The United Fresh Produce Association Foundation plans to honor six chefs for their innovative uses of fresh produce in foodservice through the 2011 United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Program.

The program, which Monterey, Calif.-based Pro*Act has sponsored for the past three years, received 115 nominations from 31 states and Canada when nominations closed Feb. 7.

“The efforts made by these men and women every day to bring innovative menu items to diners’ plates will help positively shape the way our nation eats,” Victoria Backer, senior vice president of member services, said in a news release.

A committee of foodservice and produce industry leaders will choose one winner in six categories:

  • fine dining restaurants;
  • casual and family dining;
  • quick-service restaurants;
  • business in industry;
  • colleges, hotels and health care; and
  • a new category for 2011, K-12 school foodservice.

Winners will be awarded during the 2011 United Fresh convention in New Orleans May 2-5.

United Fresh to honor foodservice excellence