Markon Cooperative Wraps Up Chef Summit; Andy Hamilton and Chris Casson Comment
SALINAS, CA - The plant-based sector has seen impressive growth just in the last few years alone, opening up a bevy of opportunities for produce suppliers and foodservice operators. Helping operators harness the might of such strong momentum, Markon Cooperative brought together chefs from across the United States and Canada for its seventh annual Chef Summit last month in Monterey, California.
“Markon’s Chef Summit continues to be a unique and special way to highlight the important role produce plays on menus while supporting young students who will be the future of our industry,” said Andy Hamilton, Markon Chief Executive Officer. “It’s a great opportunity to bring together our network of chefs to collaborate and push the envelope on innovative ways to use our products while also experiencing firsthand how Markon oversees the journey produce takes from field to plate, and provides the freshest quality fruits and vegetables for customers.”
The Summit brought together 20 chefs from Markon’s foodservice members and operators to attend field tours, participate in roundtable discussions about the industry and plant-based meal trends, connect directly with suppliers and growers on new products, and work together to create new plant-powered dishes while mentoring young culinary students, a press release stated.
One key highlight of the three-day Summit was the second annual A Taste of Markon fundraising dinner hosted by Markon and its chefs, during which students of the Rancho Cielo Drummond Culinary Academy assisted its chefs in creating a six-course, produce-centric meal utilizing fresh fruits and vegetables from California’s Salinas Valley.
In addition, the dinner raised $15,516 to fund Academy scholarships and stock the student kitchen with ingredients and tools.
“To increase community involvement and add more courses, we shifted this year’s A Taste of Markon to a strolling dinner,” explains Chris Casson, event organizer and Vice President of Sales – Produce and Specialty Foods at Shamrock Foods. “Supporting organizations that help at-risk youth, like Ranch Cielo, is more important than ever. The students of Rancho Cielo are resilient and strong, and we are proud to be positive changemakers for these students and others throughout the Monterey community.”
To read more about this exciting, produce-centric event—including comments from participating chefs—click here.
More exclusive insights on this event are soon to come, so stay tuned.