Explore the innovation at Wine & Food Tourism Conference

The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference, now in its third year is set to take place at the Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch on 17 October 2018 with an impressive panel of local and international speakers that will centre their respective topics on the theme of innovation.

“The Western Cape has a distinct advantage in Southern Africa.”

Not only does it feature breathtaking sea- and mountain-scapes, but a vibrant culinary and social scene that celebrates and reflects its very special environment,” says seasoned tourism specialist Margi Biggs, convenor of the conference.

“The wine and food scene here in the Cape, together with its interesting combination of people – tourists and locals from all levels of society – provide such a healthy environment for cultivating tourism, and now is the perfect time to explore the theme of innovation and its various facets and impact points.”

Delegates will hear from South African innovation thought-leader, Peter Greenwall, who actively works on advancing ‘innovation IQ’. He is a successful author and entrepreneur – a natural educator with an innate ability to navigate through nonsense and clutter to create lightbulb moments in creativity. Greenwall explains: “I will be teaching attendees how to create a culture of innovation that permeates all aspects of their tourism-related businesses, and discuss the five stages of what we refer to the ‘innovation cycle’.
US-based big data wine specialist, Cathy Huyghe, is the head-line speaker this year. This will be the first visit to South Africa for Huyghe, who is also a wine columnist for Forbes and who has written for the Harvard Business Review.

“We are also thrilled to have the talented Wandile Mabaso, a young and internationally travelled Soweto-born, French-inspired chef, who is currently disrupting the culinary scene in Johannesburg, confirmed as speaker. He’s also known as South Africa’s French cuisine ambassador, having worked alongside many famous French chefs, like the legendary Alain Ducasse who holds an incredible 21 Michelin stars,” Biggs states.

Biggs elaborates: “Wandile is passionate about sharing the skills he’d learned while working as chef across the globe, from the Mediterranean, to Miami, New York and Paris, as well as during his time back here in South Africa. Conference delegates can look forward to an energetic presentation from him. He’s sure to disrupt and challenge entrenched ideas so we can open our minds and allow for innovative thinking.”

Other speakers at this year’s conference include online story-teller Chris Joubert, and Spicer de Villiers, who owns A Single Thread, a boutique communications agency that is active in local wine; Dr Donovan Kirkwood, an ecologist and biodiversity conservation specialist; as well as chef and foraging specialist Kobus van der Merwe, who with his intensely local and seasonal focus has developed a cuisine that completely embodies and evokes the wild and dry West Coast.

Also to feature are Dr Serge Raemaekers, a specialist in marine biology who has developed a unique value chain bringing freshly caught fish to Cape Town’s top restaurants; Tim Harris, chief executive officer of Wesgro, who also sits on the board of Silicon Cape, Cape Town’s technology promotion initiative; and Marisah Nieuwoudt, who is the wine tourism manager for VinPro, the organisation that represents around 3 500 South African wine producers, cellars and industry stakeholders.

For more information visit www.wineandfood.co.za

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