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IFPA names 2023 Produce Excellence in Foodservice award winners

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May 2, 2023 Washington, D. C. and Newark, De. – International Fresh Produce Association BB #:378962 will celebrate nine of the country’s leading chefs and foodservice professionals during IFPA’s Foodservice Conference, July 27-28 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.

“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,” said Greg Corsaro, President and COO, FreshEdge. “We are proud of our continued commitment to this exceptional program that honors culinary professionals who are making fresh produce the highlight of their menus.”

The 2023 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards winners are:
• Business and Industry: Jeffery David Marlow, Chief Culinary Officer – Executive Vice President, Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
• Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: Jason Smith, Chef Proprietor, 18 Restaurant Group
• Colleges & Universities: Travis Robert Johnson, Senior Executive Chef, Levy Restaurants at Notre Dame
• Fine Dining Restaurants: Maggie Trujillo, Culinary Director / Chef, Aqua by El Gaucho
• Hospitals & Healthcare: Santana Diaz, Director of Culinary Operations and Innovation, UC Davis Health/Hospital
• Hotels & Resorts: Abel Ace Cabral, Executive Chef, The Grove Country Club
• K-12 School Foodservice: Jeanne Reilly, Director of School Nutrition, RSU #14 Windham Raymond Schools
• Quick Service Restaurants: Kyle Markt, Head Chef, Farmer’s Fridge
• Supermarkets & Retail Operators: Maria Schlueter, Culinary Manager, Oryana Co Op

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, 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 27-28 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.

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: Ashley Sempowski, +1 (202) 303-3406