United Fresh Announces Winners of 9th Annual Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards

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Thu. March 17th, 2016 - by Jessica Donnel

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a time where the foodservice sector has never been more important to the produce industry, United Fresh has chosen seven of the country's most exciting chefs and foodservice professionals as part of the 9th Annual Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program. 

Tom Stenzel, CEO, United Fresh"These seven winners are using fresh fruits and vegetables on their menus in very innovative ways,” explained Tom Stenzel, United Fresh’s CEO. “We are proud to honor them for the important role that they play in showcasing our industry and introducing their customers to fruit and vegetable trends and new products. We appreciate their tremendous commitment and recognize PRO*ACT's continued generosity and support in honoring these winners and their positive impact on our nation's dining habits."

Sponsored by PRO*ACT LLC, this program is designed to honor chefs and their companies for innovative and influential uses of fresh produce in the culinary arts. Each winner will be an honored guest at the United Fresh 2016 convention and trade show, June 20-22 in Chicago.

Max Yeater, President and CEO, PRO*ACT’s"Year after year, these honorees continue to impress us with their creativity and ingenuity," said Max Yeater, PRO*ACT’s President and CEO. "We are so proud to be the sponsor of the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards and we thank all of the nominees and all of the chefs who dedicate their efforts to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables."

According to a press release, the full list of 2016 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winners includes:

Business in Industry: 

  • Chef Craig Tarrant, Culinary Director; Chef Elijah Coe; Executive Chef Café 16 and Chef Zach Therioakes; Executive Chef Studio H Café, Dining at Microsoft, Redmond, WA

Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: 

  • Chef Steven Sturm, Corporate Executive Chef, Firebirds Restaurants, Charlotte, NC

Colleges & Universities: 

  • Chef Anthony Lauri, CEC, AAC, ACE, Executive Chef, Chartwells at University of Miami, Miami, FL

Fine Dining Restaurants: 

  • Chef Leonard Hollander, Arbor, Chicago, IL

Hotels & Healthcare: 

  • Chef Nazim Khan, CEC, Executive Chef, Bryan Health System, Lincoln, NE

K-12 School Foodservice: 

  • Marilyn Hughes, PhD, RD, Director, Nutrition Department, Atlanta Public Schools, Atlanta, GA

Quick Service Restaurants: 

  • Chef Oliver Plust, Executive Chef & General Manager, Tender Greens Hollywood, Hollywood, CA

Selected from more than 120 nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations across North America, these winners were selected by a panel of produce and foodservice industry leaders who reviewed nominees’ incorporation of fresh produce into menus, use of food safety protocols, leadership in produce-related community service/special events, and recognition by their company and industry peers.

Winners will be featured in a panel discussion on the United Fresh 2016 trade show floor in the Fresh Marketplace Learning Center on Wednesday, June 22, and will receive their awards at the Retail-Foodservice Celebration Dinner that evening.

United Fresh Produce Association