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Rebecca LeHeup

President, Culinary Tourism Alliance

Rebecca loves Ontario and local edibles. She is lucky in her role as Executive Director for the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance because it lets her explore this vast province connecting people across agriculture and tourism industries.

Rebecca is passionate about the interrelation between food, agriculture, tourism, arts and culture. In her food tourism development career, Rebecca has been instrumental in developing tourism products including Prince Edward County’s award winning Taste Trail and OCTA’s Feast ON program to name a few. Rebecca’s work now takes her to destinations around the world to teach about developing local economies through “taste of place”

Rebecca developed courses for George Brown College’s cutting edge Culinary Tourism Management program. She is an Instructor at the Bonavista Institute for Cultural Tourism. She contributes her expertise to a variety of industry Boards including the Canadian Tourism Commission Brand Experience Advisory Committee, the Terroir Hospitality Symposium, and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation to name a few.

Born and raised in Toronto, Rebecca spent her summers in Prince Edward County. In her grade 12 year of high school, Rebecca sailed on a 156-foot tall ship to 20 countries on two continents– an experience that rooted her passion for travel and adventure! She still splits her time between Toronto and PEC and practices her craft for culinary tourism with her own experience – the Terroir Run. Sharing in her adventures are her two sons – Jack and Liam, and her husband, Andrew Mackenzie.
Celebrating The Local Food Movement And Canada's Place In

Celebrating The Local Food Movement And Canada's Place In It

Our food-obsessed culture is more interested than ever in sourcing their food locally, and local food experiences have become one of the primary travel motivators. Through a comprehensive study, we discovered the rise of food tourism is driven by the values of the modern consumer, specifically millennials, who look for immersive travel experiences.
11/18/2016 01:36 EST
From Seed to Symposium in

From Seed to Symposium in Ireland

As a lover of food, and a tourism professional, the fall holds a special place in my heart. The summer air cools, the season's bounty is gathered and celebrations abound. This fall, I'm particularly excited because I'm also returning to Galway, Ireland for the inaugural Food On The Edge Symposium -- where I'll experience a second harvest, of an idea planted by Chef Jp McMahon.
08/20/2015 03:14 EDT
Exploring the Culinary Culture of Our

Exploring the Culinary Culture of Our Prairies

Like many Canadians who have travelled across the County, I had been to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan several times but it had simply been to "drive through." This fall, I returned to the prairies to learn more about the culinary culture of Saskatoon.
10/29/2014 12:32 EDT
Jamaican Me Hungry: A Culinary

Jamaican Me Hungry: A Culinary Adventure

If you are looking for a way to truly connect to the food culture of Jamaica then I have the culinary adventure for you! It turns out that the white-knuckle, hair-raising journey over the mountains from Montego Bay to Saint Elizabeth Parish, the breadbasket of Jamaica, is worth every minute.
02/03/2014 12:49 EST
The Runner's Travel Bug: Is it the Race or the

The Runner's Travel Bug: Is it the Race or the Place?

Discovering a destination through running is such as great way to get a sense of place. Oddly, I have never participated in a race outside the borders of my home province but have met many runners along my travels and have always been keen to find out what inspires them. Is it the race or the place?
11/19/2013 12:08 EST
Ontario's Craft Beer Culture is a Collaboration

Ontario's Craft Beer Culture is a Collaboration Nation

As we prepared to brew my creation, I was asked what type of flavour profiles I liked in my beer. Did I prefer something "hoppy" or subtler? So many subtle steps went into creating the beer, which we ultimately called "Son of a Peach."
05/31/2013 05:49 EDT
Chipotle Walks the Talk of Sustainable

Chipotle Walks the Talk of Sustainable Food

My career in culinary tourism development is founded in the authentic connection between growers, producers and chefs. Showcasing businesses that are giving the consumer a true "taste of place" by serving the freshest, seasonal food. Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of finding out just how Chipotle walks the talk.
07/04/2012 07:44 EDT
Cheese Lovers of Ontario,

Cheese Lovers of Ontario, Unite!

It's exciting times for a cheese lover in Ontario where there is a renaissance in artisan cheese production. Several weeks ago I made my way to the Dairy Capital of Canada (that's Woodstock in Oxford County, in case you didn't know) where I spent a day in the life of a cheese maker.
06/18/2012 05:42 EDT
In Search of the Best Butter

In Search of the Best Butter Tart

The butter tart is one of Canada's quintessential culinary delights -- the earliest recipe found in the Women's Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital Cookbook printed in 1900 in Barrie, Ontario. The English-Canadian version of the butter tart consists of butter, eggs and sugar in a pastry shell and is known as a sugar pie or tarte au sucre to French Canadians. I went on an adventure to find the best...
06/16/2012 12:06 EDT
Room For Everyone At Luminato's

Room For Everyone At Luminato's Table

This year's Luminato Festival has a new culinary twist -- the Toronto Carretilla Initiative -- an experiential installation by artist Rainer Prohaska. The installation, made of shopping carts, boards, clamps, sheet metal and other building supplies, brings together function and form -- and food! Participation is free. I am highly recommending this to any foodie, budding cook, or art lover!
06/08/2012 05:11 EDT