26th Annual Chef Culinary Conference

Planetary Health and The Impact of COVID-19 on College and University Dining
University of Massachusetts, Amherst June 9-11, 2020 (Virtual Conference)

Free Registration Presentations Culinary & Full-Day Videos Recipes

Planetary Health and The Impact of COVID-19 on College and University Dining

Dear All,

I trust you are all staying well and staying healthy during the pandemic. There is a bit of good news I would like to share with you.

We had numerous requests to conduct our 2020 Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference in a virtual format. Therefore, we will have a condensed version of 120 minutes each day, over a three-day period, during June 9-11, 2020, and will include a keynote speaker for 30 minutes, a chef session with food demonstrations and a panel discussion for 60 minutes.

Our plan is to offer the sessions for free to those who planned to attend and expect more than 500 will tune in to view daily. Everyone is welcome.

Our theme will still be Planetary Health, however, there will be a focus on post-COVID -19 times in the areas of strategic operational planning, wellness and safety, and communication. Dr. Walter Willett, the famed epidemiologist will kick off the event on Tuesday, June 9 at 2 pm. During the event we will discuss how operators and the supply chain can support each other and how we can rebuild our foodservice segment and community during and after the COVID 19 pandemic. We will also hear how operators are preparing for reopening their dining programs in the fall. There will also be a session of students from across the country discussing their expectations of what the fall will look like. We will also discuss how social media will continue to play a very important role in these times by keeping everyone connected. We will hear from universities about their shift in dining operations and what that we expect that to look like during our new normal.

Thank you for your continued support of Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference. We also encourage you to take part in the conference and connect with each other after the conference.

Registration is now open and space is limited. We look forward to seeing you.



Ken ToongKen ToongKen Toong
Executive Director and Chair

"I’ve been fortunate to be apart of this conference for almost eight years. It only gets better each year. The caliber of Chefs and experts that Ken Toong assembles is unparalleled, the knowledge that attendees receive in the week at Umass can only be matched by traveling around the world. I’m looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces again this year."

− Jet Tila

"Taste of the World Chef Culinary Conference is a great conference. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn cuisine from chefs from all over the world. Ken and his culinary team do it right. This will be my seventh year and the conference continues to exceed expectations!"

− Greg Gefroh, University of North Dakota

"We look forward to the conference every year. From the culinary classes with world renown chefs, the culinary competition and the great hospitality of the UMass staff, I dare you to find a better conference that is reasonably priced"

− Craig Mombert, Davidson College

"The UMASS chef conference is the best conference that I have attended. I have been there the last 6 years and I have been lucky enough to have taken my daughter to the last few. She has gotten to meet chefs from all over the world and they have made a lasting impression on her and myself. I have learned more in the one week at his conference from the presenters and chefs from other schools. It is well worth the investment to send as many of your current chefs as you can. There are so many different hands on classes that you will want to have someone in each of them."

− Paul Nicolini, Penn State

"The Chefs’ Conference organized by UMass is the perfect venue for Chefs to get out of their comfort zones and really get back to the basics, great food! An outstanding event perfectly organized with great speaker and demonstrations. A must for all chefs."

− Oliver de Volpi I, McGill University