Meeting MPI Toronto - November/December 2015 - (Page 20)

CULINARY ENG AND TEAM The Food Network is flourishing, and most of us are becoming foodies, weekend chefs and food connoisseurs. Lynda Barrett, CMP Director of Conference and Events at the Canadian Home Builders' Association lyndabarrett@rogers.com Y ou can't turn on TV today without seeing some sort of cooking or baking show. From recipe basics to demonstrations and culinary challenges, The Food Network is flourishing, and most of us are becoming foodies, weekend chefs and food connoisseurs. The quality and presentation of food at events has never been more important as a result of this, and people are becoming more aware of what they eat. Meeting professionals must work together to keep up the offerings both on the menu and incorporating food into engaging activities. Everyone is thinking outside the box. Over the last few years, I've been to a number of events where they have incorporated gourmet food trucks to enhance the menu. Buffets are still popular for their range of choices, but you can elaborate with interactive chef stations and give guests the opportunity to "build their own" plates. Family-style service shouldn't be relegated to special occasions around the dining room table either. Bring the same camaraderie to your meeting table. Passing the potatoes has that effect on people! If you want to get your group fully immersed, invite local wineries to set up tastings and have your teams compete in a grape stomping event a la "I Love Lucy." Most juice produced, wins! Dine-arounds and progressive dinners are still popular and encourage networking as groups travel from location to location; and well-executed themed dinners can offer a fully immersed experience. Make your next meal a unique culinary experience by having an intimate chef's table or full blown demonstrations, which can be accommodated in most venues. Hotel chefs are more than willing to become engaged with your guests and work well with any celebrity chef you may bring onboard. Open kitchens are popping up at venues from coast to coast. Invite a celebrity chef to your next meal function and have them prepare the food before your guests. Demos can also be followed by hands-on experiences for the individual or as a team. Have an executive retreat coming up? How about salmon fishing and barbecuing your own catch on an open fire under the stars with the aid of a pro. The possibilities are endless and only limited to your imagination. Cheers! 20 * ME ETING | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 | LINKEDIN: MPI TORONTO CHAPTER

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - November/December 2015

President’s Message
Editor’s Word
Upcoming Events
Welcome, New Members!
Going Healthy: Trend Not Fad
The Foodies’ Dine Around
Traditional Holiday Menus with a Twist
Member Spotlight: MPI Toronto’s M+IT Hall of Fame Finalists
Destination Spotlight: Québec
Food & Beverage Risk and Liability
Today’s Menu: Culinary Engagement and Team Building
Chapter Speaks
Winery Events and Then Some
Fueling Our Mind and Bodies
Food & Beverage Trends 2016
I Spy MPI
Advertisers’ Index & Advertisers.com

Meeting MPI Toronto - November/December 2015

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