The competition is underway again to honor companies and chefs among the foodservice industry’s top produce performers in the United Fresh Research and Education Foundation’s Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards, sponsored by Pro*Act.

Winners will be honored in each of five business categories: Fine Dining Restaurants, Casual and Family Dining Restaurants, Quick Serve Restaurants, Business in Industry/Colleges and Hotels/Healthcare Operations. Nominations must be submitted before Feb. 15, 2009, and a nomination form is available online at theUnited Fresh Produce Association Web site.

Either individual chefs or companies can be nominated. Winners will be selected based on examples of how nominees incorporate fresh produce into menu development, use protocols for correct storage and handling of produce, and build an overall positive dining experience featuring fresh produce. Winners will be selected by a panel of United Fresh member representatives focused on excellence in the foodservice sector.

The five winning chefs and their corporate executives will receive complimentary airfare, two nights hotel accommodations and registrations to the United Fresh show, April 21 to 24, 2009, in Las Vegas. The winners will receive their awards at the Annual Awards Banquet Thursday evening, April 23. The chefs will also participate in United Fresh’s convention education program to share their views on produce trends in foodservice.