Our Courses

Wild Wonders – A Culinary Journey into Nature – Cancelled

Cancelled - Gros Morne National Park, NL - Please note this program has been cancelled - Refunds will be made to all applicants.

Photo Credit: GMIST


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we are cancelling this program. If you have made payment we will be in contact to reimburse shortly.   We are working on an online format and will be sharing that information later in August.

Wild Wonders is a new offering from GMIST that will provide an immersive and hands on learning experience around culinary tourism.  Specifically it is focused on how to design and deliver culinary experiences in natural settings and using non-traditional pieces of infrastructure to create an authentic taste of place for visitors.

Visitors to our communities and destinations want to engage in new and fun ways.  Food and the unique place it plays in our lives, provides new and untapped opportunities to engage those visitors in the stories of who we are as a people.   It is really a lens into our past and our present.  All food has a story and an experience offering just waiting to be discovered.  Learning how to harness those stories and share them around a great tasting or meal is what the focus of Wild Wonders is all about.

The Program

If you are thinking that this program is a show and tell classroom experience then it is probably not for you.  Over the 2.5 days of the program we will engage you in a series of learning activities that will expose you to designing and delivering culinary experiences in Nature.  You will learn proper design, food prep, and technical skills while being involved in all meals.  This is a small group learning experience that will build off of one another’s knowledge as well as the lead facilitator for the program.

Topics to be covered in the program:

Culinary Experience Development – The Design and Connecting to Visitor Markets – We need to understand who we are designing this for and what the key inputs and deliverables will be.

Photo Credit: Alex Blagdon

Food Prep/Handling – Based on the meals we will be cooking we will provide simple NL bush recipes and how to properly prep, store and transport the ingredients.  (We will reference provincial regulations but it will be up to individual participants to get provincial approval for their offerings)

Smoke, Fire and Ashes – Nothing is more authentic in nature then cooking over an open fire.  We will explore the proper cooking techniques of using fire – we will demonstrate various forms as well as mobile cooking equipment if open fires are not available or prohibited in certain areas.

Wild Crafting – Perhaps one of the biggest opportunities in the culinary tourism sphere is around foraging.  We will explore the region and collect various plants that we can use in the meal.  Once again we will look to provide participants with a base knowledge for this so they may explore their own regions with new eyes.

Bushcraft –  The keys to any great wilderness experience are to keep people safe, comfy and warm.  We will explore how to do that within a natural setting.

Presentation/Storytelling – Being true to who you are and the story you tell is the key to a great experience, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show you a few ways to spice up the experience through your visual representation of the food.

The Facilitator

Photo Credit: Victoria Polsoni

Lori McCarthy is passionate about what she does!   The owner and operator of one the most talked about and awarded culinary businesses in Canada, she has been profiled widely on CNN Travel, National Geographic, National Post and Canadian Geographic Travel to name a few.  Her passion for the land is matched only by her passion for food culture. Deeply rooted in NL culture, the skilled chef and outdoorswoman is guided by a sense of responsibility to place. The ethics of conservation and sustainability inform her every move, and she is as serious about protecting the local culture, resources, and food ways of communities all over Atlantic Canada!

Joining Lori will be a wide host of local support agents from GMIST and the local community to share their knowledge and insights.

What you will take away from the Wild Wonders Course:

  • Understand what visitors are looking for with unique culinary experiences
  • Understand trends and patterns that can lead to opportunities
  • Understand proper planning and design technique for optimum experiences
  • Understand technical skills required to deliver experiences
  • Learn proper food handling, packaging and cooking skills
  • Learn how to incorporate story and place into your food
  • Learn bushcraft skills – including working with open fires, foraging, camp equipment

    Photo Credit: Alex Blagdon

  • Understand Risk Management approaches to good design
  • Menu engineering
  • Proper guest management – how to prepare guests, keep them warm/comfy/safe and engaged in the experience.

Who is this program for?

First off we love that saying from the movie Ratatouille – “Anyone can Cook”.  This program is for anyone who has a love for food and a desire to connect visitors to their stories of place by delivering authentic culinary experiences.  This isn’t fine dining!  This is about good food wrapped in a story in a beautiful setting.  You don’t have to be a chef to be in this program, you just need to have a passion for sharing your story over a good meal.

So with that said, this program may be of interest to adventure tour operators, restaurateurs, attractions or anyone with an interest in culinary tourism.  We will only be taking a maximum of 12 participants for this program!

The Location

Gros Morne National Park and surrounding communities will be our living laboratory over the 2.5 days you will be at Wild Wonders. A UNESCO world heritage site located on the western coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Gros Morne National Park will leave you breathless both literally and figuratively. We guarantee you this is like no other classroom you have ever experienced! The Ocean View hotel will serve as our main point of contact for the program and we have rooms blocked there for $145/night plus tax single with breakfast.

Date: April 26 – 28, 2020 (We start on the 26th  at 1:00 PM and finish late 9 pm or so on April 28th, so plan on flying or driving out mid morning or late afternoon on April 29th.)

Times: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm daily (Don’t worry it is fun and the time will fly by!)

Cost: The cost for the program is $525.00 plus HST (Please note this cost covers all meals but one supper – participants are expected to pay for their own accommodations at the Oceanview Hotel ($145/night single, which includes hot continental style buffet breakfast) and transportation to the program)

Funding Available: GMIST provides 50% assistance (Up to a maximum $1000.00) for the GMIST Wild Wonders course to qualified Atlantic Canadian tourism operators for tuition, travel, meals, and accommodations. To be eligible you must be a for profit or not for profit tourism business or attraction. Municipal, provincial and federal agencies are not eligible. There are a limited number of subsidies available so apply early. If you believe you are eligible for a subsidy apply now by filling out this form!  Please note the subsidy is paid upon completion of the program.  Eligible participants will be provided with a form that they must attach copies of all receipts and submit back to GMIST


Please note as this is a limited enrolment program we will be approving applicants on a competitive basis vs just a standard registration.


Contact:  For more information please contact info@gmist.ca or call (709) 458-3610.