It was a chilly morning in June when I arrived at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for the annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference. Inside Berkshire Grill, a seven-month-old renovated marketplace-style dining facility, conference participants were working alongside toque-wearing chef-instructors from Johnson & Wales University at food-themed concept stations. Each group was preparing 13 dishes that the chef-instructors would later critique in front of all the participants ...

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