US Foods Launches First Annual Food Fanatics Awards

New Contest Recognizes Most Dedicated and Passionate People in the
Restaurant Industry

ROSEMONT, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, US Foods kicks off its first annual Food Fanatics Awards, a
one-of-a-kind program that recognizes the heart and soul of the $709
billion restaurant industry. The Awards program launched this week with
a national call for entries in six unique categories.

“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
  • 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

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

“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
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