Best-Selling Food Writer Mark Bittman to Speak at ‘Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference’ at UMass Amherst on June 9

Mark Bittman

AMHERST, Mass. – Mark Bittman, food journalist, author and New York Times columnist, will present an on-stage conversation and book signing on Tuesday, June 9 at noon in the Campus Center Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as part of the “Tastes of the World: Chef Culinary Conference.” The event is open to the public.

Bittman’s appearance will be moderated by Arlin Wasserman, founder of Changing Tastes, a firm that helps businesses, nonprofits and community organizations create successful, sustainable ventures in the food and agriculture sectors. Tickets for the conversation are available online for $20 at or $25 at the door. Tickets include a $10 voucher for the Blue Wall eatery located on the Campus Center Concourse.

Bittman writes about food policy, agriculture, health, the environment, cooking and eating for The New York Times and other publications. He is also known for more than a dozen books. A book signing for the latest, “A Bone to Pick,” will follow his talk at the chef’s conference. It compiles some of his most memorable and thought-provoking columns.

The theme for this year’s 21stannual conference,“The Future of Food and the Power of the Chef,” is inspired by the unique role that culinary professionals play in shifting food trends, says Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst.“This year’s theme will explore our collective responsibility as chefs and operatorsto provide our customers with food that is healthy, sustainable and delicious,” he adds.

Also at the conference, a range of industry experts will deliver talks. Among the 38 workshop presenters and speakers will be Dr. Walter Willet, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School; Jet Tila of the Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen and Iron Chef America; Chef Joanne Weir, an award-winning cookbook author and international cooking teacher; Eric Wendorf, corporate operations executive chef of Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. and Eric Asimov, author and New York Times chief wine critic.

Toong says “This year’s conference will be the largest yet, bringing in food service operators, chefs and suppliers from around the world. The conference will not only showcase the gold standards of college cuisine, but the culinary skills of its attendees as well.”         

As has become traditional, the conference will end with the popular American Culinary Federation-sanctioned team competition on Friday, June 12. Each team will have three hours to prepare a three-course menu choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert for judging.


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