Virtual Conference     •     June 9 - 11, 2020

We hope you enjoyed the 2020 virtual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference!
To view conference recordings and presenter PowerPoints, please visit the conference website.

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference being held virtually, June 9 - 11, 2020! 

We are excited to bring you a condensed version of our annual conference, featuring 120 minutes of programming per day that will include a keynote speaker, a chef session with food demonstrations, and a panel discussion.

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 p.m. (EDT). 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 hear how operators are preparing for reopening their dining programs in the fall. There will be a session with students from across the country discussing their expectations of what the fall will look like. We will 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 we expect that to look like as we create our new normal. We encourage you to join us!

There is no charge for this virtual three-day conference. However, registration is required and space is limited so we encourage you to sign up early. Please click "Register Now" to sign up today! If you need any assistance completing your registration, please contact us at or 413-577-8102. If you'd prefer to sign-up by email, please email your name, affiliation, and contact details to Note: our team is currently working remotely so, when possible, we recommend contacting us by email for the quickest assistance. 

The schedule can be found below. Pertinent updates, including the conference meeting link, will be sent to all those registered by email as the conference approaches. For the latest news and updates, please visit the conference website. Note: all times below are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Tuesday, June 9
Operations and Strategic Planning

2:00 p.m. 

Planetary Heath From the Ground Up: How and What We Eat Can Affect Our Health and Our Ability to Endure a Pandemic
Walter Willett M.D., Dr. P.H., Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
2:35 p.m.    
The Future Trend Landscape: Changes, Ideas, Tools, and Data
Mike Kostyo, Trendologist, Datassentials
3: 00 p.m.    

Panel Discussion – How Operators and Supply Chain Can Support Each Other and Rebuild and Reshape Our Foodservice
Moderator: Marie Molde, Client Solutions, Datassential
Panelists: Perry Miele, President of Nestlé Professional
                Greg Keller, Senior Vice President of Sales, Sysco
                Phil Kafarkis, President, Specialty Food Association

Wednesday, June 10
Health & Wellness, Culinary & Safety

2:00 p.m.    Kumble R. Subbaswamy, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
2:05 p.m.
How COVID Disrupted the Food Supply Chain
Eric Decker, Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst
2:20 p.m.   
Supporting Health and Wellness in the New Normal
Lisa Eberhart, Director of Nutrition Services, Menu Analytics
2:35 p.m.

Culinary Innovation: How We Offer Amazing Food While Meeting the New Health and Safety Guidelines
Van Sullivan, Executive Director, Stony Brook University
Alexander Ong, Director of Culinary Excellence, University of Massachusetts Amherst
3:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Prepare Your Dining Operations for Reopening
Moderator: Marie Molde, Client Solutions, Datassential
Panelist: Jeffrey Palmer, Director of Dining, UC San Diego
               Rafi Teharian, Associate Vice President for Yale Hospitality
               Garett DiStefano, Director of Dining, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Thursday, June 11
Communication and Storytelling

2:00 p.m.  
Effective and Innovative Communication in a Pandemic  
Fleur Veldhoven, Vice President of Marketing, Nestlé Professional
2:30 p.m.
Storytelling Soundbites in a Post-COVID-19 World
Bonnie Powell, Director of Communications, Bon Appetit Management Company
3:00 p.m.

Online Ordering During a Pandemic
Speakers: Zia Ahmed, Senior Director, Dining Services, Ohio State
                 Robert Holden, Associate VP, Auxiliary Services, University of Georgia
                 Ben Anderson, Head of Industry Relations, GrubHub
4:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Student Expectations for Reopening
Moderator: Marie Molde, Client Solutions, Datassential
Panelist: Anne Margaret Clyburn, Rice University
               Bryan Weintraub, Cornell University
               Jordan Jones, University of California Santa Barbara
               Erielle Warshowsky, University of Massachusetts Amherst
               Megan Remer, Michigan University
               Jemark Earle, McGill University

For additional information, please visit the conference website. For registration assistance, please contact us at