( Courtesy United Fresh )

United Fresh is accepting nominations for the 2020 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program.

The program recognizes chefs and foodservice operators for their excellence using fresh produce in the culinary arts, according to a news release.

Since 2008, more than 60 foodservice leaders have been recognized by the program. The award also honors foodservice operators for fresh produce use in concept development and menu design, knowledge of handling procedures, and participation in produce-related special events and community service, according to the release.

“Each year we look forward to honoring chefs and foodservice leaders who are highlighting fresh produce on their menus, introducing diners to new flavors and creative ways to enjoy fresh produce,” Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh, said in the release. “We are proud to recognize those chefs who are committed to making produce the centerpiece of the meal, as well as inspiring colleagues, and home chefs alike, to incorporate more fresh produce on their plates.”

Winners are recognized in nine categories and will be selected by United Fresh Produce Association. Winners receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations and registrations to the United Fresh 2020 Convention and Expo and be recognized at the event’s retail-foodservice celebration, according to the release.

The nine categories are business in industry, casual and family dining restaurants, colleges and universities, fine dining restaurants, hospitals and healthcare, hotels and resorts, K-12 school foodservice and quick service restaurants.

The program is sponsored by FreshEdge.

“Fresh produce plays an important role in menu development and delighting customers around the globe, and this award program gives us the platform to recognize and elevate the best of the best,” Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge, said in the release.

Nominations can be submitted at www.unitedfresh.org.

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