Featured Hospitality Educational Sessions
For information only – the 2017 Symposium has Ended – Check back in 2018!

Gain insights into current industry trends and learn more about the region’s unique resources

Meadowood Kitchen Garden

Hyper-Culinary Local-Sourcing

One of the newest and most exciting trends in the foodservice industry.

Presented by Christopher Kostow, Executive Chef, The Restaurant at Meadowood and partner in The Charter Oak, a new restaurant. Christopher is joined by Barbara Alexander, Executive Chef of Napa Valley Cooking School, Ryan Harris, Co-Owner of Contimo Provisions, and Brian Whitmer, Executive Chef at Marriott Napa Valley Hotel & Spa.

In the ever-changing world of food, there’s a new trend called Hyper-Local Sourcing and the food is uber fresh!  Forward thinking restaurants take local, sustainably-sourced foods to the next level by growing produce right in their own backyard in gardens on property!  The panel with discuss sustainability, local sourcing and nutrition.

Christopher Kostow is our local celebrity chef of The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena and the third youngest chef to receive three Michelin stars.  He won the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef in 2013, and published a cookbook, A New Napa Cuisine that won Book of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.  He will open his new restaurant in May, The Charter Oak, in St. Helena.

Trends in Marketing Technology

Expert digital marketers share perspectives on modern marketing including:

  • The importance of data-driven engagement
  • Best practices of influencer marketing and outreach
  • The power of continuous engagement in social media
  • Hyper-targeted audiences with social media campaigns based on key demographics

Panel Speakers include:

  • Paul Mabray, VP of AveroBuzz, a firm offering social media/reputation management to power data-driven engagement, social CRM and business intelligence for the hospitality industry.
  • Kristy Sammis, founder and Chief Innovation Officer of CLEVER, an award-winning, multimillion-dollar influencer marketing agency where authenticity rules and “users” are actually human beings.  Kristy bootstrapped her start-up to a thriving agency and great stories always win the day!
  • Louis Calli, partner in Echo DTC, a customer engagement consulting firm focused on conversion driven e-commerce, integrated with social campaigns and data.

The Digital Guest Experience

High-Tech Hospitality

The latest apps and tools in technology presented by industry experts.  How technology can transform the guest experience and convert your visitors into brand ambassadors – before, during and after their visit!

Gain insight and new technology from local pioneers and visionaries in hospitality:

  • Tom Gorton, Manager of Professional Services – vinSUITE. Tom is a 10-year veteran of the Wine Industry; starting at Sutter Home/Trinchero but now helping scores of wineries to develop their Direct To Consumer sales.
  • Andreas Mueller-Schubert, Digital Marketing Consultant – WSI Next Gen Marketing. Andreas is passionate about emerging internet-driven business model innovations and the new opportunities these offer businesses every day. He is a certified Digital Marketing Consultant of WSI (We Simplify the Internet) a leader in the digital marketing industry for nearly 20 years with the largest global network of over 1,500 digital marketing experts.

Why Should I Care About Food Safety?

Can your business really afford a food scare?

Whether you’re an established restaurant operator or winery starting to offer simple wine-and-food pairings, your business can suffer after even a small food safety issue. There are more than 250 different foodborne diseases identified. One in six Americans gets sick every year from contaminated food or beverages.

If it happens to you, the results can be disastrous for you business! The risks are greater than ever, and getting caught up in a foodborne illness outbreak could force you out of business – for good. Join Larry Kamer, Oscar Comacho and Louise Dawson to learn:

  • What you can do to strengthen your operations — to avoid disasters like the Chipotle tragedy and  still provide an exquisite dining or pairing experience.
  • How to work with your employees, providing guidelines to avoid risk and deal with potential outbreaks.
  • How to recover from a food-related disaster and have a PR plan in place.