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Cascadian Cuisine Economic Development Initiative Kicks Off in Portland, Oregon
Tourism offices, food & drink producers, association leaders, wineries, brewers, chefs and journalists met for a full day of strategic planning & thought leadership
Last week the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) officially kicked off Cascadian Cuisine, a new initiative focused on the development of a regional food and drink brand as a tool for economic development. The goal is that the new regional food brand will drive consumer awareness, create jobs and support the tourism efforts of communities across the region. At the meeting, the Association welcomed some of the most fervent food, drink and tourism players in the region to discuss topics such as borders, agricultural hallmarks, local entrepreneurship and sustainability in Cascadia.
Cascadian Cuisine draws deeply on the passion and unsurpassed quality of food and drink found in the bio-region that includes northwestern California, Oregon, Washington, southwestern British Columbia, Idaho and western Montana. In other words, as Jason French, Chef/Owner at Portland's popular Ned Ludd Restaurant, says, "the quality of our food and drink is very much grounded in the quality of the agricultural products found in Cascadia."
Erik Wolf, Executive Director of WFTA explained the vision, "At its very core, Cascadian Cuisine is about economic and community development – bringing awareness, infusing fresh cash from outside the area, creating jobs, and preserving communities and the culinary culture of our region."
For anyone interested in getting involved with this initiative, the volunteer group holds monthly conference calls, as well as quarterly in-person meetings at destinations throughout Cascadia.
The group's next steps include:
- Create an advisory board of regional thought leaders
- Create a business plan and strategy for Cascadian Cuisine
- Secure celebrity chef "faces of Cascadia"
- Reach out to tourism office as collaborative partners
- Develop programming and promotional materials
For more information, please contact Executive Director, Erik Wolf at erik[at]worldfoodtravel.org. For partnership opportunities please contact the Association's Relationship Manager, Maura White at maura[at]worldfoodtravel.org. To stay up to date on the initiative, follow Cascadian Cuisine on Facebook.
About World Food Travel Association
The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) is the leading authority on food tourism and the world’s largest community of food and drink tourism professionals, with over 18,000 members in 135 countries. The Association's mission is to preserve and promote culinary cultures through travel.
Photo Credits: Cascadian Cuisine / WFTA