The United Fresh Research & Education Foundation announced the winners of the 2009 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards.

This year’s honorees represent a wide range of culinary styles and backgrounds. The awards, sponsored by Pro*Act LLC, honor chefs and their companies for the innovative and influential use of fresh produce in the culinary arts and will be presented at the United Fresh 2009 Convention, April 21-24 in Las Vegas.

“Pro*Act is very proud to sponsor this award, now in its second year,” says Pro*Act president and CEO Steve Grinstead. “We thank all of the nominees and all of the chefs who create such unique and powerful menus around fresh produce and we look forward to honoring their ingenuity in Las Vegas.”

“All of the honorees show a tremendous commitment to using fresh produce to delight their customers,” says United Fresh president Tom Stenzel. “We greatly appreciate Pro*Act’s support in recognizing these winners and the overall importance of produce to the foodservice industry in one of America’s new culinary capitals: Las Vegas.”

Winners were selected in five business categories from nearly 100 nominations submitted by produce companies and restaurants across the industry. A panel of produce and foodservice industry leaders judged the submissions, reviewing how each nominee incorporates fresh produce into menu development, uses protocols for correct storage and handling of produce, and features fresh produce in order to build an overall positive dining experience. Both the chefs and their corporate executives will be honored in Las Vegas.

The 2009 winners in each category are:

Business in Industry & Colleges:

Glenn Pruden, CEC, Executive Chef/Assistant Director University Dining, University of Richmond, Richmond, Va.

Bettie Clarke, Director, Residential Dining, University of Richmond, Richmond, Va.

Casual & Family Dining:

William Fuller, Corporate Chef, big Burrito Restaurant Group, Pittsburgh

Tom Baron, President, big Burrito Restaurant Group, Pittsburgh

Fine Dining:

George Mavrothalassitis, Chef/Owner, Chef Mavro, Honolulu

Donna Jung, Publicist, Chef Mavro, Honolulu

Quick Service:

Chick-fil-A, Inc., Atlanta

William “Woody” Faulk, Vice President of Brand Development; Shona Jonson, Sr. Manager of Menu Development; and the entire Chick-fil-A Menu Development Team, Chick-fil-A, Inc., Atlanta

Hotels & Healthcare:

Miles McMath, CEC, Senior Executive Chef, Morrison Specialist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.

Kevin Dorr, Corporate Chef, Morrison Management Specialists, Nashville

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