Before the explosion of its movie namesake, the crisp-coated unripe tomatoes were not considered an essential component of Dixie fare. The movie spurred consumer demand, effectively creating a new market out of thin air. This is not to say that the film “Fried Green Tomatoes” created a new dish. Fried green tomatoes have their roots in Jewish cooking and eventually spread to the Midwest and Northeast. The supposed staple of the South was served infrequently throughout America before 1992, becoming an integral part of southern culture after the movie’s release. Southerners experience a collective amnesia surrounding the origins of this food, with several menus and culinary blogs concocting elaborate creation tales.

Southerners have varying tastes but strong opinions on adaptations of this fare. Attempting to find the best representation on a recent visit to Savannah, Ga., yielded an overwhelming amount of different recommendations. Savannah is a restaurant town, and each one has their particular take on this frittered fruit. Uncovering the secret behind a good fried green tomato was more straightforward. Polling numerous native southerners on what determines the success of this dish resulted in one resounding answer: the batter. People discussed the crunch, consistency of breading, and overall lightness or heaviness of the crust. John, of Liquid Sands Glass Gallery and a southern native, waxed poetic on “…their candied sweetness and their crunch.” Kim, an employee an esteemed Savannah hotel, referred to the “…light, crunchy breading,” used at several waterfront restaurants as her favorite feature of this meal.

In the south, a green tomato is an un-ripened tomato. Some heirloom varieties are naturally green when ripe, but the creation of this dish calls for young, beefsteak tomatoes that have never turned red. Traditionally, slices of this adolescent fruit are dunked in a buttermilk and egg mixture, coated in a cornmeal and flour mixture, and then skillet fried in hot vegetable oil. Toppings vary, with most recipes leaving the main ingredient unadorned; however the enthusiasts interviewed in Savannah strongly recommend a sauce or chutney to pair with the star attraction.

After sampling different variations of this dish across the city, one preparation stood out. Belford’s is frequently cited as a top contender for the title of Best Fried Green Tomatoes in Savannah. Head chef Chris Adgate explains that Belford’s tomatoes are soaked in buttermilk for “…at least four hours before cooking.” Following this marinade, the fruit slices are coated in House-Autry Mills breading, an ingredient with deep Southern roots, before deep frying at 375 degrees. Adgate instructs his chefs to “… fry them till they’re done,” a process which usually takes about four minutes. Once removed from the fryer, the tomatoes are topped with a fresh, herbal arugula pesto and a side of spicy and creamy pimento cheese. The combination of House-Autry breading and deep frying instead of skillet frying results in an interpretation unlike any other in town. Rather than a coarse and textured exterior, the breading on these tomatoes is smooth and light. The clean flavors of the arugula pesto cut through the decadent, crispy breading while the cheese adds an unexpected kick.

Belford's Fried Green Tomatoes

Belford’s Fried Green Tomatoes

John, a waiter at Noble Fare, and a self-described connoisseur of this dish, recommends several tips to ensure a successful at-home preparation. A double batter helps provide the desired crunch, and making sure the oil is hot enough keeps tomatoes from getting soggy. While toppings and sauces are important, “… batter is key,” and Fuller’s top piece of advice is to “…choose a good breading agent.” While Belford’s uses a finely milled breading resulting in a lighter, smoother coating, Fuller recommends Italian breadcrumbs. This approach is used by a number of Savannah restaurants, with panko or coarse Italian breadcrumbs replacing the traditional textured cornmeal. Vic’s on the River employs this technique, combining a golden fried panko coating with ripe tomato relish, fresh goat cheese, and mild green onions on top of traditional southern grits. The thick tomato slices are coated in an egg wash followed by panko and then skillet fried. While very tasty, the breading on Vic’s interpretation seems heavy and gummy compared to the exceptionally light coating at Belford’s.

Vic's Fried Green Tomatoes

Vic’s Fried Green Tomatoes

All across town, chefs are making the dish their own with innovative batters and toppings. From beer-batter to shrimp remoulade, each tries to put a unique spin on this Southern ‘classic’. The South may not have created fried green tomatoes, but it has perfected them.

o ya in five courses


Last week I treated myself to dinner at o ya, as a late birthday gift.  Eating at o ya is an experience.  The restaurant entrance is marked by a small sign and tucked away to the building’s side.  Walking through a heavy wooden door plunges patrons into a tranquil and ambient environment.  Diners travel along a stone walkway to an anteroom housing the hostess stand.  A rectangular dining area is located to the left of this room and laterally divided, with the back reserved for tables and a sushi bar in front.

Sitting at the bar is the only way to go.  The level of showmanship displayed by nimble sushi artists heightens the dining experience and helps create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.  Each dish is painstakingly prepared by hand.  Ingredients are sliced, torched, drizzled, and stacked to create the perfect plate.

     DSCN1090   DSCN1105


#1   Shira ae ($12)

A persimmon salad with sesame tofu, spinach, and nori (dried seaweed).

DSCN1072    Cropped shira ae

While visually stunning, this was not my favorite dish.  The textures were very interesting, though.  Fleshy persimmons paired with crunchy nori and creamy tofu dressing.  Initially, the salad was incredibly refreshing and savory with a slight sweetness from the persimmon.  After a few bites, the sesame tofu flavor became a little intense and slightly odd when paired with the fruit.  I’m glad I tried it, but I wouldn’t order it again.


#2  Next came one of the best Miso soups ($8) I have ever had.

DSCN1081         DSCN1082

The o ya version includes shitake and hedgehog mushrooms which elevate this soup out of the realm of ordinary to amazing.  Salty and earthy, but still light, this soup is perfect for a cold winter night.  The mushrooms deepen the soup’s flavor and add a textural element.  Their chewiness stood out from the soft tofu and crunchy scallions, adding a meaty quality to the dish.


#3    Bluefin chutoro with Republic of Georgia herb sauce ($18)


One of my favorite dishes, the flavors are fresh, clean and herbal.  Sesame seeds sprinkled on top provide a bit of crunch.  The herb sauce is the star of this dish.  Including basil, tarragon, cilantro, apricot, and Chinese five spice, the complexity of this sauce perfectly accents the relative simplicity of the tuna.  Clean but potent flavors make this perfect for repeat orders.


#4  Salmon tataki ($12) was an exciting menu selection.  To any would-be pyros out there – take heart.  This sushi is for you.


Tomatoes are torched and top salmon slices with smoked salt, onion aioli, and negi (a Japanese scallion).  If you like salmon, this dish is a must order.

DSCN1108          DSCN1112

It’s smoky, with a bright acidity from the tomato.  Aioli adds a touch of sweetness and creaminess to the dish.  Topping it with negi is an excellent move.  The onion adds a nice crunch, contrasting with the softer textures underneath.  My only complaint was the difficulty I had fitting an entire piece into my mouth.  There is no delicate way to eat this – the stacking of ingredients really promotes an all or nothing approach.


#5  Last but certainly not least, was the Peruvian style Bluefin chutoro tataki with an aji panca sauce and cilantro pesto ($18).


What can I say?  I love tuna.

This may be the most beautiful item I ordered.  The bright orange aji panca sauce slides into the lines on the fish, complementing the deep green cilantro pesto.  Taking a bite introduces an explosion of flavors.  Spicy, fresh, and herbal there are hints of smoke and brine to this meaty fish dish.


All of the fish dishes ordered were off the nigiri section of the menu and came with two pieces of fish, each atop a small bed of rice.  While the rice flavor is typically overwhelmed by its fish and sauce toppings, the grain works well to help satiate an appetite.


From previous experiences, I knew to skip desert.  Fish is where o ya shines.  Deserts are not bad, but the two chocolate bonbons that accompany each meal sufficiently satisfy sweet cravings.  A white chocolate bonbon contains matcha, Chambord, and salted cherry blossom.  The green tea flavoring in this is a little overwhelming, but pairs nicely with the other ingredients and sweet white chocolate.  A milk chocolate bonbon containing yuzu kosito and hazelnut, was perfection.  Think Rocher with an Asian twist.



Overall: a kickass dinner.  Food is artfully prepared with delectable fresh ingredients.  The price is steep.  My dinner, including two glasses of wine and tip, ran about $130.  This is not a restaurant you pop into for a quick bite.  o ya is best reserved for celebrations, special occasions, or hedonistic revelry.  In the end, you get what you pay for – and it is money well spent.




Places I Love – Il Capriccio


Among the many Italian restaurants in Waltham Massachusetts, Il Capriccio remains in the top tier.  Included on their diverse menu, is a must try item for anyone living within driving distance to this establishment.  The Soufflé di Porcini ($13) is a work of art.  Incredibly rich, with an overpowering mushroom taste this dish teeters on the brink of overindulgence.  The intense flavors contrast with the fluffy, slightly airy quality of the soufflé rendering it a study in opposites.  The strong porcini essence is cut by the inclusion of salty, sharp parmesan.  Pairing this decadence with a dry glass of Barbaresco is an excellent way to end a long week.  For those with small appetites, it is unlikely that a main course will be needed after ordering the soufflé.  While the dining room at Il Capriccio is a perfect place for larger parties, the bar offers a full menu and is a much more casual way to enjoy this meal.  Bar seating is first come first serve, so if a reservation is desired, formal dining may be a better option.

Il Capriccio – 888 Main Street in Waltham
Open Monday through Saturday 5:00 – 10:00. Closed Sundays.  

Afternoon Tea in Boston


Afternoon Tea: The phrase conjures images of women daintily munching on scones while gracefully sipping a cup of Earl Grey.  Afternoon Tea is a classy tradition in certain parts of the world.  Alas, America is not one of those places.  However, as a crass American, I can’t help but attribute a certain glamor to the custom of Afternoon Tea.  This is helped by my belief that there is a proper wardrobe for Tea Parties.  I can totally get behind any food event that requires a change in costume.

Given my romantic notions surrounding afternoon tea, you can imagine my delight in finding places in greater Boston that serve it!  After careful research, here are the top contenders:

1)  The Langham:  A very nice hotel in Boston with good restaurants.

  • Menu:  Good tea selection (lots of options for Black, Green, Herbals, and even White tea!).   The food selection also looks top notch with several sandwich options, the typical scone assortment and desert.
  • Price: Average?  I’m not exactly a connoisseur, but $30 seems to be in the upper-middle price point for this sort of thing.
  •  Fanciness Factor:  Looks promising.  The photos ooze class and femininity.  Fancy tea frocks do not seem out of place.

2)  The Taj:  Another very nice hotel in Boston.  I have not eaten at any of their restaurants, but I’ve heard good things.

  • Menu:  Another good tea selection with information about the styles and pairings.  I’m not as impressed with their sandwich selection (why do people insist on putting egg salad on menus?!), but I’m sure the quality will be good.  Lots of alcoholic options, for any lushes out there.
  • Price:  Coming in high at $38 per person.
  •  Fanciness Factor:  High.  The Taj is one of the fancier hotels in Boston and stands where the former Ritz Carlton used to be.  I believe a fancy frock would be required here.

3)  The Four Seasons:  I’m sensing a theme… Another very nice hotel in Boston, which houses one of my favorite Boston restaurants: The Bristol Lounge.

  •  Menu:  Good tea selection, but no information given on sandwich or pastry options.  Typically that would be enough to disqualify a restaurant, but prior experience at this establishment suggests the food will be good.
  •  Price: Good question.  The price isn’t listed, which should raise a few eyebrows.
  • Fanciness Factor: Promising but probably more low-key than either The Langham or The Taj.

4)   The Tea Leaf:  A tea house on Moody St. in Waltham!  They’re bucking the trend!  I’ve never heard of this place prior to today, but I do know where it’s located.

  •  Menu:  The best so far.  An insanely good tea selection and a full menu of goodies ranging from quiche to the traditional scones.
  • Price: The lowest, coming in at $24
  • Fanciness Factor:  Low.  Photos do not look promising.  A fancy frock may be entirely out of place for a neighborhood tea joint.


The Verdict:  I’m thinking I might start with The Langham.  I really do want to wear a fancy frock to tea.  I think it will heighten the experience, and who doesn’t love getting dressed up?  Terrorists, that’s who.  Since I’m not a terrorist, it’s time for a fancy frock!  Hopefully I can get out there this weekend.  Keep your eyes open for a review next week and hit up the comments section with any other Afternoon Tea recommendations!



Halloween: How to freak out your neighbors next year


Ahhhh Halloween, the holiday embodies hedonism in all its glory.  Trick-or-Treaters literally threaten to fuck up strangers if they don’t receive their fair share of delicious candy.  How can anyone not love such an awesome Holiday?!  Sadly, my apartment complex does not see many trick-or-treaters – until three years ago.  After four years without a single zombie or vampire, imagine my surprise when some kids actually showed up.  Unfortunately, I was ill-prepared and lacking generic candy.  As a result, the kids ended up taking away Godiva and Lindt Bon Bons.  While this selection might have pleased their parents, the kids were less than impressed.

As a result of this catastrophe, I stocked up the next year.  I even got home early so none of the trick-or-treaters would miss out on the haul!  Alas, it was not to be.  Fun Fact: If you ever want to REALLY creep out your neighbors, try doing the following:

1)      Start watching horror movies at a fairly high volume in your dimly lit apartment.  No one will know that the screams are actually coming from a TV!

2)      Try cooking something that requires significant preparation.  Bring your cutting board into the living room so you can watch movies while you prep.  Make sure that your table is lower than the window level – this ensures that anyone looking into your apartment can only see you wielding an excessively large knife and will have no idea what you are actually chopping.

3)      After an hour with no trick-or-treaters, become concerned that no one knows you have candy.  Solve this problem by creating several signs on printer paper that read “Free Candy in Apt __”  or “Knock for Candy!”  Include drawings of “ghosts” that actually look like small corpses and tape signs to all the entrance doors in your apartment building.

4)      Test drive your new Steampunk Aviatior goggles while chopping.  Overzealously wave at any trick-or-treaters you see in the parking lot.

5)      Become confused when those trick-or-treaters run away as fast as they can.


Eventually realize that while you think you look like this:


Hey there!  Have some candy!

Hey there! Have some candy!



You actually look like this:


Annnnnd we're in Hell with a goggle wearing serial killer....

Annnnnd we’re in Hell with a goggle wearing serial killer….



Have your boyfriend confirm that you are in fact, terrorizing the townsfolk.  Feel a little bit better when he pity trick-or-treats you and eats your terror candy.


Bright! What the hell does that mean?

If anyone reading this eats in fancy restaurants or watches the Food Network (or any food related TV show), they’ve probably heard a chef or waiter use the term “bright”.  At the time, maybe you thought your waiter had some form of synesthesia.  While I have no way of knowing the mental health of your waiter, I can tell you that “bright” is an oft-used food descriptor.

Chef Vincent will be preparing your meal tonight.....

Chef Vincent will be preparing your meal tonight…..







What does “bright” mean?  Usually it’s being used to  describe a flavor profile rather than the visual aesthetics of your dish.  The term typically goes hand in hand with a two different categories – fruit or herb.  In the case of fruit, “bright” is referring to the acid in fruits and how that acid complements other flavors or livens up a dish.  Think of biting into a lemon.  That’s bright.  Maybe a little too bright for most people.  In cooking, chefs will use a squirt of lemon juice, or lemon infused olive oil, to complement something like grilled trout.  Bright flavors can also come from herbs.  There are a few herbs that taste very grassy and fresh which allow them to successfully counteract or complement fatty, heavy foods.  Good examples of this would be cilantro, parsley, and dill.  You see, there’s a reason that cilantro pairs so well with the braised beef in your burrito.  The fresh, herbal flavors of the cilantro cut through the fat and the deep, rich flavors of the beef.  The juxtaposition of these two flavor profiles creates a layered, multi-dimensional dish.

So when someone uses the word “bright” to describe an entire dish, it usually means that either the acid or herb plays a starring role.  Here’s an example:  An arugula salad with candied walnuts, fresh goat cheese, dried cranberries, granny smith apples, and champagne pear vinaigrette.  This is a bright salad.  You’re going to get acid from the cheese, cranberries, apples, and vinaigrette.  Both the cranberries and apples will balance any sweetness in the vinaigrette with their tart characteristics, and the inherent tang in the goat cheese will offset its own creaminess.  Basically, there is an overabundance of acid in our hypothetical salad.  This doesn’t mean it’s unpleasant; it just makes for a “bright” dish.


Lamb is Delicious

The cuter they are, the better they taste.

The cuter they are, the better they taste.

Although I’ve never butchered a lamb, I did attend a session on it at the recent Taste Trekkers conference. The session included demonstrations on breaking down a carcass and tons of tips on cooking and consuming lamb – information I’m going to share with you! Fun fact about lamb: fresher meat has a milder flavor. If you typically find the flavor of lamb “overpowering”, sourcing out really fresh cuts or eating it in restaurants that serve super fresh, local food should help.

Consumers should never buy or order lamb shoulder steak. Steaks typically call for quick cooking, and tough, sinewy shoulder meat needs to be braised. Slow cooking breaks down connective tissue ensuring that meat is tender and flavorful. The “quick cooking” parts of the lamb include the loin and rack – that’s it. Every other muscle region involves slow cooking.

Do you know why lamb is typically served with red wine? Lambs are fat little creatures, and this carries over into any dish made with their meat. Cold beverages can congeal liquid lamb fat onto the roof of your mouth, making for a very unpleasant experience. Room temperature beverages, like red wine, should complement lamb flavors and not affect the consistency of the fat.

Here is an awesome idea for lamb enthusiasts: make lamb pancetta! Find a butcher and get some lamb belly – you should have two slabs.

1. Sear the topside of the slabs
2. Braise for three hours in the oven with mirepoix – the lamb should be covered in liquid but the dish should be uncovered – no lid.
3. Pull out the bones
4. Sandwich the two slabs together, add weight on top, and let cool overnight
5. In the morning this should become one piece and you can cube it up and use it as lamb pancetta!

Crisp it up and add to salads, or use pancetta instead of butter (or some other form of fat) to add a new flavor dimension to your dish. I’m envisioning Spring Pea and Ricotta ravioli from Dave’s with crispy lamb pancetta, fresh mint, and a nice Parmigiano-Regiano sprinkled on top. A drizzle of some buttery, extra virgin olive oil and touch of balsamic glaze should round out the flavors nicely!

Full disclaimer: I haven’t tried this recipe yet and I’m not entirely sure what temperature to braise the lamb at. The Joy of Cooking should be able to clear that up. This is just an awesome idea for you adventurous chefs out there. If you try it, send a comment to let us know how it turned out!



Taste Trekkers

Three weekends ago I put on my fancy academic pants, and attended the first ever Taste Trekkers conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Taste Trekkers is an organization and conference focused on the culinary tourism industry as well as enthusiasts. It pretty much rocks.

What is culinary tourism? There are several definitions and interpretations, but a willingness to learn and experience new things through food is the essential component of culinary tourism. Taste Trekkers provides these tourists with a unique opportunity to interact directly with vendors through hosted seminars.

The conference was divided into three one hour seminar blocks. Four topic options were given for each one hour block and attendees submitted their requests one week prior to the conference. I lucked out, and managed to get into my top three choices: Lamb Butchering, New England Rum, and Vermont Ice Cider! Other session options ranged from Peruvian Ceviche to Madagascar Chocolate. The seminars were very informative, discussing the challenges that vendors face while catering to the tourism industry, and highlighting the importance of supporting small, local operations. Fun demonstrations and delicious product samples were also included!

Following the sessions, participants hit up the Tasting Pavilion! Local culinary businesses and session leaders manned booths, distributing samples and answering consumer questions. The pavilion was a fantastic introduction to the Providence culinary scene, showcasing local restaurants, markets, and breweries. I’d never heard of companies like Foolproof Brewing, despite living only 50 miles away! Discoveries like this really highlight the versatility of culinary tourism. You don’t need to travel hundreds of miles to be a culinary tourist. You can find exciting new food experiences right in your own backyard!

Taste Trekkers was a great experience that provided tons of information on resources available to culinary tourists, while introducing them to an industry perspective. The conference was also an excellent opportunity for networking and highlighted interesting topics like tourism strategies, benefits, and emerging trends. Most importantly, Taste Trekkers was a fun weekend adventure and a great way to meet other people with the same interests!