Chef Allan Wambaa, who leads the pacificwild culinary team at the Oregon Convention Center (OCC), is being honored by the United Fresh Produce Association with a 2019 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award.
The UFPA awards program pays special tribute to chefs and their companies “for excellence in their use of fresh produce in the culinary arts” and their “creativity in highlighting fresh produce on their menus, introducing diners to new flavors, and presenting creative ways to enjoy fresh produce."
Chef Wambaa won for his excellence in the Business in Industry category, and will be among eight chefs and foodservice professionals distinguished with an award at the United Fresh 2019 Convention & Expo in June. He says that he is thrilled to receive the recognition, particularly because it calls out his zeal for including locally-grown fruits and vegetables on his menus.
"Fresh produce brings life to any dish,” says Wambaa. “We work with some fantastic suppliers and we have so much variety available to us in the Pacific Northwest. There are so many ways to bring more local ingredients into any menu, even when you’re preparing a lunch or dinner for thousands of guests."
The winners were selected from nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations across North America. United Fresh coordinated a review of each nominee's incorporation of fresh produce into menu development, use of food safety protocols for proper produce storage and handling, leadership in produce-related community service and special events, and recognition by their company and industry peers.
“Many customers choose OCC in part because of the immediate appeal Chef Allan’s menus have,” says Dave Woodman, pacificwild Catering's General Manager. “They’re also attracted by his dedication to the farm-to-table concept and passion for showcasing the culinary bounty that Portland and the Willamette Valley offers. He is a true talent and industry leader, and we’re extremely lucky to have him heading our team.”
"Every dish Chef Allan and his team prepares is superb, no doubt because he insists on using only the freshest local ingredients," says OCC executive director Craig Stroud. "This award is well-deserved. Our clients constantly rave about the unique flavors and quality Chef Allan brings to their dining experience."
Chef Wambaa has won numerous awards over his remarkable career, and he has attained the prestigious Pro-Chef III and Certified Executive Chef (CEC) accreditations. He has been based at the OCC with pacificwild Catering since 2011, and also serves Portland’5 Center for the Arts and Portland Expo Center.
Visit our website to learn more about Chef Wambaa and pacificwild Catering’s particular brand of fresh.
About the Oregon Convention Center
The Oregon Convention Center is owned by Metro and managed by the Metro Exposition and Recreation Commission. OCC is a sustainably operated LEED® Platinum facility that hosts groups from around the world and brings millions of dollars into the Portland and Oregon economy.