US Foods Launches First Annual Food Fanatics Awards

 “This isn’t your average contest; we created the Food Fanatics Awards to recognize those at the heart of the foodservice industry who are doing amazing – even fanatical – things,” said Marshall Warkentin, vice president of marketing, US Foods. “We understand the dedication it takes to succeed in this industry and these awards give us the opportunity to celebrate accomplishments large and small and shine a spotlight on the passionate few that go above and beyond.”

The six creative categories that make up the Food Fanatics Awards are:

Best Bite: One bite is all you need to call this dish a blockbuster. Sometimes your gut tells you that it will floor everyone. Other times, it’s the unexpected runaway hit of the season. Nearly everyone orders it, whether they’re regulars or have come out of the way just for this dish. It’s worth standing in the long line or waiting months for a reservation just to be blown away by this one bite.

Culinary Genius: Who always has the Next Big Thing? A culinary genius, industry influencer or menu mastermind, of course. Often copied and revered, this individual always stirs up buzz before the restaurant ever opens. Best of all, the culinary genius knows what diners want before they do.

Big Heart: The food industry is all about passion, but for some, their love for the business turns into a powerful way of doing good for all. This person thinks large, whether it’s helping the staff in a big way or galvanizing an entire community to jump in. The award salutes the Food Fanatic who best exemplifies the culinary love that makes neighborhoods and our world better places to live.

Hero: Heroes are admired and idealized for their courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities. And it’s Fanaticism at its finest. This person never lets you down. They’ll always take one for the team, working tirelessly without credit. Everyone thinks they must have superpowers, but it’s natural for them to go above and beyond without question.

Epic Turnaround: Just when it seems all hope is lost, there’s an epic turnaround in the business. That’s because when the going gets tough, the tough become Food Fanatics. The ability to conquer rough patches and evolve into something even better is truly the mark of success. Perseverance and smarts, along with an unwavering determination to beat the odds, make this the most epic story.

Top Crew: Restaurateurs, servers, bartenders, cooks and dishwashers. Each one needs the other and when everyone is at the top of their game, look out. This team believes no one is more important than the other because they’re in it together. Success requires both sides of the house to work in sync, especially when the wait is long, tables are filled and the kitchen is in the weeds. This team truly has each other’s backs.

Anyone in the industry can nominate themselves, or someone else, at the Food Fanatics Awards website,, now through September 25. Applicants must submit a short essay, nomination information and photo.

Winners will be selected from each category, six in total. Each of the national Category Finalists will receive a $5,000 credit for US Foods/Culinary Equipment and Supplies for a pantry or kitchen makeover.

We want the public to get involved in the voting so we also have the Ultimate Food Fanatic award, the people’s choice. When the nominations are in and judges determine the winners of each category, the public will have a chance to vote on who will be crowned the Ultimate Food Fanatic. The public voting period will be held from Oct. 19 – 30, 2015. The Ultimate Food Fanatic Award winner will receive an additional $5,000 prize credit. All will be highlighted in an upcoming issue of Food Fanatics magazine.

Complete eligibility requirements and contest rules can be seen at the awards website.

“We started Food Fanatics in 2012, bringing together our Food Fanatics Chefs with other chefs and restaurateurs to help their businesses succeed,” Warkentin continued. “Now, we’re recognizing the efforts of others who are using their love for food to make businesses and our communities even better.”

With more than 150 years of experience, US Foods blends its expertise from working with more than 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operators with a passion for great food, making it easy for its customers every step of the way. To learn more about US Foods and its Food Fanatic, visit or You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch our chefs in action on YouTube.

About US Foods

As one of America’s great food companies and leading distributors, US Foods is Keeping Kitchens Cooking™ and making life easier for customers, including independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions. With approximately $22 billion in annual revenue, the company offers more than 350,000 products, including high-quality, exclusive brands such as the innovative Chef’s Line®, a time-saving, chef inspired line of scratch-quality products, and Rykoff Sexton®, a premium line of specialty ingredients sourced from around the world. The company proudly employs approximately 25,000 people in more than 60 locations nationwide. US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., and jointly owned by affiliates of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. Discover more at


US Foods
Lisa Lecas
[email protected]