By Lisa Wardle, PennLive.com
The growing industry of culinary tourism has branched out to highlight sustainable food in Pittsburgh.
"We're really rooted in the steel history," said Cory Van Horn, "but we also have so much emphasis on sustainability and looking toward the future."
Van Horn has worked in culinary tourism here since 2011. He launched Food Guy Adventures last year, beginning with a tour of Upper Lawrenceville eateries and next branching out into brunch in the Strip District.
"The tasting tour experience happens in a lot of cities," he said. "What I want to do is push the boundary a bit, and rethink what a tour is."
His new Taste of Sustainability Tour includes six to eight appetizer-size portions of seasonal food and drink pairings at three environmentally conscious establishments in the Cultural District: Nine on Nine, Six Penn Kitchen and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
He partnered with Sustainable Pittsburgh to shape the tour. Together, they focused on the Cultural District because of the neighborhood's evolution in the last decade and range of establishments. If the tour is received well, Van Horn said he would consider expanding to other neighborhoods.
"It was a collaborative effort between Sustainable Pittsburgh and me, and all three of the restaurants are part of their designation program," Van Horn said. "I wanted to feature not only what they do sustainably, but also provide an experience guests wouldn't be able to experience on their own."
On the tour, participants will get to spend plenty of time experiencing each establishment and learning about sustainable efforts behind the scenes, including time to speak with culinary teams and see rooftop gardens at the convention center and Six Penn Kitchen.
Tours are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on June 17, July 15 and Aug. 12, and expected to last 3-4 hours. Tickets are $85. A portion of proceeds go toward Sustainable Pittsburgh.
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