( Courtesy United Fresh Produce Association )

The United Fresh Produce Association has named the recipients of its Produce in Excellence Foodservice Awards.

They will be honored during the virtual United Fresh LIVE! Retail-Foodservice Celebration on June 18,according to a news release.

United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel said the pandemic’s effect on foodservice has forced chefs and foodservice operators to become more creative.

“We are in awe of what this year’s winners have done for their concepts and their communities during this crisis,” Stenzel said in the release. “Whether changing menus overnight, donating meals to frontline workers or banding together to support fellow culinarians in their communities, these chefs and foodservice operations are doing amazing things under incredible circumstances.”

The award winners, and the industry segments they serve, are:

  • Business in Industry: Michael Smith, executive chef of Company Kitchen, Omaha, Neb.;
  • Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: Travis Peters, executive chef of The Parish, Tucson, Ariz.;
  • Colleges & Universities: Joey Bishop, chef, and Al Ferrone, senior director of dining services administration at the University of California-Los Angeles;
  • Fine Dining Restaurants: Bonnie Morales, executive chef and owner, Kachka, Portland, Ore.;
  • Hospitals & Healthcare: Laura Gomez, executive chef of The Stratford, Carmel, Ind.;
  • Hotels & Resorts: Daniel Bruce, executive chef of The Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston;
  • K-12 School Foodservice: Mike Yip, district chef for Union Public Schools, Tulsa, Okla.;
  • Quick Service Restaurants: Marissa Thiry, nutrition specialist for Taco Bell, Irvine, Calif.; and
  • Supermarkets & Retail Operators: Randy Weed, chef and vice president of culinary for Plum Market, Farmington Hills, Mich.

Produce companies and foodservice operations nominated the honorees, and their use of fresh produce and food safety protocols and leadership in produce-related service were factors considered in the selection process.

“We’re thrilled to support this excellent program for the industry and honor leading chefs and foodservice professionals who are elevating the profile, and increasing the consumption of, fresh produce,” Steve Grinstead, CEO of awards sponsor FreshEdge, said in the release.

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