Ken Toong


Click here to view pictures from the 2007 Chef Conference!

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will be proud to host the 13th annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference on June 11-15, 2007. This will be our best conferences yet!

Our conference theme this year will focus on three hot-button topics of campus dining: Flavor, Wellness and Sustainability, and we will continue to explore how we as culinarians/operators may provide a world of healthy flavors in the most sustainable manner. We want to continue to advance the cause of great tasting and healthier food choices for the campus food service segment. We are expecting an impressive entourage of experts, from the nationally renown nutritional science researcher/author Dr. Marion Nestle of New York University and Frank Hu of Harvard University, World Class celebrity chef Susur Lee, America’s favorite cook book author Mollie Katzen, master chef trainer John Ash, PBS chef/author Joanne Weir, new and popular Chef Jet Tila and three most well-known chefs in their respective global cuisine: Suvir Saran – food of India, Roberto Santibanez - Mexican cooking, and Mai Pham - Southeast Asian cuisine; plus, Joan Lang, the leading researcher in trends and August Schumacher, former Under Secretary of Agriculture and consultant to W.K. Kellogg Foundation will be here, as well as the finest members of Johnson and Wales University and The Culinary Institute of America who will share their knowledge and oversee many workshop sessions and demonstrations.

This year our educational programs have expanded. We will break with tradition by adding seven small group hands-on production sessions of 3 hours each to give our attendees a real feel of working with famed chefs. We will cover various topics: making sushi, healthy cooking, Indian cooking, Mexican cuisine, simple contemporary food, pastry artistry and the Mediterranean diet.  Our workshops will feature Latin American and Spanish cuisines.  We will also examine sustainability and explore the award-winning catering of Harvard and Stanford University; in addition, we will host the popular and expanded ACF-sanctioned hot food and baking team competitions (16 teams this year).

Of course there will be time for fun and networking. Our planning committee has put together some incredible events including a clambake, wine tasting, and Asian Street food event.

I hope you will be able to join us, I know that you will be inspired by the many educational opportunities while catching up with old friends and making new ones.

I look forward to sharing this incredible conference with you in Amherst!


Ken Toong

Ken Toong, Chair