WASHINGTON, D.C. — United Fresh is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program. Developed to honor the foodservice industry’s most innovative produce performers, the program pays special tribute to chefs and foodservice operators for excellence in the use of fresh produce in the culinary arts. The program is sponsored by FreshEdge.
“We are proud to sponsor the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program and have the opportunity to recognize chefs and foodservice operations who showcase creativity and ingenuity in incorporating fresh produce in their menus,” said Steve Grinstead, chief executive officer of FreshEdge. “Fresh produce plays an important role in menu development and delighting customers around the globe, and this award program gives us the platform to recognize and elevate the best of the best.”
Since 2008, the program has recognized more than 60 foodservice leaders for their exceptional work to incorporate a variety of fresh produce on their menu. The award also recognizes culinarians for their creativity in using fresh produce in concept development and menu design, their knowledge of fresh produce handling procedures, participation in produce-related special events and community service, and overall recognition by the foodservice community.
“Each year we look forward to honoring chefs and foodservice leaders who are highlighting fresh produce on their menus, introducing diners to new flavors and creative ways to enjoy fresh produce,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO, United Fresh. “We are proud to recognize those chefs who are committed to making produce the centerpiece of the meal, as well as inspiring colleagues, and home chefs alike, to incorporate more fresh produce on their plates.”
Winning chefs and foodservice professionals will be recognized in nine categories, including the new Supermarket & Retail Operators category, which will recognize foodservice excellence at retail. Additional categories include Business in Industry, Casual & Family Dining Restaurants, Colleges & Universities, Fine Dining Restaurants, Hospitals & Healthcare, Hotels & Resorts, K-12 School Foodservice and Quick Service Restaurants.
Winners will be selected by United Fresh Produce Association and will be recognized at United Fresh 2020 Convention & Expo, June 16-19, 2020, in San Diego at the event’s Retail-Foodservice Celebration. The nine winning chefs, along with a corporate executive, also will receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations and registrations to United Fresh 2020 Convention & Expo.
The 2019 winners in each category were:
- Business in Industry: Chef Allan Wambaa, executive chef PCIII, CEC, pacificwild Catering, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Oregon
- Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: Peter Rosenberg, director of operations support & Jason Mennie, senior director of Legendary Food, Texas Roadhouse, Louisville, Kentucky
- Colleges & Universities: Chef Lesa Holford, corporate executive chef, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
- Fine Dining Restaurants: Chef Brian Clevenger, owner, General Harvest Restaurants, Seattle, Washingon
- Hospitals & Healthcare: Chef Jeffrey Quasha, corporate executive R & D chef, Morrison Healthcare, Savannah, Georgia
- Hotels & Resorts: Chef Lance S. Cook, CEC, CCA, WCEC, CFBE, FSM, executive chef, Hammock Dunes Club, Palm Coast, Florida
- K-12 School Foodservice: Bertrand Weber, director of culinary & wellness services, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Quick Service Restaurants: Chef Brandon Hudson, Corporate Chef, Jason’s Deli, Grand Prairie, Texas
Nominations can be submitted at unitedfresh.org. For more information about the award program and the nomination process, contact Miriam Wolk, United Fresh’s vice president of member services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-303-3410.