More than 125 college segment chefs and managers from across the United States and Canada came to the campus of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst recently to discuss trends affecting their operations, to network and to engage in some friendly but intense competition. In the process, the 10-year-old event, the Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Competition, saw its largest turnout ever, says U-Mass Dining Services Director Ken Toong, who served as host.
"We spent considerable time on the low-carb diet and the message we heard from the experts is that low-carb is not a fad and will grow in the college segment," Toong reports. "We also explored the flavors of Thai, Indian and Spanish cuisine, the three emerging trends on campuses."
For the team Hot Food Competition, sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (the only such competition sanctioned this year), the judges awarded three gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
Next year's conference is scheduled for June 13-17