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IFPA names 2022 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Winners

ifpa foodservice awards 2022

May 19, 2022 Newark, DE. and Washington, D.C. – International Fresh Produce Association BB #:378962 will celebrate nine of the country’s leading chefs and foodservice professionals during IFPA’s Foodservice Conference, July 28-29 in Monterey, CA, as part of the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, sponsored by FreshEdge.

The program honors chefs and foodservice operations for their produce innovation, creativity, and all-around excellence in the use of fresh produce in the culinary arts.

“We are thrilled to continue to support this incredible program to celebrate these leading chefs and foodservice professionals who are champions for the fresh produce industry. Cannot wait to go out and visit with these folks where they create their magic and then celebrate them out at The Foodservice Conference in Monterey,” said Steve Grinstead, Chief Executive Officer, FreshEdge.

The 2022 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards winners are:

• Business in Industry: Chris Ross, Senior Executive Chef, Levy/ Hardwood & Oak @ The Central Bank Center: Convention Center, Rupp Arena and the Lexington Opera House, Lexington, KY

• Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: John Marshall Calloway, CEO and Executive Chef, Black Rooster Taqueria, Orlando, FL

• Colleges & Universities: Christina Betondo, Associate Director of Culinary Excellence, R&DE Stanford Dining, Stanford, CA

• Fine Dining Restaurants: Steve McHugh, Executive Chef/ Proprietor & Owner, Cured Restaurant Group – Cured and Landrace, San Antonio, TX

• Hospitals & Healthcare: Dugan Wetzel, Executive Chef, Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis, IN

• Hotels & Resorts: Stephen Varela, Executive Chef, Valley Brook Country Club, McMurray, PA

• K-12 School Foodservice: Whitney Ellersick, Senior Director, Portland Public Schools, Portland, OR

• Quick Service Restaurants: Emma Dye, Founder + Chief Salad Officer, Crisp Salads, Portland, OR

• Supermarkets & Retail Operators: Kati Lauffer, Corporate Chef, Nordstrom Restaurant Division, Seattle, WA

“We are privileged to honor these pioneering chefs and foodservice leaders who are committed to making fresh produce the centerpiece of so many of their delicious meals,” said Joe Watson, vice president of retail and foodservice at IFPA. “Fresh produce continues to drive success for the foodservice and culinary sectors, and chefs play a critical role in encouraging consumers to explore produce items.”

This year’s winners were selected from nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations. IFPA coordinated a review of each nominee’s incorporation and creativity of fresh produce into menu development, use of food safety protocols for proper produce storage and handling, adaptations and new practices developed in response to challenges brought on by the pandemic, produce-related outreach or special events, and recognition among peers and/or by their company.

The nine winners, along with an executive from their company, will participate in IFPA’s Foodservice Conference, July 28-29 in Monterey, CA. They will be presented with their awards as part of the event’s programming.

Registration for IFPA’s Foodservice Conference is available here.

For more information about the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program, visit or contact Amy Marshall, IFPA’s Retail & Foodservice Manager, at (302) 607-2108 or

About the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)
The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)?is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to bring the industry together to create a vibrant future for all. We grow our member’s prosperity by conducting advocacy; connecting people and ideas; and offering guidance that allows us all to?take action?with purpose and confidence.? While IFPA is built on the legacy of United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association, it is not just a combination. It is transformational. Recognizing the industry required an even more powerful and unified voice, the leaders of the former United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association chose not to merge, but rather to create an entirely new organization to supersede their organizations, effective January 1, 2022.

Contact: Siobhan May, +1 (302) 781-5855