This year's honorees represent a wide range of culinary styles and backgrounds. The awards, sponsored by distributor group Pro*Act LLC, honor chefs and their companies for the innovative and influential use of fresh produce in the culinary arts. They will be presented at the United Fresh 2009 Convention, April 21-24 in Las Vegas.
"Pro*Act is very proud to sponsor this award, now in its second year," says Pro*Act president and ceo Steve Grinstead. "We thank all of the nominees and all of the chefs who create such unique and powerful menus around fresh produce and we look forward to honoring their ingenuity in Las Vegas."
"All of the honorees show a tremendous commitment to using fresh produce to delight their customers," says United Fresh president Tom Stenzel. "We greatly appreciate Pro*Act's support in recognizing these winners and the overall importance of produce to the foodservice industry in one of America's new culinary capitals: Las Vegas."
Winners were selected in five business categories from nearly 100 nominations submitted by produce companies and restaurants across the industry. A panel of produce and foodservice industry leaders judged the submissions, reviewing how each nominee incorporates fresh produce into menu development, uses protocols for correct storage and handling of produce, and features fresh produce in order to build an overall positive dining experience.
The 2009 winning operations by category, including chefs and corporate executives to be recognized in April, are:
• Business in Industry & College: Glenn Pruden, CEC, Executive Chef/Assistant Director University Dining, and Bettie Clarke, Director, Residential Dining, University of Richmond, Richmond, Va.;
• Casual & Family Dining: William Fuller, Corporate Chef, and Tom Baron, President, big Burrito Restaurant Group, Pittsburgh;
• Fine Dining: George Mavrothalassitis, Chef/Owner, and Donna Jung, Publicist, Chef Mavro, Honolulu;
• Quick Service: William "Woody" Faulk, Vice President of Brand Development; Shona Jonson, Sr. Manager of Menu Development; and the entire Chick-fil-A Menu Development Team, Chick-fil-A Inc., Atlanta;
• Hotels & Healthcare: Miles McMath, CEC, Senior Executive Chef, Morrison Specialist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, and Kevin Dorr, Corporate Chef, Morrison Management Specialists, Nashville.
People on the Move:
• Tom Hotchkiss, former director of purchasing at the now-defunct Ritz Foodservice, has joined Cotati Food Service in Cotati, California, as director of sales and marketing.
• E&S specialist Dot Foods recently promoted eight employees: Cullen Andrews was named director of national accounts; Jeff Grever was named director of corporate accounts; Doug Eisenhart is a new foodservice regional sales manager; Todd Bricker was also promoted to foodservice regional sales manager; Lisa Huck was promoted to senior marketing manager – cheese category; Bill King was promoted to general manager of Dot’s Oklahoma facility; Dana Chapman was named corporate recruiting manager. Dana has a bachelor of science from Quincy University. Her new position involves directing recruiting efforts and activities for Dot Foods and Dot Transportation.
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