Food Matters - Arlene Stein

here are many folks that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make our food better. Toronto's own Arlene Stein is one of them. 

Last year, Stein helped to bring together not just great Toronto talent, but epic food folks from around the globe such as Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy, NYC), Albert Adrià (Tickets and 41Ëš, Barcelona), Daniel Boulud (Boulud, NYC and Café Boulud Toronto) and David Chang (Momofuku NYC and Toronto) for Terroir.

As Founder and Chair of the annual Terroir Symposium - a symposium for the hospitality industry and the only gathering of its kind in Canada - Stein has created a space for chefs, food producers and leaders to talk about matters to them. Because of events like Terroir, change happens. And folks around the globe sit up and take notice of Toronto and our chefs, restaurants and markets. It has been so successful, Stein is working on bringing a version of the symposium to Minneapolis, as well as other cities across North America.

Recently Stein has been invited to participate at the first Parabere Forum, an independent international platform featuring women's views and voices on major food issues. The international conference takes place this March in Bilbao. For those not familiar with the Forum, the organization is "committed to improving the state of the gastronomy, food, nutrition and agriculture by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society."

This year's Forum will celebrate female leaders including:

Dominique Crenn, Chef and owner of Atelier Crenn (USA)
Jessamy Rodriguez, Hot Bread Kitchen (USA)
Thais Compoint, The Coca Cola Company (UK)
Karina Dobrotvorskaya, Condé Nast (International)
Ruth Reichl, Former NYT food critic, former Gourmet editor (USA)
Dr. Vandana Shiva, Activist, alternative PEACE NOBEL Prize (India)

No doubt, Stein will come back with a host of exhilarating new ideas and projects.

Already in the works - Chefs Charter for Oceans. Beginning in Toronto, this gathering of influential leaders in the field of seafood sustainability will meet to discuss and explore how to inform our Canadian chefs the best practices for responsible seafood consumption. A three-part program will continue in Newfoundland, where debate, discussion, observation and celebration of the best practices in wild and shellfish fisheries, as well as aquaculture, will take place.

We can't wait to see what she does next.

(Photo: L to R - Chef Kevin Patricio, San Sebastian, Spain; Arlene Stein; Mitchell Davis, James Beard Foundation)