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WILMINGTON, Del. - Getting more fresh fruits and vegetables on foodservice menus is the goal behind a collaborative effort between the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) based here and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
The Produce First! American Menus Initiative, on deck for Jan. 20, 2008, at CIA's Greystone Campus in St. Helena, Calif., will be the third annual such initiative designed to develop options for making fruits and vegetables more available to the growing number of consumers who rely on away-from-home purchases for meals and snacks.
Chefs and foodservice leaders from America's top chain restaurants, volume foodservice, hotels, and supermarkets will once again join key members of the fruit and vegetable industry for the event, which will seek to "provide new ideas and recipes that will showcase the incredible flavors of fruits and vegetables while maintaining appropriate levels of profitability for foodservice establishments," said Elizabeth Pivonka, PBH's president/c.e.o. "That takes the combined efforts of the foodservice industry's finest marketers and chefs, and the industry's most innovative suppliers of fruits and vegetables, exactly the mix Produce First! provides."
This year's event will highlight culinary strategies from the Eastern Mediterranean, Latin America and Southeast Asia. It will also feature a chef/operator and produce industry dialog on the value of fruits and vegetables and putting produce first on American menus.
Presenters at this year's event include William Dietz, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention; CIA's Greg Drescher; and Ron LeMaire of the International Fruit & Vegetable Association/Canadian Produce Marketing Association. There will also be a special culinary presentation by cookbook author Mollie Katzen.
As in past years, Produce First immediately follows the Annual Worlds of Healthy Flavors: A Leadership Retreat for Chain Restaurants, Hotels, Supermarkets, and Volume Foodservice, to be held at the CIA's Greystone Campus Jan. 17-19, 2008.
Event sponsors include: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, American Frozen Food Institute, California Raisin Marketing Board, California Strawberry Commission, American Iron & Steel Institute's Steel Packaging Council, Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Gilroy Foods, Grimmway Farms, Hass Avocado Board, National Mango Board, National Peanut Board, Nunhems (sponsoring Grimmway and River Point Farms), Perfect Puree of Napa Valley, River Point Farms, Sunkist Growers, U.S. Foodservice, and U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.