Eat Well, Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel Podcast

Food Travel Inspiration for You & Your Business

 

"Eat Well, Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel" is the world's first and only podcast devoted to the business of food and beverage travel.

Podcast co-hosts Erik Wolf and Aashi Vel help you become a better industry professional by gaining inspiration from some of the world's most successful people in the food and beverage tourism industry.

With each episode, we meet these leaders and examine their secrets of success. We reveal the obstacles and challenges they have faced, along with their solutions and triumphs, and give you ideas and inspirations for many of the same business issues that you may be facing as well.

The podcast focuses on the person being interviewed; a remarkable thing they’ve done, achieved or experienced; and what that experience taught them. Discussion of what they do (their product or service) or their company is minimal. 


Listen to current episodes below, right in your browser or use one of the podcast apps to the side.


RECENT EPISODES


Episode 14: Cultivating a Sense of Community

In this episode, tourism development consultant Alison Burgh talks with us about the importance of cultivating a sense of community, why creating a unique and memorable experience is a critical part of getting food tourism right, and why you can't worry about doing what is expected of you. She cites examples in Jamaica and Belize to illustrate her points.

Discussed in this episode:

 

Alison's company

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Why developing a sense of community is critical in food tourism
  • Why creating a unique and memorable experience is a critical part of getting food tourism right
  • Why you can't worry about doing what is expected of you - just follow your heart


Episode 13: Instagram is not a Panacea

Amber and Eric Hoffman are a married couple who are also bloggers living in Girona, Spain in the Province of Catalonia. After extensive careers in law and advertising, Amber and Eric said goodbye to corporate life to travel the world in search of the best culinary destinations and experiences. 70+ countries and six years later, they are still going strong providing tips and recommendations on where to eat and what to eat around the world. They authored The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna, the only English language comprehensive food and wine travel guidebook to that region of Italy. Their second book, the Food Traveler’s Guide to the Costa Brava Spain will be out shortly. In this episode, Eric and Amber draw on their extensive experience with food and travel and share, among other valuable insights, why Instagram is not a panacea.

Discussed in this episode:

 

Their blog

Their company

In this episode you'll learn:

  • How being an entrepreneur is a job: you have to take it seriously
  • Why you need to have savings built up before you launch out on your own
  • How "no" is a big motivator
  • Why Instagram isn't the panacea everyone thinks it is
  • How secondary and tertiary destinations can help solve the overtourism problem
  • How to get professional quality photos and videos without spending a lot


Episode 12: Tung Do - Just Do It

Tung Do is a Vietnamese-American whose family escaped to the US at the end of the Vietnam war in 1975 and settled in Texas. After spending 10 years as a securities trader, Tung returned to Vietnam in 2009 to do charity work just for one year. He fell in love with the country and decided to stay, eventually starting 4 different businesses there. The most successful business Tung runs in Vietnam is called XO Tours. An award-winning Vietnam tour company which offers unique city and food tours on scooters in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An. Tung shares with us a number of valuable insights, not the least of which is to "Just Do It" - start your business even if you are scared and have no experience.

Tung shares with us a number of valuable insights, not the least of which is to "Just Do It" - start your business even if you are scared or have no experience.

Discussed in this episode:

 

His company XOTours

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. Why you need to delegate to be able to succeed
  2. If someone doesn't accept your offer initially, don't give up
  3. Why it's important to speak English in any industry
  4. Why the past doesn't repeat but it often rhymes
  5. Why you need to be remarkable or be nothing
  6. How ego and overconfidence can ruin everything
  7. Why you can't rest your laurels
  8. Why you shouldn't try to be all things to all people
  9. Just do it: start a business even if you don't have the experience

Episode 11: Evarist March - See You in the Wild

Evarist March is a lover of nature. He specializes in the knowledge of plants, fungi and algae and their usefulness for humans, which directly relates to their use in both traditional or contemporary gastronomy. He is a passionate guide, and admittedly somewhat eccentric, who works mainly in Catalonia. It is here where people interpret the natural environment and make the connection between (gastronomic) culture, its origins, place and people. Evarist loves to be surrounded by crazy cooks, naturalists and lovers of life.

Discussed in this episode:

 

His company NaturalWalks

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. Why it's important to have a connection to the food you eat.
  2. How nature can inspire cuisine.
  3. Why it's important to preserve endemic culinary cultures.
  4. Why it's important to dream about your potential.
  5. How take inspiration from others to help you follow your own path.
  6. How to stay competitive when the price of products keeps going down.

Episode 10: Jenn David - The Power of Design

For Jenn it started at a very young age, helping her mom and dad in the kitchen make pies and other baked deliciousness from scratch—mixing the dough, combining the fruit with the spices, feeling the textures, tasting the ingredients, smelling the aromas. These experiences laid the foundation for Jenn’s passion for food—she is still amazed at how simple ingredients transform into something incredible with a little effort and love. In 2002, Jenn and her husband-to-be packed up everything they owned in a small moving truck and drove from their hometown of Boston across the country to San Francisco. The dot-com bubble had just burst but Jenn’s business started to flourish, which included working with Williams-Sonoma and designing their specialty food packaging. It was here that Jenn’s two passions for food and design first intersected and stayed. Now with nearly two decades of specializing in food packaging and branding design, Jenn is an expert in creative strategy for specialty food brands. She brings her passion to each client she works with, and thrives on the challenge of creating branding that truly captures the essence of the product and life of the brand. She continues the tradition with her own children of experimenting and having fun in the kitchen. Learn more about Jenn at Jenn David Design.

Discussed in this episode:

 

How to Design Your Specialty Food Packaging to Sell, a book by Jenn David Connolly

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. Why food & beverage packaging can often have a greater impact on a consumer than the actual product itself
  2. How multiple languages on the packaging can affect consumer's expectations of the product or experience
  3. How attractively packaged food/beverage products can help foster long-lasting visitor memories 

Episode 9: Jon Simon - The Lost Art of the Phone Call

Jon is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Pieminister, a small group of restaurants and cafes in southern and western United Kingdom, focused on serving the savoury pie, which everyone in the UK and Commonwealth knows all too well. Recently Jon co-founded Good Sixty, an online platform which brings together the best of the best, of food retailers and artisan producers, allowing people to either buy local groceries or amazing produce from across the UK and have it delivered to their door. Jon talks about what he learned from the time he co-founded Pieminister, and how he's applying that to his new business ventures.

Discussed in this episode:

 

Tools of Titans (book)

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. What food and fashion have in common
  2. About the risk of food/beverage homogenization and what to do about it
  3. Why focusing on the food experience in local areas is critical to success
  4. Why serving a memory and not a meal is the key to success
  5. What happens when you have a 1 on 1 conversation with another human (in our era of the Internet) 

Episode 8: Amanda Niode - Making Food Travel Memorable

Amanda Niode is an internationally renowned environmental and climate change educator and communicator. Her work background is varied, handling environmental specialties and climate change for Indonesian government agencies, multinational corporations, consulting companies, academic institutions, civil societies and international organizations. Amanda was appointed as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, outside Boston in the United States, and she has also lived in the United States. Amanda also serves as an Ambassador of the World Food Travel Association in Indonesia.

Discussed in this episode:

Trailing the Taste of Gorontalo (book)


Omar Niode Foundation


Will Write for Food (book) 

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. Why it's important to find and then share the stories about the area as well as the products and the people
  2. What goes into an area's "signature dish"
  3. How to motivate yourself to get started on a food tourism project of your own
  4. The destination marketing opportunity today for secondary and tertiary destinations
  5. Think about and develop unexpected food & beverage experiences
  6. The three things that make food travel memorable

Episode 7: Bill Baker - On Relevance, Strategy & the Human Touch

Bill Baker's career in travel and tourism started with a domestic airline in Sydney, Australia over 40 years ago. After this first taste of a career in tourism, Bill moved to Australia's Hunter Valley, where his career in destination marketing really began. In those days, Hunter Valley had just ten wineries, one restaurant and no lodging. Today it’s one of the most famous wine tourism destinations in the world, with over 200 wineries, and dozens of hotels, resorts and restaurants.  Later Bill joined the Australian Tourist Commission and moved to New York where his team launched the very successful “Slip a Shrimp on the Barbie” campaign. Then later he moved to Los Angeles; Frankfurt, Germany; and London. During his journey around the world, he continued to develop and refine new approaches to branding and marketing destinations. Bill established Total Destination Marketing in 1994 in Australia, and began adapting what he had learned to benefit the marketing of cities and regions. He moved to the U.St. State of Oregon in 2000, where his focus has continued on the marketing and branding of small cities. His book, Destination Branding for Small Cities, has been a best seller in its category for over a decade. Last year, Bill worked in five countries and was the keynote speaker at the Inaugural  International Place Branding Association conference in London. Bill's destination marketing expertise is known around the world. In this episode, we speak with him to hear his take about place branding and food and beverage tourism.  Learn more about Bill here.

Discussed in this episode:

Destination Branding for Small Cities (book on Amazon) 


New toolkit for Successful Destination & Community Branding (series of article downloads)

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. How to coalesce a smaller community around its food and beverage assets
  2. What you need to watch to ensure that you always stay relevant
  3. How and why you need to share the story of a place in order to sell it
  4. How brand promise affects food traveler expectations - for better or worse
  5. How to create a win-win-win among local residents, destination marketers/governments and visitors
  6. Why politicians need to perform a cost-benefit analysis before interfering with destination marketing budgets
  7. Why human interaction is essential to a successful food or beverage visitor experience 

Episode 6: Fia Gulliksson - On Being a Passionate Potato

Fia Gulliksson is a respected entrepreneur from Sweden who is focused on creative gastronomy. She is a self taught chef and also the brain behind many ideas, businesses and projects. Fia uses food and culture as the tools to lead Food In Action, her company that launched a number of successful initiatives and sustainable brands that have catalysed development for the Swedish region of Jämtland, and put that area firmly on the map. Fia’s companies are focused on providing enduring social and cultural capital to rural areas. What's more, they’re debt-free, and… they’re profitable. Fia travels the world to inspire others towards crEATive action, development and social transformation of their own local communities. Learn more about Fia here.

 

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. What it means to be a passionate potato
  2. How to establish and then prioritize your core values
  3. How to become an Innovation Master by acting like a "C.I.A." agent
  4. How to bring your vision to life when everyone else says "no"
  5. Why you need to trust your inner voice

Episode 5: Oscar Farinetti - Honoring Our Food Cultures

Oscar Farinetti is the man behind the world-renowned Eataly concept. The New York Times described Eataly as a "megastore" that "combines elements of a bustling European open market, a Whole-Foods-style supermarket, a high-end food court and a New Age learning center."  In 2017, Oscar opened Eataly World, which has been described as the Disneyland for Italian food. Fusing experience gained from his father's retail chain and his own love of food, the Eataly stores, and now Eataly World, are more than just retail stores and foodservice outlets. They are innovative attractions that are sought out not just by locals, but food and drink lovers from around the world.  Oscar is a passionate and visionary leader with fascinating stories to share.

 

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. How it's OK to start with nothing more than a vision - build it and they will come
  2. Why it's critical to honor our food traditions and food cultures
  3. Why starting with the hardest task makes subsequent tasks easier
  4. What can be done to reduce "overtourism" and the strain on popular destinations
  5. Why tourists should be encouraged to eat the local dishes

Episode 4: Sean Kuylen - The No Barcode Chef

Sean Kuylen [pronounced kwee-len] is a Belizean chef, trained in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies in San Francisco, California. After culinary school, he ventured into resorts in Belize, St. Vincent, the Grenadines and Dominica, where he began to explore and appreciate Caribbean Cuisine. Then five years ago, he returned to his home country Belize with a new found respect and appreciation for the local ingredients, cooking technique and especially the cultures of Belize. He has since become the authority of our country’s food or what he calls, “Inspired Belizean Cuisine”. Chef Sean simply takes the many cultures of the country and presents their food in a more contemporary way with techniques from the French techniques and training he learned in culinary school.

Discussed in this episode:

Taste Belize

Chef Sean's TedX Talk

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. Why you need to be true to your cuisine (don't try to imitate).
  2. Why it's important to preserve traditional cooking techniques.
  3. Why it's important to be proud of what you have - your heritage, culture and ingredients. 
  4. Why infrastructure is crucial to disseminating food and beverage experiences to visitors.

Episode 3: Judith von Prockl - Going All In

Judith von Prockl is the owner and managing director of Gourmet on Tour, which was founded in the year 2000, making it the very first culinary tour company. Over the past nearly 20 years, Judith has perfected the food tour experience, with different types of food tours, with some focusing on gourmet, others focuses on wine, and still others focusing on local food cultures. Judith shares what it was like to be a pioneer in the food travel industry and  what she's learned, including how the customer becomes the hero; the importance of word-of-mouth and referrals; the importance of Instagrammable moments; and why entrepreneurs should go all in right from the start. 

 

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. How the customer becomes the hero
  2. What it was like to be a pioneer in the food travel industry
  3. The importance of word-of-mouth and referrals
  4. The importance of Instagrammable moments
  5. Why entrepreneurs should go all in right from the start

Episode 2: Irene and Mei Li - Believe in Your Dream

Sibling co-founders of the Mei Mei empire in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) discuss the trials and tribulations of turning a foodservice dream into a brick and mortar reality. They've expanded from a food truck popular with residents and visitors alike to add a full-service restaurant., as well as bottled sauces  They share what it's like to work with family, and talk about what they did to help make their small business a true success, including inspiration from our Episode 1 speaker Air Weinzweig below. An inspirational cookbook is in the works. Hear what these two women have to say and and then you'll want to book your trip to Boston for the scallion pancake sandwiches!

 

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. How 3 siblings were able to balance work and personalities in a family-owned business
  2. How 3 siblings started a food truck with a lot of passion about and interest in food, but no foodservice experience
  3. Why introducing an open books policy with company employees contributed to greater employee commitment to the business
  4. How you don't need to be a professional writer to write a cookbook
  5. The importance of visioning

Episode 1: Ari Weinzweig - Sweat the Details

Ari Weinzweig is Co-Founder of the Zingerman's family of companies, which include a delicatessen, bakery, catering operation, family restaurant, Korean restaurant, creamery, coffee store, candy store and a professional hospitality training arm. Ari had no idea the company would grow so large when the original deli opened back in 1982. Now, 35 years later, the Zingerman's companies are a true visitor destination in Central Michigan (USA). Ari talks about how everything got started, his vision, and why sweating the details is important.

Discussed in this episode:

Ari Weinzweig's books

In this episode you'll learn:

  1. How to "just do it" and follow your dream
  2. Why it takes patience when growing a business
  3. Why it's important to listen to your customers
  4. What visioning is and why it's key to your business success

 

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Did you know?

Our Eat Well, Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel podcast launched in August 2017. In the 12 months since launch, we've had over 1200 listeners (100/month) from all over the world. Our listeners come from the food, beverage, travel, hospitality, and media industries.