BANFF – Amazing food and drink in the mountains is calling and you must go.
Taste for Adventure – the latest culinary event to be launched by Banff Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT) – runs Oct. 12 to Nov. 13 in Banff National Park and invites visitors and residents to satisfy their taste buds with a broad selection of local dining options.
"It is a stand-alone, month-long celebration of regional food and drink," said BLLT's director of media and communications Angela Anderson. "We are offering residents and visitors a chance to enjoy our wonderful regional cuisine."
The event features 27 participating restaurants in Banff and Lake Louise – and in between – with fixed price menus and other special deals. It also aligns with BLLT's overall food strategy to highlight this unique selling point for the region.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down restaurants and other tourism-related businesses for two months this spring, Anderson said BLLT re-evaluated its business plan for the rest of 2020 to ensure it was supporting its members.
While in the past the Taste for Adventure was connected to the Banff Centre's Mountain Film and Book Festival, this year that event is being held online instead of in the community. BLLT decided to expand the event to a month-long celebration of food and drink featuring long established restaurants and ones that recently opened this summer.
"Member businesses and partners across the destination are really looking for innovative ways to provide wonderful things for people to do, keep people engaged and keep the destination active," she said. "[We want] to show there is a reason to visit and there is a reason for residents to dine out as well."
Anderson said it is important to support the food and beverage industry in the valley because it has been challenged due to the COVID-19 shutdown and subsequent public health guidelines put in place that have reduced seating capacity.
"With all the different guidelines and changes that have happened, restaurants have constantly had to adapt very quickly to be able to operate in this landscape," she said. "It is really important to support our local businesses right now."
In fact, several new restaurants have opened their doors over the summer in Banff including Farm & Fire, the Radiant and Seed 'N Salt. Block Kitchen + Bar Chef Stephane Prevost will also feature a selection of items from the menu of his new restaurant set to open soon in Banff – Shoku Izakaya.
The event features different experiences, not just fixed price menus, and offers a wide array of dining options for foodies. It speaks to how far the industry in the resort town has evolved over the past several years.
“The culinary scene in Banff and Lake Louise has come so far," said BLLT CEO and president Leslie Bruce in a press release.
"Even through the pandemic we saw new, innovative restaurants opening and they really are a reason to return to the area time and again. This fall, with Taste for Adventure, we're inviting Albertans to rediscover Canadian Rocky Mountain cuisine.
“There’s over a month to sample Taste for Adventure’s many enticing offers, so why not plan ahead, stay a while and try dishes from multiple different restaurants while getting out and exploring at the same time.”
There are also some "sweet prizes to be won," according to Anderson. In addition to weekly prizes, there is a grand prize valued at $5,000 that includes two nights at the Fairmont Banff Springs, two nights at the Chateau Lake Louise, a helicopter tour, dog sledding, and passes to Lake Louise Ski Resort and Norquay.
"We really believe the Taste for Adventure is a way for people to rediscover or discover Canadian Rocky Mountain cuisine and come out and celebrate," she said.
Go to BLLT's Taste for Adventure website for more details.