TORONTO, March 22, 2018 /CNW/ - On April 23, Toronto will host more than 60 of the most visionary, knowledgeable and innovative professionals in hospitality and tourism at the annual Terroir Symposium. Now in its 12th year, Terroir is North America's marquee gathering for sommeliers, chefs, hoteliers and producers, which has made Ontario a world-class destination for culinary travelers. Guests will engage with renowned speakers, network with industry leaders and influencers, and explore trends in food, beverage and travel.

This year's conference theme, Terroirnomics: The Powerful Economics of Local, aims to provoke discussions around the value of supporting local businesses and producers, while showcasing the talent of chefs, growers, artisans and entrepreneurs.

"When we shrink our supply chains, source locally and support our regional growers and producers, the positive impact on the economy is extraordinary," said Rebecca Mackenzie, President of the Culinary Tourism Alliance, the organization behind this year's event. "We have always been huge supporters of Terroir and are thrilled to be managing the event because it aligns so closely with our mission and core values."

The Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA) is managing Terroir for the first time after years as a partner and supporter of the event. With deep connections in the industry and a vested interest in the success of local businesses, the organization will bring together key stakeholders, experts, business leaders and media to discuss the profound economic impact food tourism can have on a given region. The public event will be held at the stunning Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

"We are ecstatic to host this inspired event for the third year in a row," said Renée Bellefeuille, Executive Chef, AGO. "Terroir's reputation has grown and now more than ever helps us attract some of the most curious, ambitious and knowledgeable hospitality professionals in the world to our beautiful city. Chefs see food as an art form, so the AGO is a natural backdrop for this incredible gathering."

Speaker Highlights

Elena Arzak (ARZAK, San Sebastian, Spain)
Revered and decorated chef and restaurateur

Farmer Lee (The Chef's Garden, Cleveland, Ohio)
James Beard winner, farmer and champion of sustainable agriculture

Jason Clampet (SKIFT, New York, New York)  
Co-Founder of SKIFT Table, a top trend-spotting resource for restauranteurs 

Dennis Prescott (Eat Delicious, Moncton, New Brunswick)
Best-selling cookbook author, food photographer and social influencer

Dr. Sylvian Charlebois (Professor, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia)
Researcher, author and champion of terroir

Event Highlights

Keynote addresses from technology, culinary, beverage, hospitality and tourism experts.

Interactive panel discussions featuring a diverse and gender-balanced group of presenters.

World Food Court lunch, showcasing global cuisines curated by Suresh Doss, editor of Foodism.

Guests can opt to attend master classes which will each highlight a segment of Ontario's bourgeoning beverage industry. Experts in wine, spirits and beer will lead intimate discussions around these key drivers of local hospitality and tourism. The Great Ontario Craft Brew will showcase an exclusive beer brewed collaboratively by Great Lakes Brewery and Beau's Brewery. Wine lovers can spend the morning and afternoon portions of the event immersed in wine theory. The Wine Marketing Association of Ontario will host two of the master classes: Women in Wine and Cabernet Franc.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit


March 21, 2018

“March is Caffeine Awareness Month”

Becki Holmes, MS, RDN, LDN

Founding Principal, Foodwit

As a working mom with two kids, caffeine (in pretty much any form) helps me achieve my daily goals. On the flip side, prioritizing sleep is a year-round combat especially with kids in the equation. It’s not rocket science to know that I’m a better, more productive, and more approachable human after a solid night’s rest. Anyone who knows me also can attest that I’m even more approachable and productive after a solid cup of coffee! But like everything, balance and moderation is key. With March being Nutrition Month and the U.S celebrating Caffeine Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to reflect on your cup of Joe, fancy cold brew, energy drink or soda, and understand a little more about our old friend caffeine. 

Health Canada, along with other leading Health Authorities, suggests that up to 400 mg of caffeine daily is considered a moderate and safe amount of caffeine for the general population of healthy adults. And, while 400 mg sounds like a free pass for coffee lovers, caffeine is not for everyone and tolerance may vary from person to person. Some people may be able to enjoy a shot of espresso after dinner and sleep like a baby, while others may experience sleep sensitivity if caffeine is consumed after lunchtime. Like many dietary constituents, the personal challenge is to get the facts so you can understand what works best for you.  

Being caffeine-smart starts with knowing where caffeine can be found, and how much is present in foods and beverages.   Caffeine has been consumed for centuries from sources like coffee, tea and chocolate. In more modern times, it’s commonplace to find caffeine in products like sodas and energy drinks. Regardless of whether caffeine is naturally occurring or an added ingredient, its effects are identical.

What’s most important to know is that not all products contain the same levels of caffeine - especially when it comes to naturally occurring sources. For instance, coffee brewed at home is generally about 95 mg of caffeine per 236 ml (just under a cup), whereas the same volume of drip coffee purchased at a premium coffee chain could contain up to twice the caffeine, around 180 mg. – New trendy cold-brewed coffees pack a punch at 150 mg per 354 ml. The variations observed in coffees are largely due to the type of coffee bean, grind, water temperature, and steeping time. Cold brew coffees are often steeped for extended periods of time which is why caffeine levels in these products are frequently higher than that of drip coffee. 

With variable caffeine amounts in the growing number of coffee preparations and limited caffeine labeling on these products, it’s challenging to understand what may be appropriate to consume. While coffees and teas represent the majority of global caffeine intake, it is more common to see caffeine quantities labeled on retail products. The majority of soft drink and energy drink companies label this information on their products for Canadian consumers making caffeine choices easy to compare. Most major energy drinks contain between 75-100 mg of caffeine per 250 ml – roughly the same as that found in a home brewed cup of coffee, and a 591 ml bottle of Diet Coke which contains 78 mg of caffeine. At the higher end of the spectrum are caffeine-containing dietary supplement products (like energy shots) which can contain up to 300 mg of caffeine per 60 mL shot. While the name sounds similar, these shouldn’t be confused with energy drinks which are regulated as a food product.

Experiencing caffeine’s effects is both learned and personal. Caffeine is enjoyed for its positive attributes affecting mood, motor behavior, vigilance, and cognitive performance. Most people learn quickly that drinking too much caffeine may result in undesired effects like jitteriness or that consuming caffeine too close to bedtime can affect the time it takes to get to sleep and the total amount of sleep achieved.   Science says that on average caffeine takes 4-5 hours for the body to clear half of what was consumed. This timeframe can act as a good starting point to self-assess how an afternoon iced tea, cold brew, soda or energy drink might affect your sleep on a given night.            

Nutrition month encourages us to reflect on moderation and portion size. Whether treating yourself to a night out at a restaurant, an afternoon chocolate break, or your favorite food or drink, remember the basics: moderation and portion control are key. For caffeinated beverages, mindful portions offering ~75-100 mg of caffeine are the following: Coffee = one cup; Espresso = 2 fl oz shot; Energy Drink = One 250 or 355mL can; Soda = 571 mL bottle.

Beyond caffeine, many caffeinated products also contain added sugar. Here are some easy tips to enjoy caffeine while minimizing empty calories:

Opt for smaller can sizes; a 250 mL can of soda or energy drink contains about the same amount of sugar as fruit juice.

Substitute full sugar products for diet or sugar-free alternatives

Enjoy your coffee black

Request fewer pumps of syrup in a flavored espresso drink

All in all, caffeine is caffeine despite whether it’s consumed from coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, chocolate or other formats. Be caffeine-smart by learning how much caffeine is in the products you consume so you know how much is right for you!

Becki Holmes is a Registered Dietitian and the Founder of Foodwit – a consulting firm with a focus on scientific and regulatory services for food businesses.

Download this file (Caffeine Awareness Handout[7].pdf)Caffeine Awareness Handout[7].pdf[ ]153 kB

TORONTO, ON, (TSX: CGX), March 20, 2018 – Cineplex, a leading entertainment and media company, today announced plans to build a new location of The Rec Room at Seasons of Tuxedo in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The country’s newest social playground for grown-ups, The Rec Room brings together incredible dining experiences with exciting live entertainment and amusement gaming experiences, all under one roof.  The new location announced today is targeted to open in late 2019 and will be approximately 40,000 square feet.

“When people think of Cineplex they typically think of our film exhibition business, but I’m excited to show the Winnipeg community that we’re about more than movies,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. "The Rec Room leverages our industry-leading entertainment, amusement gaming, food & beverage, digital media and operational capabilities that combined will bring an entirely new, technology-enhanced destination to the city.”

Located in south-west Winnipeg on the south-west corner of Sterling Lyon Parkway and Kenaston Blvd., The Rec Room at Seasons of Tuxedo will be popular with young adults and families, while also serving as the ultimate gathering spot for corporate events and parties.  Built with the support of North American Development Group / Centrecorp as part of its multi-million dollar development project, the new location will include:

  • The best in Canadian-inspired cuisine at The Rec Room’s upscale casual dining restaurant as well as its ‘eatertainment-style’ dining options in the games area
  • A massive attractions area where social-seekers can play over 110 amusement games.  Credits earned are tracked on RFID wristbands and can be redeemed at a redemption store for fun prizes
  • Classic favourites like air hockey, pool and ping pong as well as large feature attractions, that could include experiences like virtual reality, luxury bowling and axe throwing
  • A bar area where sports fans can grab a drink and catch the game on huge HD screens
  • A guest experience that integrates the latest in technology and gamification coupled with SCENE, Canada’s leading entertainment rewards program
  • A performance space that’s ideal for hosting live entertainment such as musical and comedy acts
  • Multiple private dining rooms that will make it the ultimate gathering spot for celebrations, meetings, corporate events and parties 

Cineplex plans to open 10-15 new locations of The Rec Room over the coming years, each ranging in size from 30,000-60,000 square feet and customized to the individual community.  The massive entertainment complexes will see half of the space being devoted to dining and live entertainment and the other half being devoted to amusement games and feature attractions. In addition to the Winnipeg location targeted to open in late 2019, Cineplex currently operates four other locations of The Rec Room in South Edmonton (AB), West Edmonton Mall (AB), Calgary (AB) and Toronto (ON), and has announced plans for complexes in London (ON), Mississauga (ON), St. John’s (NFLD) and Vancouver (BC). 


Vancouver, BC (March 16th, 2018) - Ted Fleming’s CBC’s Dragons’ Den appearance has landed him in the lap of success upon wrapping up his pitch for an investment in his growing Partake Brewing company. Fleming won over the at least one of the discerning Dragons by offering up a full glass of his carefully curated craft IPA to taste. This new influx of capital will help towards growing Partake Brewing globally and will allow for the development of various new styles of beer, including a craft lager.

Partake’s Dragon deal was secured with Manjit Minhas for $300,000 - for no less than 50 percent of the company - after she praised the IPA she sampled for having just the right bitterness along with beautiful body and colour.

“This deal is such an exciting next step in the evolution of Partake,” said Ted Fleming, founder and CEO, Partake Brewing. “After being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease I decided to eliminate alcohol from my diet but really missed beer. While there were non-alcoholic options available, the quality and variety were just not the same as their alcoholic counterparts, so it became my mission to remedy the situation. Partake was the end result and the team at Durham College played a vital role in helping to refine our recipe.”


Development of Partake’s IPA recipe began in October 2016 in collaboration with Durham College and its Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE). Funded through a $25,000 Engage grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and using its brew lab and line, ORSIE researchers worked with the company to develop Partake’s IPA recipe, resulting in a made-in-Canada craft beer that has no alcoholic content yet retains a true beer taste.


ST-HUBERT, QC, March 15, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Agropur is pleased that five of its cheeses were picked as the champions in their category at the World Championship Cheese Contest. In all, 3,400 cheeses from 26 countries were entered.

Made in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Agropur's Camembert l'Extra, was chosen over 17 other products to win 1st prize in the World Championship Cheese Contest, held in Madison, Wisconsin from March 6 to 8.   

The creamy texture and hazelnut-and-mushroom flavour of our Camembert delighted the refined taste buds of a distinguished panel of internationally known judges. It was a victory to be savoured for Agropur and its fine cheese expertise.

Four cheeses from Agropur's United States facilities were also chosen as winners at the contest. Agropur cheese from Jerome, Idaho received the best score in the shredded cheese category for the second consecutive year. Lake Norden, South Dakota took top honors in the mozzarella category. Feta from Weyauwega, Wisconsin won for the third consecutive year, and smoked provolone from Luxemburg, Wisconsin also swept the top award in its category. 

The World Championship Cheese Contest, founded in 1957, is the largest competition of its kind. All technical aspects of the cheeses entered in the contest are evaluated by a jury of 50 experts from different countries who are respected by the luminaries in the field.


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