In advance of the group’s annual convention, National Restaurant Association (NRA) officials released the annual Food and Beverage (FABI) Awards.
This year’s 28 honorees are the largest number in the awards’ five year-history. Judges say they believe winners represent today’s leading food trends—from new takes on gluten-free and vegetarian alternatives to local sourcing initiatives, including a revolutionary technology to freeze fruits and vegetables for up to three years.
An independent panel of experts, representing a variety of both commercial and non-commercial industry segments, selected the FABI Award recipients based on their benefits to restaurant operators as well as end-consumers. Award recipients were showcased this May at NRA’s 2015 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.
“From my vantage point as both an owner and a chef, I find this year’s FABI Award winners incredibly exciting,” said John C. Metz, NRA Show 2015 convention chair and CEO, executive chef, and co-founder of Marlow’s Tavern, Aqua Blue and Sterling Spoon Culinary Management. “Our industry feels a continuous drive to innovate, to stay on trend, and to deliver on guest satisfaction, and this year’s FABI Awards showcase the companies and innovators that help chefs and foodservice operators deliver on that promise to our guests. These products provide opportunities to answer consumer demands, advance menu development, and improve efficiencies for virtually any operation.”
Excluding technologies, 2015 FABI Award food and beverage product winners are…
Foods / Ingredients:
Dawn Food Products
Explore Asian Inc.
Hail Merry LLC
Mr. Bey Foods Corp.
Oregon Cherry Growers
Oregon Fruit Products LLC
The Original Cakerie
RP’s Pasta Company
Taft Foodmasters LLC
Brands of Britain LLC
Sipp Eco Beverage Co. Inc.
FABI judges included Timothy J. Dietzler, director of dining services, Villanova Univ.; Christopher Koetke, CEC CCE HAAC, vice president, The School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College; John Li, senior vice president of RD, Bloomin’ Brands; Deborah McDaniel, senior director product innovation and development menu management, McDonald’s USA, LLC; Bret Thorn, Senior Food Editor, Nation’s Restaurant News; Jennifer Ziegler, director of purchasing, Aramark and Robin Rosenberg, vice president, chef de cuisine, Levy Restaurants.