Jonathan Phang’s new culinary series is proving a TV hit for hungry consumers in UK, Australia, southeast Asia and Brazil.
Food, glorious food: Canada has a burgeoning international reputation for the richness, diversity and imagination of its culinary culture. What better way to showcase it to the world than to have a leading chef travel round Canada and reveal his tasty finds on a TV show.
The UK office of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) teamed up with Canadian tourism-industry partners to bring Jonathan Phang to Canada this past fall to film two episodes of the second season of his hit TV show for the Food Network and Travel Channel. “Jonathan Phang’s Gourmet Trains” covers the chef’s journey from Vancouver, BC, to Jasper, AB, and then from Edmonton, AB, to Winnipeg, MB.
Phang certainly relished what was on the Canadian menu. (Look away if you’re hungry.) He went on a food truck tour and a champagne picnic, plus sampled sushi making at Tojo’s, the honey culture of Fairmont Waterfront, schmoo torte making and more.
The first season of “Jonathan Phang’s Gourmet Trains” was one of Food Network’s highest-rated shows. Televised also in Brazil, Australia, southeast Asia and China, the new six-episode season is expected to garner 56 million viewers. CTC’s partners for the TV project were Destination British Columbia, Travel Alberta, Tourism Winnipeg and VIA Rail.
CTC-UK also took Canada on the road in April. More than 350 tour-operator reservation staff, travel agents and other members of the Canada Specialist Program came to educational events in four different UK cities. The events blended evening workshops with a fun, interactive quiz over dinner.
The roadshow formed part of CTC-UK’s ongoing training program designed to help the UK travel trade sell Canada better. There are currently more than 1,150 fully qualified CSP agents in the UK. The program gives agents the knowledge to sell Canada’s lesser-known provinces to UK consumers and to delve deeper into favourites like BC and Alberta.