> United Fresh 2020 Convention & Expo

Produce Excellence in
Foodservice Awards

JUNE 16 - 19 2020 | SAN DIEGO, CA
| Register | Schedule

Honoring the Use of Fresh Produce in the Culinary Arts

The United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, now in its thirteenth year, pays special tribute to chefs and foodservice operations for excellence in the use of fresh produce in the culinary arts.


Nominations were due by January 24, 2020. Winners will be announced in the coming months.


Nine winning chefs and an accompanying produce purchasing executive will participate in the United Fresh 2020 Convention & Expo to find new and innovative products and flavors that will change the way they present produce to their customers. One chef will be recognized in each of the following business categories:

  • Business in Industry
  • Casual & Family Dining Restaurants
  • Colleges & Universities
  • Fine Dining Restaurants
  • Hospitals & Healthcare
  • Hotels & Resorts
  • K-12 School Foodservice
  • Quick Service Restaurants
  • NEW – Supermarkets & Retail Operators

The nine winning chefs, and an accompanying corporate executive, will receive:

  • Complimentary roundtrip airfare and registration to the United Fresh 2020 Convention & Expo, June 16-19 in San Diego, CA
  • Two nights of hotel accommodations
  • Recognition on stage at the Retail-Foodservice Celebration at United Fresh 2020

About the Categories

Business in Industry

This category recognizes chefs who regularly serve a company’s employees and guests. This might include an employee cafeteria 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.


Casual & Family Dining Restaurants

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.


Colleges & Universities

This category includes chefs who are in charge of dining services for a college or university. This might include cafeteria-style service for students, on-campus quick-service concepts or more formal dining concepts and special event catering where produce is used to create great cuisine and impress campus visitors. Nominees in this category must operate in a college or university setting that offers regular/daily foodservice operations.


Fine Dining Restaurants

This category includes “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.


Hospitals & Healthcare

This category includes hospitals or other healthcare facilities, such as senior living or long term care facilities. They likely serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the properties may never “close.” Patients/guests are often present for several days, and menus might vary frequently.


Hotels & Resorts

This category includes hotels (independent and chain), as well as resort properties. This might include chefs in charge of property restaurant concepts, special event catering and room service menus.


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 providing 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.


NEW! Supermarkets & Retail Operators

This category includes establishments that primarily sell food and grocery items to customers, but who also offer foodservice options that patrons can consume in the store or take out. This might include an onsite restaurant or café, salad and prepared food bars, and/or a grab & go/prepared meals section.


Selection Criteria

A panel of produce foodservice experts evaluated nominees on the following criteria, selecting nine winners, one for each business category:

  • Creativity in using fresh produce in concept development and menu design, including the ability to incorporate produce into culinary trends.
  • Knowledge and use of proper fresh produce handling procedures.
  • Produce-related outreach or special events, such as community service projects, local educational outreach, etc.
  • Recognition among peers and/or by their company, such as awards, additional responsibilities, and training

By participating in this program, you have an opportunity to honor chefs – leaders in integrating and elevating the use of fresh produce in the culinary arts.

  • You’re recognizing the chefs and culinary professionals who delight consumers with fresh produce on their menus.
  • You’re offering exceptional chefs an opportunity to further their knowledge as they participate in education workshops, engage with industry leaders and learn about new produce products and services at the United Fresh 2020 Convention & Expo.
  • Foodservice executives can recognize their culinary professionals at no cost.
  • Winning foodservice operations are recognized as leaders in the use of fresh produce.

Thank you to our Program Sponsor, FreshEdge

For more information about the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, contact Andrew Marshall or 202-303-3407.