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Food is Medicine, Food is Love
Our theme for this year, Food is Medicine and Food is Love, will aim to accelerate foodservice concepts into the next generation - one that embraces health, sustainability, and food ethics, to meet the increasing diversity of consumer preferences.

• A premier educational conference 
• Keynote speaker Alice Waters  
• 33 expert leaders in today’s culinary scene
• Hands-on workshops
• ACF-sanctioned team competition
• Cutthroat Competition
• Partnership with CIA and Johnson and Wales faculty

Registration Rates
Full week registration by Friday, April 22nd is $725. After April 22nd, full week registration is $750. One-day registration is also available at a rate of $199 for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and $499 for Friday. The last day to register and pay before the $40 late registration fee is Friday, May 20th. Cancellations received by the Registration office by the close of business on May 27th will receive a full refund less a $60 cancellation fee. No refunds will be granted for cancellations received after May 27th.

We will email you when the workshop options are available so you can select your preferences. Please check the conference website often for updates. 

When is the conference?
The conference will begin Sunday, June 5, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. at the UMass Campus Center and will conclude Friday, June 10, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. after the ACF team competition located in Hampshire Dining Commons. At this time we are in the process of updating the schedule, so keep in mind that these times and locations are subject to change slightly. Please check our schedule on the conference website for the latest updates!

Where is the conference?
All morning sessions, breakfasts and lunches through Tuesday will be held in the UMass Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center. Afternoon sessions will be held at Hampshire and Berkshire Dining Commons, located in the Southwest Residential Area of campus. On Wednesday and Thursday breakfasts and all sessions will be held in Hampshire Dining Commons. The ACF competition on Friday will be held in the Hampshire Dining Commons. Please note we are in the process of finalizing the schedule, so these locations are subject to change slightly. Additional details will be provided closer to the conference start date and will also be available on the conference website. Is this your first time on-campus? Click here to view a campus map! 

How do I register?
Simply click the "Register Now" button above! You will then be brought to the log-in page for this event. If you attended this conference last year (or attended another event with us) just sign-in to the account you created with us previously, clicking the appropriate links if you forgot your login details. If you are a first time attendee, create an account using your email and password of choice by clicking the "Sign up with us" button. Registration is only available online, but if you need assistance please give the Registration office a call at 413-577-8102 or send an email to!   

How do I make hotel reservations?
The Area Accommodations tab above contains all the information you need to make a reservation and receive special group rates at both Hotel UMass and Courtyard by Marriott Hadley! As a reminder, be sure to identify yourself as part of the conference to receive the special discounted rates (reference group code CCL16C at Hotel UMass and the UMass Chef Conference at the Courtyard by Marriott). The discounted group rates at these hotels are only available until the first week of May (or until space fills!) so be sure to make your reservations early. Attendees are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements and submitting lodging and registration payments separately, but we are more than happy to assist you in planning your visit if needed.

What is the dress code for the conference? What should I bring?

  • A chef hat will be provided for you and must be worn at all times in the teaching kitchens. Hair must be entirely covered by the hat and long hair will need to be tied back and completely covered underneath the hat. Fringes and bangs should not be visible from the front of the hat. 
  • Aprons and side towels will be provided and must be worn at all times. 
  • A long sleeved chef jacket must be worn. 
  • Shoes should be leather, with no open toes or high heels and must have non-slip soles. Cotton socks are advised, and no nylon hosiery is allowed 
  • Full length black pants and chef pants must be worn while in the kitchen 
  • Jewelry is not permitted except for one ring and one wristwatch 
  • During times that you are not in the kitchen, casual business attire should be worn.
  • The clambake is a more relaxed dinner and is held outside on the University grounds
  • UMass will provide aprons, gloves, side towels and some knives
  • Participants are encouraged to bring their culinary tool kits, knives and a camera. Please check with your airline for knife transportation details and/or restrictions.

Does the registration fee cover all the meals?
The conference will cover all breakfasts during the week, as well as lunches and dinners Monday through Thursday. The registration fee does not include lodging.

Is the conference open to everyone?
This conference is open to chefs, dietitians, food service managers, educators and tradespeople, regardless of affiliation.

What type of recognition will attendees receive?
All attendees will receive a certificate of participation with the number of American Culinary Federation credits and a 2015 seminar manual with many great recipes. Participants may also apply for UMass continuing education credits and American Dietetic Association credits. To apply for these credits please see Dianne Sutherland or Laura Snyder during the conference for an application (see below for more details). The winning teams of the ACF competition will also receive ACF medals.

Are credits available?
American Culinary Federation will approve 28-30 credits for the full conference toward the initial or recertification application for ACF certification. This does not include any competitions. If you are a member of the ACF wishing to receive credits, you must either email a scanned certificate of participation to or mail a copy of the certificate to Certification, American Culinary Federation Inc, 180 Center Place Way, St. Augustine FL 32095 at the completion of the conference. UMass Continuing Education will approve between 3-4 credits for participants to receive up to 5 CEUs. To receive these credits, you must fill out a form (paper copies will be available at the conference registration desk) and mail it, along with a $12 registration fee, to the UMass Continuing Education office by Friday, July 15, 2016. Additional details will be available on-site. Questions regarding credits may also be directed to Dianne Sutherland at

What is the ACF Team Competition?
We will again be hosting an ACF Competition for teams of four, judged by six ACF certified judges. Participants will attend a mandatory meeting on Thursday, June 9, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. and will compete on Friday, June 10, from 6:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (please plan your travel arrangements accordingly!). Additional details may be found on the conference website.

You may elect to register as an individual competitor, in which case the conference will assign you to a team. Individual competitors will told their assigned teammates at the conference. If you already have 3 teammates, you may enter their names on the competition section of the registration page to be assigned to the same team. New this year: only one team from each school/organization will be able to compete, so please plan accordingly if multiple people from your school/organization are attending the conference and are interested in competing. The competition is limited, so register early! Once space has filled, the competition section of the registration page will be updated and you will be able to add yourself to the waitlist.

What is the Cutthroat Competition?
The high adrenaline chef-off is back! Each round will feature four competing chefs creating their best dish based on a specific, pre-determined theme. Competitors will have $1000 Chef Dollars to use to buy ingredients in the pantry and to bid on sabotages against their competitors. During the 30 minute competition, chefs must cook their dishes and complete two platings (one for the judges plus one “beauty plate”) before time runs out. At the end of each day’s competition the judges will critique the dishes based on presentation, taste and likeness to the theme. The judges will then decide which chefs are eliminated from the competition. The winner of each qualifying round will get $100 and move on to the next round. On the third day of competition the winner from round 1, the winner from round 2, a runner up, and a new contestant will compete for the championship. The championship winner will receive $500.

You may indicate your interest in participating in the Cutthroat Competition on the competition section of the registration page. During the conference, competitors names will be randomly selected and announced each day. Because of the number of interested participants, selecting the Cutthroat Competition during registration does not guarantee your participation. 

Conference Location
The conference will be held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. All morning sessions, breakfast and lunch through Tuesday will be held in the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center. Afternoon sessions will be held at the Hampshire and Berkshire Dining Commons. On Wednesday and Thursday breakfasts and all sessions will be held in Hampshire Dining Commons. The ACF competition on Friday will be held in the Hampshire Dining Commons. The schedule is still being finalized so please note that this information is subject to change. Arrival details will be sent as the conference approaches, and you may also check the conference website for full details and schedules. 

Complimentary parking is available for all attendees at the Campus Center Parking Garage (Sunday - Tuesday) and Lot 33 (Wednesday - Friday). To avoid any potential ticketing and/or towing, please be sure to follow the instructions below and obtain all necessary parking passes when you check-in at the on-site registration desk.

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday:
If you are planning to drive to campus on Sunday, Monday and/or Tuesday, please park in the Campus Center Parking. For GPS purposes, the garage is located at 1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA, 01003. Campus Center Way is off of Commonwealth Avenue, across the street from the Mullins Center. After turning onto Campus Center Way, proceed to the left to go up the hill and enter the garage. After taking an entry ticket proceed down to Level 2 of the garage, following signs to the Hotel/Concourse entrance, and enter the Campus Center using the marked walkway near the Parking Services office. If you prefer, you may park on any level of the garage and use the outdoor campus walkways to get to the Campus Center (if you are unfamiliar with campus, we encourage you to take a look at a picture of the Campus Center or consult a campus map before your arrival!). Once you enter the Campus Center, follow the signs directing you through the 2nd floor concourse and down the escalators to the on-site Conference Registration desk. At registration you will be provided with your conference materials and a parking pass for the Campus Center Parking Garage. This pass will be valid for the duration of the program and must be given to the parking garage attendant each time you exit. 

Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday:
If you are planning to drive to campus on Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday, please park in Lot 33. Lot 33 is the large surface lot located on University Drive, across the street from the Southwest Residential Area.  Click here to view a campus map (Lot 33 is located in box B5). Be sure to obtain a parking pass for this lot at the on-site registration. 

Accessible Parking:
Attendees with a valid state-issued reserved accessible license plate or placard may park in any marked Handicap Space or any nonrestricted, nonreserved space or lot, at no charge, as long as your plate or placard is clearly displayed at all times during your stay. To locate reserved accessible parking, visit the UMass Parking Map, select the blue parking icon on the right, and click the "Handicapped Parking" option.

Click here to view an interactive parking guide of campus. Click here to view a map highlighting the route to the Campus Center Parking Garage.

The conference will begin on Sunday, June 5, at 5:00 p.m. at the UMass Campus Center and will conclude Friday, June 10, at 4:30 p.m. after the ACF Competition held at the Dining Commons. Registration will be held in the UMass Campus Center on Sunday, June 5, from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., on Monday, June 6, from 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., and on Tuesday, June 7, from 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. If you arrive after these times or need any assistance throughout the event, you may visit the Registration office, located in room 810 on the 8th floor of the Campus Center, or call 413-577-8102.

Complimentary parking is available for all attendees at the Campus Center Parking Garage (Sunday - Tuesday) and Lot 33 (Wednesday - Friday). Click the "Location & Parking" tab above for additional details. To avoid any potential ticketing and/or towing, please only park in the Campus Center Parking Garage and Lot 33, and be sure to obtain all necessary parking passes when you check-in at the on-site registration desk!

Click here to view an interactive parking guide of campus. Click here to view a map highlighting the route to the Campus Center Parking Garage.

Driving to Campus
From the North: From I-91 South, take exit 25 in Deerfield. At the end of the ramp, turn left and follow the road to the intersection. Turn right onto Routes 5 & 10 South. Go 1 mile, then turn left onto Route 116 South. Follow Route 116 South for 8 miles to the UMass exit.

From the East: Take Route 2 West to Exit 16 (Belchertown/Amherst). From Route 2 take Route 202 South for about 15 miles to a blinking yellow light at Amherst Road. You will see signs "to Route 9/Route 116". Turn right and follow Amherst Road (which becomes Pelham Road) for 7 miles to Amherst center. Follow signs to UMass.

From the South: From I-91 North, take Exit 19 in Northampton. From the exit ramp, turn right onto Route 9. Travel approximately 4.5 miles to Route 116 North. Turn left at the traffic lights to merge onto Route 116 North. Take the UMass exit in 1 mile.

From the West: Take Route 2 East to the Greenfield/I-91 exit. Take I-91 South to Exit 25, Deerfield. At the end of the ramp turn left and follow the road to the intersection. Turn right onto Routes 5 & 10 South. Go 1 mile, then turn left onto Route 116 South. Follow Route 116 South for 8 miles to the UMass exit.

From I-90 (Mass Pike): Take Exit 4 (West Springfield). Follow I-91 North to Exit 19. From the exit ramp, turn right onto Route 9. Travel approximately 4.5 miles to Route 116 North (turn left at traffic lights). The UMass exit is 1 mile up.

Traveling by Plane
If you are traveling to Amherst by plane, the closest airport is Bradley International Airport, located in Windsor Locks, Connecticut (right outside of Hartford). This airport is approximately 45 miles south of the UMass campus (about 1 hour by car). Many visitors find more flight options to Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. Logan is approximately 90 miles east of the UMass campus (about 2 1/2 hours by car), so if you book a flight to Logan please allow for extra travel time to UMass. Both airports feature car rental agencies and a variety of shuttle services, including Valley Transporter (413-253-1350), Seemo Shuttle (413-586-1120), Exclusive Car Service (877-695-4665), Bluebird Transportation (413-221-4512), and Michael's Limousine & Transportation Service. Reservations are required prior to your arrival for many of these shuttle services, so be sure to plan accordingly when making your travel arrangements. 

Traveling by Bus
The Amherst area is serviced by Greyhound, Peter Pan Bus LinesMegabus and the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA). 

For Greyhound, Peter Pan, and Megabus, we recommend using "Amherst UMass, MA" as your destination instead of "Amherst Center, MA", if at all possible. The Amherst Center stop used by these bus services is about 1.5 miles from UMass and will require some additional planning to get to campus by PVTA bus, taxi, or foot. The Amherst UMass stop, however, will bring you right to Haigis Mall, located on the UMass Campus. From here, the UMass Campus Center is about a 7 minute walk.

For PVTA buses, we recommend taking a look at the various routes and schedules available on the PVTA website. You may also want to use the PVTA Google Trip PlannerWhere's My Bus?, or PVTA Bus Tracker App to help you plan the best route for you.

Please be sure to carefully review bus schedules, bus stop locations, and campus maps prior to your arrival as both the area and the campus can be confusing to navigate if it is your first time here. Some services are also limited in the summer months and may delay your travel. If you need any assistance planning your trip, please let us know!

Traveling by Train
Amtrak provides passenger rail service to nearby Northampton, MA, located a 20 minute drive from the UMass campus, and Springfield, MA, located a 30 minute drive from the UMass campus. For schedule information and to purchase tickets, visit Amtrak's website and select "Northampton, MA (NHT)" or "Springfield, MA (SPG)" as your arrival destination. 

If you take a train to Northampton, MA, you will be able to take either a bus or taxi to the UMass campus. Both PVTA and Peter Pan buses service the area, but the bus stops are not located at the train platform and will require about a 7 minute walk. If you prefer, you may use one of the many local taxi services. We encourage you to carefully plan your trip - including bus or taxi services - prior to your arrival as the Northampton train platform is not a train station and phone access, area maps, bus schedules, and bus tickets will not be available once you arrive. If you decide to take a train out of Northampton, remember to purchase your return ticket online prior to arriving at the platform. The train platform is located at 170 Pleasant Street in Northampton, MA. 

If you take a train to Springfield, MA, we recommend booking a shuttle service, such as Valley Transporter, to get you from Springfield to Amherst. Bus services, including Peter Pan, are also available, but will require about a 15 minute walk from the train station to the bus stop. The train will arrive at the Springfield station building, located at 66 Lyman Street in Springfield, MA. This station building does have a waiting room, ticket office, quik-trak kiosk, and payphone, but we do still encourage you to plan your trip, including services from the train station to campus, prior to your arrival. 

Getting Around Campus & the Area

Downtown Amherst is a 10-15 minute walk from campus. Local buses, operated by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, run regularly between town and the University, with additional services traveling throughout the Pioneer Valley. UMass has also partnered with Zipcar to bring on-demand car sharing services right to campus.

The conference also provides complimentary shuttles for our attendees. These shuttles run from the Campus Center to the Dining Commons, and continue on to some of the more popular local hotels on Route 9 in Hadley, MA. Additional details will be available as the conference approaches and a full shuttle schedule will be provided to you upon arrival.

Conference registration fees so not include lodging, so all attendees are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements. Because the summer is a busy time of year in the area, we recommend making your reservations early!

Hotel UMass
$145 per room, per night (plus applicable taxes and fees)

Hotel UMass, located in the heart of campus at the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center, offers our attendees single and double occupancy rooms at a discounted conference rate of $145.00 per night (plus applicable fees). Rated the top hotel in Amherst, Hotel UMass is the most convenient place to stay during your visit to campus: guests are just an elevator ride away from conference activities and Campus Center amenities. Hotel UMass is currently at capacity: please contact the hotel at 877-822-2110 (group code CCL16C) to see if any space has opened.

Courtyard by Marriott
$135 per room, per night (plus applicable taxes and fees)

The Courtyard by Marriott located in nearby Hadley, MA, is a quick five minute drive from the UMass campus. A block of discounted rooms has been held for conference attendees. The cutoff date for the special conference rate is May 5, 2016. Complete your reservation online or by calling the hotel at 413-256-5454. You must identify yourself as being affiliated with the UMass Chef Conference 2015 in order to receive the discounted rate.

Looking for something a little different? Many other options are available to you, as well: Amherst, Northampton, and the surrounding area are home to many lovely inns and bed & breakfasts (including the Holiday Inn, Black Walnut Inn, The Birches, and the Lord Jeffrey Inn, among others) that are within a 10-20 minute drive of campus. To help plan your visit, keep in mind that the University of Massachusetts campus is a 10-15 minute walk or 5-7 minute drive from the center of Amherst, and a 20-minute drive from the center of North Hampton. The area is popular with vacationers in the summer, so we encourage you to complete your reservation as soon as possible.   

On-Campus Attractions
You don't need to travel far to find something to do - there are numerous attractions located right here on campus! The Fine Arts Center offers the region's only mix of classical music, dance, theater, jazz, Broadway, special events and galley exhibitions. The UMass Permaculture Initiative is a unique and cutting-edge sustainability program that continues to convert underused grass lawns on the campus into edible, low-maintenance, and easily replicable gardens. Stop by one of their edible landscapes in front of the Franklin or Berkshire Dining Commons, or check out their herb garden located inside of the Worcester Dining Commons. The Mullins Center, our state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility, hosts diverse events from hockey and basketball to concerts and popular touring performance groups. The Orchard Hill Observatory, located on the highest point of the UMass campus, is home to a 16-inch Cassegrain telescope and is used for public events and open observatory nights. The Durfee Conservatory and Garden, established in 1867, is a historic plant conservatory that offers a sanctuary of calm and serenity among the hustle and bustle of campus.

Area Attractions
Amherst is known for its rural charm and big city appeal. With many restaurants, bars and local shops, visitors get lost exploring our downtown. Located just a few minutes drive from the campus, it is a convenient and popular destination. 

The city of Northampton is a blend of historic, contemporary, intellectual, artsy, athletic and entrepreneurial. With cafes, bars, restaurants, clubs, shops, museums, rivers, parks and spas, Northampton is a place to be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of budget.

Yankee Candle, located about 20 minutes away in South Deerfield, offers an enchanting mix of shopping and entertainment. You'll find 400,000 candles in over 200 different famous Yankee scents, but there are more than just candles at this flagship Village Store. It's a unique, entertaining world of New England charm, fairy tale fantasies, and hands-on, interactive candlemaking that's fun for every age.

Historic Deerfield is an authentic 18th-century New England village. Tour beautifully restored museum houses with period architecture and furnishings, see yankee ingenuity at work in demonstrations of colonial-era trades, and explore the world-famous collection of early American crafts, ceramics, furniture, textiles and metalwork. 

Home to more than three hundred inductees and more than 40,000 square feet of basketball history, the Basketball Hall of Fame stirs the spirits of basketball fans everywhere. Hundreds of interactive exhibits share the spotlight with skills challenges, live clinics, shooting contests and enough basketball history to impress the world’s most avid sports fans. 

Six Flags New England is home to many rides and attractions, from pulse-pounding roller coasters to gentler options for the youngest of thrill seekers. With some of the fastest, tallest, wildest, most gut-wrenching rides in the country (including a few record breakers), as well as family rides, kid rides, entertaining shows and the Hurricane Harbor Water Park, Six Flags New England has fun for everyone.

Want to learn about more things to do in the Pioneer Valley? Click here!

Contact Us
For conference related questions: 
Visit the conference website or call Laura Snyder at 413-545-6529. 

For registration and/or payment related questions:
Contact the UMass Registration team at 413-577-8102 or

To Complete or Edit a Registration:
Click the Register Now button above to be brought to the registration log-in page. If this is your first time registering for an event with us, click the "Sign up with us" button to create an account using your email and password of choice. If you created an account last year or already registered and are just returning to edit your enrollment, simply sign-in to your account. After logging in, you will be able to edit your registration, submit payment via card using our secure online payment gateway, or obtain a receipt. If you forgot your username or password, just click the appropriate links on the enrollment log-in page to reset your account.

If you experience any issues using the online registration page, please contact the Registration office at 413-577-8102 or for assistance. 

To Submit Payment by Check:
If you decide to pay by check, first complete your online registration by clicking the "Register Now" button above. During the online registration process select "Submit Check/PO" as your payment option. Once your registration is complete, mail a check made payable to UMass Conference Services to the address below. Be sure to reference your name on or with the check so we can apply your payment to the correct account. Please mail your check so it is received within 2 weeks of the completion of your online registration. If payment is not received in full by May 20, 2016, your account will be assessed an additional $40 late fee.

Conference Services CS15073
810 Campus Center
1 Campus Center Way
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

To Submit Payment by Card
During the online registration process, you may select to pay by check or pay by card. If you select you pay by card, you will be brought to our secure online payment gateway and will be able to use a Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express credit or debit card right online. If wish to provide card information over the phone, you should complete your online enrollment and then contact the Registration office at 413-577-8102 (open Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Only submit your payment information using the online payment gateway or with the Registration office staff at 413-577-8102 - for your security, we will only accept payment/card details from the attendee, cardholder, or authorized purchaser directly.