2020 Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference Goes Virtual

Conference to host 800 participants across the United States and Canada
conference logo

AMHERST, Mass. – For the first time since its inception, the 26th annual Chef Culinary Conference will be hosted in a virtual format June 9-11. The longtime conference is widely known for bringing together diverse groups of forward-thinking individuals to tackle issues affecting the food service industry. As such, this year’s theme will be Planetary Health - with a focus on post-COVID-19 times in the areas of strategic operational planning, wellness and safety and communication. Each day will offer three hours of content including topics covering operations and strategic planning, health and wellness, culinary and safety, as well as communication and storytelling.

Ken Toong, UMass Amherst executive director of auxiliary enterprises and chair of the event, is looking forward to connecting colleagues from across the United States and Canada in the new virtual rendition. “We will be highlighting the concept of Planetary and Human Health as an exciting opportunity to find alternative solutions for a better and more resilient future,” says Toong.

Over 23 speakers from 12 universities, including Harvard University, Yale University, UC San Diego, University of Georgia, Stony Brook University and UMass Amherst will gather on the Zoom platform to discuss issues and solutions affecting universities in such a highly unusual time. The final session includes a roundtable of six students from across the country and Canada to discuss their expectations of what the fall will look like.

The Conference will host over 800 participants from around the US and Canada, including chefs, operators, administrators, educators, dietitians, suppliers and students.

Featured presenters include:

  1. Walter Willett M.D., Dr. P.H., professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School
  2. Eric Decker, professor and head of food sciences, UMass Amherst
  3. Perry Miele, president of Nestlé Professional
  4. Bonnie Powell, director of communications, Bon Appétit Management Company
  5. Greg Keller, senior vice president of Sales, Sysco
  6. Phil Kafarkis, president, Specialty Food Association
  7. Mike Kostyo, Trendologist Datassential
  8. Marie Molde, Client Solutions Datassential
  9. Ben Anderson head of industry relations, GrubHub
  10. Lisa Eberhart, director of nutrition services, Menu Analytics

New this year, the registration has been waived so that more participants may access the high level of professional content. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer the conference on a complimentary basis this year to all of our colleagues,” says Toong. “We’ve had overwhelming support from the supply chain community that has made this possible.”

The Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference is regarded as the premier gathering for high-volume food service operators and campus chefs for both in-class teaching and hands-on workshops. Although virtual in format this year, the conference is expecting to return to its in-person version in June 2021. For more information regarding the conference, including complimentary registration, visit: www.chefculinaryconference.com or www.facebook.com/UMassChefConference/.