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IFPA recognizes the best of the best in foodservice

The best of the best in foodservice produce use have been named by the International Fresh Produce Association. Sponsored by FreshEdge, The Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards program pays special tribute to chefs and foodservice operations for their produce innovation, creativity and all-around excellence in the use of fresh produce in the culinary arts.

Winners gain global recognition and a trip to The Foodservice Conference from IFPA, July 25-26 in Monterey, CA.  

“We are honored to offer this platform that recognizes these foodservice professionals for their produce prowess,” said Joe Watson, IFPA vice president. “Nominated by their peers, these honorees drive produce consumption by offering unique, delicious, produce-forward dishes.”

The winners:

  • Business and industry: Estavan Jimenez Martinez, executive chef/chef instructor, Rancho Cielo Youth Campus
  • Casual and family dining restaurants: Grace Goudie, executive chef, Scratch Board Kitchen
  • Colleges and universities: Jonathan Guitierrez Santiago, executive sous chef, University of California Merced/Yablokoff Wallace Dining Center
  • Fine dining restaurants: David Ruiz, executive chef, Scalo Restaurant
  • Hospitals and healthcare: Roel Mesta, executive chef, The Village at Germantown
  • Hotel and resort: Manfred Lassahn, executive chef, Hyatt Regency Hotels — Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa
  • K-12 Foodservice: Julie Raway, registered dietitian, Broome-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES)
  • Supermarket and retail operators: Dorene Mills, Hannaford chef, Hannaford Supermarkets
  • Quick-serve restaurants: Chris Mayo, development manager, Wildflower

“We are pleased to announce these winners and grateful for their skills and imagination as they increase access to and the appeal of produce in all types of foodservice operations. We look forward to honoring them at The Foodservice Conference in July,” Watson said.  

A panel of produce foodservice experts evaluated nominees on the following criteria:

  • Creativity in using fresh produce in concept development and menu design, including the ability to incorporate produce into culinary trends
  • Knowledge and use of proper fresh produce handling procedures
  • Produce-related outreach or special events, such as community service projects and local educational outreach.
  • Recognition among peers and/or by their company, such as awards, additional responsibilities and training

Designed exclusively for produce in foodservice, The Foodservice Conference is the place for connections, insights and innovations that attendees use to grow their business. It’s the anchor of the foodservice year. Registration for the conference is available here on IFPA’s website. 

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