United Fresh Produce Association Names 2020 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Winners
- by Kayla Webb
WASHINGTON, DC - The United Fresh Produce Association has named nine of the country’s top chefs and foodservice professionals, highlighting their culinary styles and backgrounds. Each of these food pros will be honored during United Fresh LIVE! as a part of the United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Program.FreshEdge™ is the sponsor this year.
“It’s always a privilege for us to recognize culinary stars who are creating Instagram-worthy dishes that thrill customers and lead to a renewed interest and excitement for fresh produce,” said Tom Stenzel, President and CEO, United Fresh Produce Association. “We are in awe of what this year’s winners have done for their concepts and their communities during this crisis. Whether changing menus overnight, donating meals to frontline workers, or banding together to support fellow culinarians in their communities, these chefs and foodservice operations are doing amazing things under incredible circumstances.”
According to a press release, this program honors chefs, the companies they work, and their creativity in highlighting fresh produce on their menus and introducing diners to new flavors. This year, the program also commends these workers for their fortitude in the face of adversity.
The 2020 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winners are as follows:
- 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 Bishop and Al Ferrone, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
- Fine Dining Restaurants:
- Chef 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 & Retail Operators:
- Chef Randy Weed, Vice President Culinary, Plum Market, Farmington Hills, MI
“We’re thrilled to support this excellent program for the industry and honor leading chefs and foodservice professionals who are elevating the profile, and increasing the consumption, of fresh produce,” said Steve Grinstead, Chief Executive Officer, FreshEdge. “We are proud to support and recognize these nine winners for the important role that they play in showcasing our industry and introducing their customers to a variety of fruit and vegetable concepts.”
Nominations were submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations across North America. United Fresh then coordinated a review of each nominee's incorporation of fresh produce into menu development, use of food safety protocols for proper produce storage and handling, leadership in produce-related community service and special events, and recognition by their company and industry peers, the press release went on to note.
These winners will be celebrated and honored during the Retail-Foodservice Celebration at United Fresh LIVE! on Thursday, June 18, and will participate in education and networking events throughout the week. All hoping to join can check out this link here!