Meet our 2018 FoodTrekking Awards Judges


Livio Colapinto, co-founder of food forward tour operator Zest of Italy, is considered a dot-connector by professionals in the trade. In the past he has traveled and worked with Slow Food International President Carlo Petrini, and Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti. Today he is the preferred travel partner for everything relating to Italy and its food and wine, and highly regarded by Chef Michael Mina, JBF awarded Chef Paul Kahan, Restaurateur Donnie Madia, NY food icon Eli Zabar, to name a few.


Katarzyna (Kasia) Janiszewska, PhD, teaches in the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. She is the founder and CEO of, the biggest Polish magazine-style website about tasty places, Polish food and culinary events in Poland. She organizes culinary trips, workshops and degustations of local food in Poland’s Warmia and Mazury region. She is a member of the Polish Culinary Tourism Association and has served as an ambassador in Poland of the World Food Travel Association for many years.


Roberta Garibaldi is a European expert on food tourism, professor of Tourism Marketing and serves as an Ambassdor of the World Food Travel Association in Italy. he is the scientific coordinator of project “European Region of Gastronomy – EAsT Lombardy 2017. She organizes and participates in several scientific conferences on tourism topics and has published books and articles on tourism and food tourism in peer-reviewed journals.


Panna spent her formative years in the U.S., earning her B.A. degrees in International Studies and Spanish from George Mason University. After returning to her native Hungary, Panna became a popular TV and radio presenter. She received a pastry chef certificate, organized numerous food-related educational seminars and co-founded Globalist Kitchen, bringing renowned international chefs to Hungary for unique pop-up dinner events. She represents the World Food Travel Association as an ambassador in Hungary.


Brian Lorge, CCTP, HAAC is the President/CEO of Lorge Marketing Services (LMS), a boutique marketing agency and he also serves as the VP of Marketing for Baderbräu Brewing Company, Chicago’s Original Craft Beer™. LMS specializes in management services and consulting for foodservice, craft beverage and non-profit associations and benefits from Lorge’s skills in food and beverage industry brand management, extensive experience as a corporate executive chef, and ten years as a senior marketing VP in foodservice distribution as well as over two decades of serving on non-profit boards.


Udi is a long term veteran of the tourism industry, with operational and marketing experience in the Middle East, North America, Europe and Asia. He’s been active in the Culinary Tourism industry since 2001. He founded the Bedouin Culinary adventure at the Massada national park, as well as Israel’s first chef guided lunch and classes activities. In recent years, Udi has been a consultant, specializing in product branding for the food traveler, developing visitor centers, regional branding and wine roads. He’s the author of the first Hebrew text book on Culinary Tourism and publishes a weekly newsletter about food tourism.


Chryssa Krassa originally got involved with tourism in 1998, when she was appointed to organize the Philoxenia Tourism Exhibition – held on the grounds of the International Fair of Thessaloniki as one of its most important and visited yearly exhibitions. Then in 2011, she expanded her horizons and joined Respond on Demand. This was the opportunity she was seeking to use her long-gained experience and skills in destination marketing. Today, Chryssa is a co-organizer of the successful B2B Travel Event in Thessaloniki, now in its 7th year, and of an event with the same name held annually in Bansko, Bulgaria. At the same time, Chryssa is also busy promoting further the Top Peak Hotels chain. As the co-owner of the Top Tourism nonprofit organization, she has planned and organize several gastronomical events in Thessaloniki and Athens.


Maria Athanasopoulou first got involved with tourism in Greece when she started writing articles in 2008, as an amateur but soon afterwards in 2009, she became chief editor of the online, non-profit magazine Taksidi 2 Greece, a new travel & art e-magazine about Greece. At the same time, she established the Respond on Demand platform and created the Top Peak Hotels website. She is a member of the International Association of Tourism Writers and Photographers and participates with often articles to online magazines and electronic travel platforms.  Gastronomy is the main focus of Top Tourism, another company where Maria is co owner. She has spoken at  several conferences about the important role of gastronomy to tourism development. Recently Maria became an ambassador in Greece for the World Food Travel Association.

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