Conference Highlights

The 29th Annual Chef Conference is back and better than ever. We’re excited to share with you the highlights of our award-winning conference.

Mindful Eating, Healthy Lifestyle: From Mediterranean to Okinawa and Beyond

The 2023 Chef Culinary Conference will be here before you know it, and we have a rich and comprehensive educational program planned for you, thanks to our team and the support from everyone involved.

This popular event will be held at UMass Amherst, June 11-16th with the theme ‘Mindful Eating, Healthy Lifestyle’. We will continue to focus on plant-forward cuisine and to shape the campus dining segment with healthy food and lifestyle options. Inspiration will come from ‘Mediterranean to Okinawa and Beyond,’ full of culturally-driven and globally-inspired recipes and practices.

We expect a great turn-out as we address some hot topics for our Gen Z customers.
Here are some of the highlights:

  • Several national renowned speakers and food experts from Frank Hu, Walter Willett, Eric Decker, Gillian  Martin Yan, Jet Tila, Pati Jinich and  Jody Adams to Gerry Fernandez, just name a few
  • 35 interactive hands-on workshops with 16 accomplished chefs and faculty from Johnson & Wales covering a variety of cuisines from Mediterranean, Japanese, African, Latin, Indian, and Thai, to plant-forward and plant-based, as well as media training
  • Three famed professors (MDs) from Harvard will talk about nutrition and dietary health, including mental health
  • Two of the most highly cited food scientists in the world will discuss the present situation and future of food
  • Nutritional Symposium for dietitians, managers, directors, and supply chain
  • A Leadership Symposium, exclusively for Food Service/Auxiliary Directors, will feature lively discussions with solutions on the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing collegiate dining and auxiliary programs today
  • Eight esteemed directors from the C & U segment will share their thoughts and vision, from best practices for planetary & human health, DEI, talent management, culinary strategy and innovation, to campus life and the student experience
  • Four C-Suite Presidents from the supply chain will discuss the state of the industry, innovation and how we can all work together strategically
  • Student panel: college students will talk about what they are expecting from us as they return to campus this fall
  • An ACF-sanctioned team competition for 12 teams
  • “Tournament of Champions” competition with celebrity chef Jet Tila
  • An expert in the field will discuss the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion in foodservice
  • Vendor Trade Show
  • Golf tournament June 11th
  • And much more!

Together we will foster mindful eating and a healthy lifestyle on campus and at home. The conference is limited to 350 attendees. We encourage you to sign up early!

Ken Toong
Chair and Executive Director of Auxiliary Enterprises