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Chef Jason Morse Earns National Honor

NEWS RELEASE: April 21, 2014                                                                                    
Douglas County School District Nutrition Services                     
Contact: Paula Hans
DCSD Community Relations
303.387.0031 or
Who:                         Douglas County School District (DCSD) Executive Chef Jason K. Morse
What:                        Earns Top National Honors for innovative and influential use of fresh produce in culinary arts
When:                       Announced April 16, 2013; to be recognized June 10-14, 2014
Douglas County School District Chef Jason Morse, CEC Earns National Honors
Winners of 7th Annual Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Spotlight Fresh Produce
Douglas County, CO – Douglas County School District (DCSD) Executive Chef Jason Morse has been named one of seven of the country's most exciting chefs and foodservice professionals to be honored this June as part of the United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program.

The seven “top chefs” represent an array of culinary styles and backgrounds.

Sponsored by PRO*ACT LLC, and now in its seventh year, the program honors chefs, and their companies or departments, for their innovative and influential use of fresh produce in the culinary arts. The United Fresh Produce Association will formally recognize the seven winners at United Fresh 2014, the association's annual convention and expo in Chicago, June 10-13, 2014.

"We at PRO*ACT continue to be amazed at the creativity, vision, and dedication to fresh produce shown by the honorees in this program," said PRO*ACT President Max Yeater. "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."

“I’m am very honored and humbled to be selected for this award.  Our DCSD nutrition services team has worked especially hard incorporating produce into our offerings and getting students excited about consumption of fresh fruits and veggies,” said Morse, who was selected from a pool of more than 130 nominees nationwide and recruited by DCSD Nutrition Services Director Brent Craig three years ago as part of the Chefs Move to Schools Program. 

“This is a team effort and our team at DCSD is top notch.”

Morse thanks Craig for his leadership and support of “… menu revisions and programs such as DCSD’s ‘Put Away Five-A-Day’ campaign, produce samplings, Harvest Bars and the district-wide Colorado Proud Day celebration.  Such are tremendous opportunities to show-case fresh fruits and veggies to the students we serve.”

A panel of produce and foodservice industry leaders reviewed each nominee's demonstrated incorporation of fresh produce into menu development, use of protocols for correct storage and handling of produce, leadership in produce-related community service and special events, and recognition by their company and industry peers.

"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," said United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel. "We appreciate their tremendous commitment and recognize PRO*ACT's generous support in honoring these winners and their positive influence on restaurant menus across the nation."

The winning chefs, along with an executive from their company, will attend United Fresh 2014 in Chicago. All honorees will participate in a panel session, Restaurant Flavors and Trends from the Best, on Thursday, June 12 at 1:30 p.m.

The 2014 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winners:
  • Business in Industry: Chef Daniel Benigno, Guckenheimer Executive Chef at TD Ameritrade, Omaha, NE
  • Casual & Family Dining Restaurants: Chef Carlito Jocson, Executive Chef, Yard House, Irvine, CA
  • Colleges & Universities: Chef Chandon Clenard, Senior Executive Chef, Stanford University Residential Dining Services, Stanford, CA
  • Fine Dining Restaurants: Chef Adam Hegsted, Chef/Owner for Eat Good, Wandering Table and Yards Bruncheon, Spokane, WA
  • Hotels & Healthcare: Chef Rolf Nettesheim, Executive Chef & Food Service Director, The Palace Group, Miami, FL
  • K-12 School Foodservice: Chef Jason Morse, Executive Chef, Douglas County School District, Castle Rock, CO
  • Quick Service Restaurants: Jeff Sinelli, Founder, CEO and Chief Vibe Officer, Which Wich, Dallas, TX

For more information on the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award program, please contact Miriam Miller Wolk at 202-303-3410.