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Chef Stephen- 2021 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Winner

Congratulations to our very own Director of Culinary Operations Stephen Palm, who was named a 2021 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award Winner by the United Fresh Produce Association! Chef Palm is one of nine chefs honored for their creativity in highlighting fresh produce on their menus, introducing diners to new flavors, and presenting creative ways to enjoy fresh produce.

Chef Palm was nominated specifically for his conceptualization of a home grown program where guests can take home prepared meals to enjoy. Shortly after the pandemic began, he partnered with local farms to begin bundling fresh, local produce for guests to purchase. His innovative thinking helped to support our partner farms while also minimizing food waste. Chef Palm and his fellow honorees will be recognized during the United Fresh 2021 Convention & Expo in June.

Stephen has grown up learning that the foundation of any cooking technique, or menu preparation, begins with fresh produce and high quality ingredients. He also lives with the adage that as a chef, you are only as good as the ingredients you use.  He feels fortunate that in Oregon, fresh produce is part of the food culture and very readily available.  In fact, Stephen has participated in crop planning with local to grow vegetables specifically for LifeWorks outlets.  This Chef to Farmer relationship has kept him rooted in the great amount of care, time and energy involved in creating the precious foods that he loves to cook.

Over the last eight years while working for LifeWorks, Stephen has had the opportunity to move up the ranks from Chef to the Director of Culinary Operations.  He now oversees 500 employees and a multi-unit campus driven by innovation, ingenuity, and creativity. We are so proud of Chef Stephen’s accomplishments and cannot wait to celebrate him at the United Fresh expo in June!

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