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Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program
Honoring the Use of Fresh Produce in the Culinary Arts

Sponsored by

The United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program honors chefs for their use of fresh produce in the culinary arts.  United Fresh is proud to extend the produce industry's thanks to all chefs and foodservice operations throughout the country.

Winners and each of their corporate executives receive complimentary registration to United Fresh 2012 in Dallas; coach-class, roundtrip airfare to Dallas and two nights accommodations during United Fresh 2012.  They also receive special recognition and reserved seating at the Annual Produce Celebration.

Congratulations to the 2012 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Winners!

Business in Industry & Colleges: Chef David Kramer, Chef Instructor, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL
Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: Chef Michael Stebner, Director of Culinary, True Food Kitchen, Scottsdale, AZ
Fine Dining Restaurants: Chef Brian Scheehser, Executive Chef, Trellis Restaurant, Kirkland, WA
Hotels & Healthcare: Chef Christophe Depuichaffray, Area Executive Chef, InterContinental Mark Hopkins and Hotel InterContinental San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
K-12 School Foodservice: Jessica Shelly, Director of Food Services, Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati, OH
Quick Service Restaurants: John Hughes, Senior Vice President & Director of Training, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Manasquan, NJ

Selection Criteria

Winners were selected by a team of produce foodservice experts, based on the following criteria:

  • Creativity in concept development and menu design using fresh produce, including the ability to incorporate produce into culinary trends
  • Knowledge and use of proper fresh produce handling procedures
  • Produce-related special events or outreach, including community service projects and more
  • Recognition among peers and/or by the company

Nominations for each of the following six business categories were submitted to United Fresh:

Business in Industry and Colleges: This category caters to college students and faculty, employees and clients, or guests of the communities.  This might include cafeteria-style service to students, or a corporate dining room and administrative catering where produce is used to create great cuisine and impress clients.  Nominees in this category must operate in an establishment that offers regular/daily foodservice catering to its customers.

Casual and Family Dining: This category includes sit-down restaurants with a casual atmosphere.  Casual dining restaurants may provide table service (i.e. waiter/waitress service) to patrons who order and are served while they are seated and pay after eating, or provide buffet-style service.

Fine Dining Restaurants: Included in this category are "white tablecloth" restaurants that, most typically, serve prepared food for lunch and dinner, or dinner only.  Full table service is provided in a formal setting, and the meal is served by wait staff.

Hotels and Healthcare Industry: This category includes hotels (independent and chain) and hospitals or other healthcare facilities.  While these two categories are different in some ways,  they are similar in others.  For example, they likely serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the properties may never "close."  Patients and guests are often present for several days, and menus might vary frequently.

K-12 School Foodservice:  This category includes public, private, parochial and charter schools for primary and/or secondary students (K-12).  Responsibilities likely include oversight of a school district's cafeteria menus for breakfast and/or lunch, purchasing and distribution, as well as for other school related meals and events.

Quick Service Restaurants: This category includes establishments primarily engaged in pro
viding foodservice (including snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars) where patrons generally order or select items and pay before eating.  Food and drink may be consumed on premises, taken out or delivered.

Companies may nominate multiple chefs.  Former winners are not eligible.

Benefits of Participation

  • Foodservice management can recognize key associates at no cost
  • Winning chefs and foodservice operations are recognized as leaders in the use of fresh produce
  • Winners further their produce knowledge by participating in educational workshops, engaging with industry leaders and learning about the newest products at the United Fresh convention
  • Industry can salute chefs who work to increase the consumption of fresh produce

How to Nominate a Chef
The nomination period for the 2012 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards has now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated in the nominations process! Information about the 2013 awards will be available later this year.

Click here for the 2012 Program Brochure


If you have any questions about the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, please contact Miriam Wolk, senior director of membership, at 202-303-3410 or by email at

Click here to learn more about the 2011 winners.

United Fresh Produce Association
1901 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: 202 303 3400
Fax: 202 303 3433