Seven chefs are being honored by the United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program.

The United Fresh Produce Association will recognize them at United Fresh 2014 in Chicago, June 10-13, according to a news release.

The chefs are participating in a panel session, Restaurant Flavors and Trends from the Best on June 12. Sponsored by ProAct LLC, the program has honored chefs and their companies for seven years.

“We at ProAct continue to be amazed at the creativity, vision, and dedication to fresh produce shown by the honorees in this program,” ProAct president Max Yeater said in the release. “We are so proud to be a sponsor of the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards and we thank all of the nominees and chefs who work so hard to increase the consumption of healthful fresh fruits and vegetables.”

The winners were picked from more than 130 nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations across North America. A panel of produce and foodservice industry leaders considered each nominee’s incorporation of fresh produce into menu development, use of protocols for correct storage and handling of produce, leadership in produce-related community service and recognition by their company and industry peers, according to the release.

“These winners have made extraordinary dishes that feature fresh fruit and vegetable mainstays on their menus and we are proud to honor them for the important role they play in showcasing our industry,” United Fresh president Tom Stenzel said in the release. “We appreciate their tremendous commitment and recognize ProAct’s generous support in honoring these winners and their positive influence on restaurant menus across the nation.”


The 2014 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winners are:


  • Business in Industry: Daniel Benigno, Guckenheimer executive chef at TD Ameritrade, Omaha, Neb.;
  • Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: Carlito Jocson, executive chef, Yard House, Irvine, Calif;
  • Colleges & Universities: Chandon Clenard, senior executive chef, Stanford University Residential Dining Services, Stanford, Calif;
  • Fine Dining Restaurants: Adam Hegsted, chef/owner for Eat Good, Wandering Table and Yards Bruncheon, Spokane, Wash;
  • Hotels & Healthcare: Rolf Nettesheim, executive chef and foodservice director, The Palace Group, Miami;
  • K-12 School Foodservice: Jason Morse, executive chef, Douglas County School District, Castle Rock, Colo.; and
  • Quick Service Restaurants: Jeff Sinelli, founder and CEO, Which Wich, Dallas.