Dining out on local: Pathways, practices and transformations of food from field to restaurant
The incorporation of consumption-oriented activities into rural space can be observed in the appearance of newly valued rural amenities and the increasing frequency and popularity of culinary tourism destination marketing. In exploring the relationships between local food and culinary tourism, this research sought to better understand the impact of culinary tourism on the production and consumption of local food in Prince Edward County, ON. Interviews revealed that opportunities presented by culinary tourism are a prime motivation for restaurants to engage in the local food system, and that local food producers are less tied to their restaurant linkages than to alternative marketing channels owing to high levels of product substitutability and the opportunity costs associated with direct exchange. Additionally, it was observed that culinary tourism both inherently and paradoxically contributes to expansion of local food systems beyond regional boundaries, giving rise to a discussion on the positioning of local food as an alternative or complementary component to the globalized food system.