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IFPA names Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winners

The International Fresh Produce Association will celebrate nine of the country's leading chefs and foodservice professionals during IFPA's Foodservice Conference, July 28-29 in Monterey, CA, as part of the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, sponsored by FreshEdge.

The program honors chefs and foodservice operations for their produce innovation, creativity, and all-around excellence in the use of fresh produce in the culinary arts.

“We are thrilled to continue to support this incredible program to celebrate these leading chefs and foodservice professionals who are champions for the fresh produce industry. Cannot wait to go out and visit with these folks where they create their magic and then celebrate them out at The Foodservice Conference in Monterey,” said Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge.

The 2022 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards winners are:

  • Business in Industry: Chris Ross, senior executive chef, Levy/ Hardwood & Oak @ The Central Bank Center: Convention Center, Rupp Arena and the Lexington Opera House, Lexington, KY
  • Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: John Marshall Calloway, CEO and executive chef, Black Rooster Taqueria, Orlando, FL
  • Colleges & Universities: Christina Betondo, associate director of culinary excellence, R&DE Stanford Dining, Stanford, CA
  • Fine Dining Restaurants: Steve McHugh, executive chef, proprietor and owner, Cured Restaurant Group - Cured and Landrace, San Antonio, TX
  • Hospitals & Healthcare: Dugan Wetzel, executive chef, Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis, IN
  • Hotels & Resorts: Stephen Varela, executive chef, Valley Brook Country Club, McMurray, PA
  • K-12 School Foodservice: Whitney Ellersick, senior director, Portland Public Schools, Portland, OR
  • Quick Service Restaurants: Emma Dye, founder and chief salad officer, Crisp Salads, Portland, OR
  • Supermarkets & Retail Operators: Kati Lauffer, corporate chef, Nordstrom Restaurant Division, Seattle

“We are privileged to honor these pioneering chefs and foodservice leaders who are committed to making fresh produce the centerpiece of so many of their delicious meals,” said Joe Watson, vice president of retail and foodservice at IFPA. “Fresh produce continues to drive success for the foodservice and culinary sectors, and chefs play a critical role in encouraging consumers to explore produce items.”

This year’s winners were selected from nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations. IFPA coordinated a review of each nominee's incorporation and creativity of fresh produce into menu development, use of food-safety protocols for proper produce storage and handling, adaptations and new practices developed in response to challenges brought on by the pandemic, produce-related outreach or special events, and recognition among peers and/or by their company.

The nine winners, along with an executive from their company, will participate in IFPA's Foodservice Conference, July 28-29 in Monterey, CA. They will be presented with their awards as part of the event’s programming.

Registration for IFPA’s Foodservice Conference is available here.

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November 28, 2022

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