United Fresh Accepting Nominations for the 2021 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program
- by Anne Allen
WASHINGTON, DC - Along with its 2021 Retail Produce Manager Award Program, United Fresh is now accepting nominations for its 2021 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, which will be sponsored by FreshEdge™. Created to shine a spotlight on the foodservice industry’s innovative produce performers, the program pays tribute to chefs and foodservice operators for their excellence in using fresh produce in the culinary arts.
“With this year’s program, we once again are honored to recognize chefs and foodservice leaders who continue to highlight fresh produce on their menus during these extraordinary times,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President and CEO. “We are proud to recognize those chefs who are committed to making produce the centerpiece of the meal and continually serving customers in new and creative ways.”
Since its inception in 2008, the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Program has recognized over 70 foodservice leaders for their contribution to incorporating fresh produce on their menus. According to a press release, the award also recognizes creativity in using fresh produce in menu design and concept development, as well as nominees’ knowledge of fresh produce handling procedures, participation in produce-related special events and community service, and overall recognition by the foodservice community.
“2020 has been the most challenging year ever for the foodservice sector. We are proud to continue to sponsor the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards and have the opportunity to recognize chefs and foodservice operations who have heroically showcased creativity and ingenuity in incorporating fresh produce in their menus, even under the most challenging circumstances,” said Steve Grinstead, Chief Executive Officer of FreshEdge™. “Chefs and foodservice operators everywhere should all be commended for their work during the pandemic, and this award gives us the opportunity to recognize the best of the best.”
This year, foodservice operators and chefs will be recognized across nine categories which include: Business in Industry, Casual and Family Dining Restaurants, Colleges and Universities, Fine Dining Restaurants, Hospitals and Healthcare, Hotels and Resorts, K-12 School Foodservice, Quick Service Restaurants, and Supermarkets and Retail Operators.
All winners will be chosen by United Fresh and will be recognized at the United Fresh 2021 Convention and Expo being held June 24–26, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Winners along with one corporate executive will receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations, and registrations to the event.
Last year’s winners include:
- Business in Industry: Chef Michael Smith, Executive Chef, Company Kitchen, Omaha, NE
- Casual and Family Dining Restaurants: Chef Travis Peters, Executive Chef, The Parish, Tucson, AZ
- Colleges and Universities: Chef Joey Martin and Al Ferrone, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
- Fine Dining Restaurants: Chef Bonnie Morales, Executive Chef and Owner, Katchka, Portland, OR
- Hospitals and Healthcare: Chef Laura Gomez, Executive Chef, The Stratford, Carmel, IN
- Hotels and Resorts: Chef Daniel Bruce, The Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston, MA
- K-12 School Foodservice: Chef Mike Yip, District Chef, Union Public Schools, Tulsa, OK
- Quick Service Restaurants: Marissa Thiry, Nutrition Specialist, Taco Bell, Irvine, CA
- Supermarkets and Retail Operators: Chef Randy Weed, Vice President Culinary, Plum Market, Farmington Hills, MI
Nominations can be made now until January 15 by clicking here. Who will take home the 2021 honors for these nine categories? Keep reading AndNowUKnow for the results.