The Watsonville-based California Strawberry Commission hosted a culinary workshop for select restaurant corporate chefs, menu developers and buyers.

During the two-and-a-half day event in late July participants listened to experts on health benefits, farming research and food safety.

There was a workshop as well as field, cooler and processor tours during the event, according to the release.

“This California strawberry workshop is one of the most comprehensive and worthwhile events I’ve attended,” Jason Gronlund, senior director of culinary for Hard Rock Cafe, said in the release. “The fact that we were able to take the information presented and apply to concepts that made sense to our operations was extremely beneficial.”

Hands-on sessions provided opportunities to taste new recipe concepts, examine complementary and contrasting flavor ingredients, and experiment with the flavor aspects of strawberries.

The event also provided a Market Basket Challenge in which teams of participating chefs could create new menu concepts relevant for their respective restaurants, according to the release.

Participating chains included: Au Bon Pain, Brinker/Maggiano’s Little Italy, Hard Rock Café, Legal Sea Foods, LLC, and Wendy’s.