This week, the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) announced the winners of its prestigious annual food and beverage tourism FoodTrekking Awards as follows:
BEST CULINARY DESTINATION
For destinations with success in staying top of mind as a food lover’s dream during the slowdown of the pandemic.
1st place – Comune di Buccheri (Sicily, Italy)
Runner-up – Associazione regionale Strada dell’Olio Dop (Umbria, Italy)
BEST “HUSTLE” AWARD
For a business that did whatever it took to survive – beyond pivoting and a more holistic approach to look at everything a business did to survive and stay relevant in the minds of food- and beverage-loving travelers.
1st place – Preidlhof Resort (Merano, Italy)
Runner-up – Venissa (Venice, Italy)
BEST VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE
For a business that demonstrated excellence in a bookable, virtual food or beverage experience.
1st place – Local Food Adventures, Oakland, CA, USA
Runner-up – Tori Avey – Tori’s Mediterranean Table (USA)
BEST CULINARY STORYTELLER
For a storyteller who has made the most of the extra time we have all had in the past year, writing articles, publishing photographs, producing videos, and telling fascinating new stories about their local culinary culture.
1st place – Jenn Sharp, Saskatoon, Canada
Runner-up – Gastronomy Club of Epirus (Greece)
Erik Wolf, Executive Director of the World Food Travel Association, congratulated the winners stating, “It is businesses and destinations like these that help to propel our industry forward, especially in these trying times. We are so glad that these entrepreneurs and leaders did not give up hope, and they found a way to survive and forge their paths to future success.”
Best Storyteller Winner, Jenn Sharp, storyteller of the Flat Out Food Project was nominated by Tourism Saskatoon (Canada). The tourism office’s CEO Stephanie Clovechok added, “It’s an incredible honour for both Tourism Saskatoon and our winning storyteller Jenn Sharp to receive this global recognition. Saskatoon is a central gathering place for the region’s culinary scene and we have outstanding stories to tell. As an author, journalist and filmmaker, Saskatchewan-born Jenn Sharp has spent over a decade sharing local culinary stories to help us all reconnect with our food, the farmers, the land and ultimately, ourselves. She has truly encouraged positive change in our province.”
Patrizia Bortolin, Project Manager & Wellness Alchemist at Preidlhof Resort in Italy, and winner of the Best “Hustle” Award agreed saying, “It’s time for hotels to invest in cross-functional training between wellness experts and F&B departments, and use the “art of eating” to get healthier in a happier way, while expanding new skills and motivation of everyone. I’m thankful for the exceptional and meaningful Foodtrekking Award for the Wellness Eating Philosophy; it feels like a huge reward for our optimism, creativity and love for experiential travel, especially in this challenging time.”
According to Lauren McCabe Herpich of Local Food Adventures, winner of the Best Virtual Experience, stated, “they say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Turning our San Francisco Bay Area food tours into an e-commerce virtual event business has truly been a difficult, yet exciting experience. Not only are we now able to provide events to groups all over the world, but also continue to promote and support our local small business community. The recognition of our FoodTrekking Award has truly made our COVID lemonade even sweeter.”
And finally Dr. Alessandro Caiazzo, the Mayor of Buccheri, Italy, winner of the Best Culinary Destination award, shared that “we are all happy with the prestigious award which is the result of teamwork aimed at promoting our territory, deeply linked to traditional products and excellent food and wine. Today begin our municipality’s further promotions as the world’s best food destination.”
ABOUT THE FOODTREKKING AWARDS
The FoodTrekking Awards are an annual recognition program for the culinary tourism industry. The Awards were started in 2016 by the World Food Travel Association as a way to recognize leadership and innovation in food and beverage tourism. So far, 65 businesses and destinations in 28 countries have won an award. Award categories vary from year to year, and are always focused on leadership and innovation in food and beverage tourism.