Ken Toong

World Street Food is the next mega trend for campuses

During the opening presentation of the 15th annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference, we made a proclamation that world street food is set to become the hottest food trend on campuses this year, and for years to come. In fact, this is already true. Tacos, noodle bowls, stir-fry tapas, satay, sushi and dim sum are some of the most common items to show up on campuses. Street foods have been around for hundred of years throughout the world, and now they are becoming more popular in America. They are fresh, fast, flavorful, portable, small portions and inexpensive; just what our customers are looking for.

The conference focused on many street foods from Latin America, the Mediterranean Region and Southeast Asia, lead by 15 well-known chefs in their respective global cuisines; plus faculty members from Johnson and Wales and the Culinary Institute of America. The flavor in America is world flavor; globalization has had a profound impact on our food.  It was an intense but fun week. We touched on a bit of everything with 49 sessions of presentations and workshops, with many of them being hands-on.

The journey of exploring a variety of street foods has just begun and with newly acquired recipes in hand, many of the attendees will try to replicate some authentic street food at their respective campuses and will do so with a desire to create exciting food for their students.

Many thanks to all you that attended this year’s conference and helped to make it such a success; to those of you that were not able to attend this year, I hope to see you at the 16th annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference to be held on June 13-18. Until then, happy cooking and stay tuned.

Sincerely,

Ken Toong

Ken Toong
Executive Director and Chair
ktoong@mail.aux.umass.edu