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

Food Tourism Inspiration For You & Your Business

"Eat Well, Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel" is the world's first podcast covering the business of food 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.

Listen to current episodes below, right in your browser or use one of the podcast apps to the side. Our preferred app is Castbox (works for Android, iOs and Amazon Echo).


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.

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 


Resources mentioned in this episode:
Destination Branding for Small Cities (book on Amazon) 
New toolkit for Successful Destination & Community Branding (series of article downloads)


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.



In this episode, you'll learn:

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


Resources mentioned in this episode:

Taste Belize

Chef Sean's TedX Talk


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:

  • How the customer becomes the hero

  • What it was like to be a pioneer in the food travel industry

  • The importance of word-of-mouth and referrals

  • The importance of Instagrammable moments

  • 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:

  • How 3 siblings were able to balance work and personalities in a family-owned business
  • How 3 siblings started a food truck with a lot of passion about and interest in food, but no foodservice experience
  • Why introducing an open books policy with company employees contributed to greater employee commitment to the business
  • How you don't need to be a professional writer to write a cookbook
  • 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. Check out Ari's books mentioned in the podcast.




In this episode you'll learn:

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

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Listen on iTunes

If you'd rather not try the Castbox app, you can also listen to the show in iTunes.