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United Fresh to honor Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winners during PMA Foodservice

United Fresh will celebrate nine of the country's most innovative chefs and foodservice professionals representing an array of culinary styles and backgrounds this July during the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA, as part of the United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Program, sponsored by FreshEdge.

The program honors chefs and their companies for their creativity in highlighting fresh produce on their menus, introducing diners to new flavors, and presenting creative ways to enjoy fresh produce.

“It’s always a privilege for us to recognize culinary stars who are creating produce centric menus that thrill customers and lead to a renewed interest and excitement for fresh produce,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association. “With our associations soon to be joining forces, it’s a great next step to begin incorporating our programs, driving member value to our broader communities. We are excited to have the opportunity to celebrate these winning chefs and foodservice operators among their peers at the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo.”

The 2021 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winners are:

  • Business in Industry:
    • Chef Stephen Palm, director of culinary, Lifeworks Restaurant Group, Beaverton, OR
       
  • Casual & Family Dining Restaurants:
    • Chef Sachia Tinsley, chef/owner, Peyrassol Café at Southport, Renton, WA
       
  • Colleges & Universities:
    • Chef Darren Lewis, executive chef, dining services, Quest Food Management Services at University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
       
  • Fine Dining Restaurants:
    • Chef Kyle Patrick Hash, executive chef, 28 North Gastropub, Melbourne, FL
       
  • Hospitals & Healthcare:
    • Chef Samantha Moore, head chef, Goshen Health, Goshen, IN
  • Hotels & Resorts:
    • Chef Kristin Butterworth, executive chef of restaurants, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa, Farmington, PA
       
  • K-12 School Foodservice:
    • Lauren Couchois, culinary specialist, Greenville County School District, Greenville, SC
       
  • Quick Service Restaurants:
    • Chef Matt Colgan, culinary director, MIXT, San Francisco
       
  • Supermarkets & Retail Operators:
    • Sarah Griswold, prepared foods manager, Green Zebra Grocery, Portland, OR

This year’s winners were selected from nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations. United Fresh 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.

“We are proud to recognize these nine winners for the important role in showcasing our industry and introducing their customers to a variety of fruit and vegetable concepts,” said Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge. “We look forward to celebrating these winners and elevating the program itself during the industry’s premier foodservice event.”

The nine winners, along with an executive from their company, will participate in the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo, July 21-22 in Monterey. They will be presented with their awards as part of the event’s programming.

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