5 Things You Should Know about the 2014 Food & Travel Expo

Last year, Taste Trekkers launched the nation's first event to showcase cuisines from around the world. Get early details on what to expect this year.

Providence in Travel + Leisure

Last year, we launched the nation's first Food and Travel Expo in Providence, Rhode Island. This wonderful event is for people who plan their vacations around food. Whether you travel to Napa for the wine or Texas for the barbecue, our goal is to help you discover some new culinary regions worthy of a tasty adventure. The Expo is coming back for round two on October 3rd and 4th, and here's what you need to know about the 2014 event:

1. There's a reason we chose Providence.

Everybody knows you can find fantastic food in New York City, New Orleans, and San Francisco. But the whole point of the Taste Trekkers Expo is to turn you on to culinary destinations that you may not already know about. That's why Providence, Rhode Island, is the perfect choice. If you've never been to this fantastic little city, you are in for a pleasant surprise. It's legendary for the Italian food served up on Federal Hill, but since the turn of the millennium, an exciting new crop of chefs have also opened up restaurants. Many of these are alumni of Johnson & Wales University, which has a world-renowned culinary program. In fact, for a state so small, Rhode Island has produced a surprising number of James Beard Award nominees, including our keynote speaker at last year's Expo, Chef Matt Jennings of Farmstead (sure, he just announced that he's returning to Boston, but he leaves behind an amazing community of chefs). There's a reason Travel + Leisure Magazine named this place "America's Best City for Food and Drink." And they're not the only ones who have taken notice. Following in our footsteps, StarChefs rolled through Providence earlier this year to celebrate everything New England.

2. All foodies are invited...

Farmstead Table at Taste Trekkers Tasting Pavilion (photo by Jeff Cutler)

Last year, we called our event, "The Food Tourism Conference." In retrospect, we were concerned that foodies may have thought that you had to be "in the industry" to attend. So this year, we've renamed the event the "Food & Travel Expo," and we want you to know that if you're an adventurous eater, you are invited to join us on Saturday, October 4th. Don't get us wrong -- this is a great place to rub shoulders with people who are in the industry, including chefs, farmers, artisanal food producers, brewers, winemakers, writers and more -- but you do not have to be a professional to partake in the festivities.

RELATED: How well do you know the Providence food scene? Take our quiz.

3. ...but we're doing something special for industry folks on October 3rd.

Chef Cesin Curi of Los Andes at the 2013 Taste Trekkers Expo (photo by Stacey Doyle)

However, we are lining up a series of events on the afternoon of Friday, October 3rd, for people who are in the food and travel industries. On Friday, we will cover topics ranging from travel writing to giving food tours to using the power of food to attract tourists. We will also host our panel discussion on food tourism on this day, followed by a cocktail reception where people can mingle (or "network" if that's better for tax purposes).

4. We'll be announcing the speakers and topics later this summer.

I know, I know...we're being a tease. But we're still in the process of putting together an awesome lineup for you. However, we can tell you some of the awesome topics we covered last year, including ceviche from Peru, ice cider from Vermont, chocolate from Madagascar, BBQ from Memphis, the history of food trucks, the terroir of honey, and more. This year, we'll have even more speakers, covering even more topics. Even we can't wait!

To make sure that you get all the details as soon as they're announced, sign up for our email list.

In the meantime, here's a video of last year's highlights.

5. It's a great event, but don't take our word for it.

Of course we're going to tell you how wonderful last year's event was, but we're obviously biased. So instead, perhaps you'd prefer to see what people said about last year's event on Twitter...

https://twitter.com/LooshP/status/381474068156792833

https://twitter.com/NobleKnots/status/381876947808419841

https://twitter.com/Alex_Soundtrack/status/381834284870680576

We hope you'll be able to join us in Providence this October!

Published May 8th, 2014