Chefs to be Honored for Fresh Produce Innovation at United Fresh 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 27, 2012)—United Fresh welcomes nominations to United Fresh Foundation’s 2013 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program. Sponsored by PRO*ACT, LLC since its inception, the program honors the foodservice industry’s most innovative produce performers. “This program is wonderful opportunity to showcase chefs, foodservice operations and the entire fresh produce industry,” said United Retail-Foodservice Board Vice Chairman Sean Picquelle, produce and beverage product quality and food safety manager for Taco Bell. “It spotlights the incredible ways that chefs in a variety of restaurants and culinary settings can utilize fresh produce to delight consumers with creative, delicious menu offerings and ultimately increase fresh produce consumption.”

Since its launch in 2008, the program has honored 27 talented chefs and foodservice professionals for their exceptional work in incorporating fresh produce in menu development, proper food safety and handling, engaging in community outreach, and building an overall positive dining experience featuring fresh produce.

In 2013, six winning chefs will be honored in each the following business categories: Business in Industry & Colleges Hotels & Healthcare Industry, Casual and Family Dining Restaurants, Fine Dining Restaurants, K-12 Foodservice, and Quick Serve Restaurants. Winners are selected by a panel of United Fresh member representatives focused on excellence in the foodservice sector. Nominations must be submitted before January 16, 2013. Nominations are accepted on the United Fresh Foundation website.

“Produce can take a consumer’s ordinary dining experience and make it extraordinary.” said Max Yeater, President of PRO*ACT. “We are proud to continue to support this program which honors chefs who make fresh produce an integral part of their menus and provider their customers with innovative and exciting concepts.”

The six winning chefs and their corporate executives receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations and registrations to United Fresh 2013, May 14-16 in San Diego. The winners will be honored at the Annual Chairman’s Reception & Produce Celebration Dinner and will also participate in education sessions at the convention to share their views on produce trends in foodservice. PRO*ACT will also make a donation to a charitable organization of each winner’s choice.

“The creative ways that these chefs and foodservice professionals feature produce as the centerpiece of the plate truly grabs consumers’ attention,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and CEO. “Their talent creates an increase in the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, for which the entire industry is appreciative.”

The 2012 winners in each category were:

  • Business in Industry & Colleges: Chef David Kramer, Chef Instructor, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL
  • Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: Chef Michael Stebner, Director of Culinary, True Food Kitchen, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Fine Dining Restaurants: Chef Brian Scheehser, Executive Chef, Trellis Restaurant, Kirkland, WA
  • Hotels & Healthcare: Chef Christophe Depuichaffray, Area Executive Chef, InterContinental Mark Hopkins and Hotel InterContinental San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  • K-12 School Foodservice: Jessica Shelly, Director of Food Services, Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati, OH
  • Quick Service Restaurants: John Hughes, Senior Vice President & Director of Training, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Manasquan, NJ

For more information about the award program, please visit the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program online or contact Miriam Wolk, United Fresh senior director of membership, at or 202-303-3410.

The United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program is generously sponsored by PRO*ACT, LLC.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Why Wingstop isn't afraid of Popeyes' chicken wings

The Bottom Line: The fast-casual wing chain says its sales improve when another brand pushes the product. Here’s why that might be.


Mendocino Farms masters a meaty Philly cheesesteak sandwich—without the meat

Behind the Menu: The fast casual uses a mushroom-based meat alternative for its Philly Shroomsteak Sandwich, a new menu item targeted to flexitarians, not just vegans.


Pay hike for couriers shakes up food delivery in NYC

Customers are paying more, and couriers are working less. What it all means for restaurants is still unclear, but some fear it could get ugly.


More from our partners