Pro*Act's first Culinary Summit in Monterey, Calif., featured a Culinary Expo, with suppliers serving up samples of their products. ( Courtesy Pro*Act )

Pro*Act’s supply chain partners toured fields, watched food preparation demonstrations and heard from foodservice experts about fresh produce innovations at the company’s first Culinary Summit.

The September summit at the Monterey (Calif.) Conference Center featured a presentation from renowned chef Rick Bayless and a Culinary Expo and other events with demonstrations from suppliers including Sunkist Growers, Mission Produce, HMC Farms, Grimmway Farms, Rainier Fruit, J.C. Watson, Avocados from Mexico and the Idaho Potato Commission.

Suppliers brought culinary teams to the expo who shared information on varietals, taste profiles and new methods of preparing and cooking fresh produce, according to a news release. Forty of Pro*Act’s suppliers participated in the event.

“Our role in simplifying and streamlining the supply chain from seed to fork starts in the fields and reaches all the way to the kitchen – this event is a natural extension of our goal to inspire creative ways to use fresh produce” Brian Denton, Pro*Act director of marketing, said in the release. “Our Colorful Plates culinary-focused website and podcast continues to connect many of our suppliers and customers, it starts with having the right people together, and fostering the right dialogue.

The tours included field trips to D’Arrigo of California, Driscoll’s, Mann Packing and Taylor Farms

“Walking the fields, meeting with suppliers, and learning with our head of culinary was great,” Jim Ebersold, Ted’s Montana Grill senior manager of sourcing, said in the release.

About 280 people representing 90 companies attended the event.

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