CONFERENCES — Flavor, Culture, Healthfulness:
19th Annual Tastes of the World
Culinary Conference at UMass
Hundreds of collegiate chefs from the U.S. and Canada gathered at the 19th Annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) — Amherst from June 16-21 to learn from culinary experts on “Flavor, Culture, Healthfulness: The Future of College Dining Menus,” the conference's theme.
“The 19th Annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference was the most attended (259) and the most exciting one yet,” said Ken Toong, conference chair and executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass. “It was an intense but fun week. We had celebrity chefs, powerful presentations, panel discussion, industry showcase, 18 hands-on workshops and competitions. We discussed the literacy of food and the social responsibility, tested hundreds of recipes and tasted many cuisines. There is so much we can do, as operators and chefs, to continue to provide food that tastes good, and is good for you, while supporting sustainability.”
The event featured several knowledgeable speakers, an American Culinary Federation (ACF)-sanctioned culinary competition and hands-on sessions with small group production workshops. ...
When the newly renovated University Towers Kitchen at San Diego State University (SDSU) in California opens this month, it will not only feature aesthetic improvements, it will also launch a new healthy eating program.
“It is a brand new renovation, all the way down to the steel beams, including all new floors, plumbing and design,” said Paul Melchior, director of SDSU Dining. “It is basically a brand-new place. The only thing we saved were the steel beams.”
The original 8,000-square-foot building was 50 years old and designed for the service popular at the time. “Before the renovation, it was designed with just one serving line,” he said. “Five years before we closed it down, we tried to transform as much as we could to make as much to order as possible. There was a big solid wall and there was that stereotypical two-by-two foot window that the hand would reach the food through. All you would see is the hand.” ...
The main focus of the à la carte facility is that all of the food is made from scratch. “We are not buying any processed food in there,” said Melchoir. “If we serve chicken tenders, we are buying chicken, panko bread crumbs, eggs and flour, and we are making them. Our garden burgers are going to be made with chickpeas as a base, and we have a great recipe for that.”
Another major aspect is transparency. “There are no walls in the kitchen, so the customer sees from the exhibition station right in front of them all the way to the back of the kitchen,” he said. ...