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United Fresh Selects Winners Of Produce Excellence In Foodservice

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United Fresh has selected nine of the country’s most innovative chefs and foodservice professionals, representing an array of culinary styles and backgrounds, to be honored in June during the United Fresh 2021 Convention & Expo, as part of the United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Program.

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 Instagram-worthy dishes that thrill customers and lead to a renewed interest and excitement for fresh produce,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh Produce Association. “We consistently have a diverse representation of chefs and foodservice professionals throughout the industry who are demonstrating some of the most creative concepts.”

The 2021 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winners are:

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

This year’s winners were selected from nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations across North America. 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’re thrilled to support this excellent program to celebrate leading chefs and foodservice professionals who are elevating the profile, and increasing the consumption of, fresh produce,” said Steve Grinstead, CEO, FreshEdge. “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.”

The nine winners, along with an executive from their company, will participate in United Fresh 2021. They will be presented with their awards and featured in a panel discussion as part of the event’s programming.

For more information about the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, visit unitedfresh.org.

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