The six-year-old program, sponsored by Monterey, Calif.-based Pro*Act LLC, honors chefs for innovative and influential use of fresh produce, according to a news release from the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association. Winners will be honored at the United Fresh Show, May 14-16 in San Diego.
“For six years now, we at Pro*Act continue to be amazed at the creativity, dedication and insight shown by the honorees in this program,” Pro*Act President Max Yeater said in the release.
A panel of foodservice and produce industry leaders evaluated nominee applications for fresh produce in menu development, use of protocols for correct storage and handling of produce and recognition by their company and industry peers.
The chefs will take part in a May 16 panel session, “Restaurant Flavors and Trends from the Best,” according to the release.
The winners are:
- Joshua Distenfeld, executive chef at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md., (business in industry and colleges);
- Christopher John Raucci, corporate chef at Ted’s Montana Grill, Atlanta, (casual and family dining);
- John Johnson, regional executive chef for Pinnacle Entertainment Co., St. Louis, (fine dining);
- Chad Tyler Brodkin, The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Benchmark Hospitality International, Blacksburg, Va., (hotels and healthcare);
- Kevin LaPittus, director of child nutrition services for Encinitas Union School District, Encinitas, Calif., (K-12 foodservice); and
- Ethan Kawasaki, executive chef for Café Zupas, Sandy, Utah, (quick-service).