California Giant Berry Farms announces first Chef Invitational Academy

WATSONVILLE, CA – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – California Giant Berry Farms BB #:121061 today announced the launch of the California Giant Chef Invitational Academy, a first-of-its-kind program designed to motivate and inspire past winners of the California Giant Chef Invitational while highlighting berries as a menu item.

This intensive, four-day event, held in mid-July in the greater Portland, Oregon area, goes beyond the classroom. The academy offers the distinguished chefs – Luis Reyes (Sysco, 2018 winner), Travis Peters (The Parish, 2019 winner), Sam Blackburn (Sodexo, 2020 winner), Derek Seigfried (Gordon Food Service, 2022 winner) and Steven Halliday (Gordon Food Service, 2023 winner) – a first-hand look at the journey of California Giant berries from field to table through exclusive tours of the company's blueberry operations.

The academy doesn't stop at cooking. Under the guidance of renowned chef Rosalyn Darling, the top chefs take part in an exclusive cooking workshop designed to spark new inspiration, improve their cooking skills and promote blueberries as a menu item.

“We are excited to celebrate the talent of our past Chef Invitational winners,” says Tom Smith, Director of Sales at California Giant Berry Farms. “The Chef Invitational Academy is an opportunity to encourage their ongoing culinary development and provide them with a platform to further hone their craft.”

The California Giant Chef Invitational is a celebrated event and national cooking competition that requires chefs to think outside the box and create innovative, original dishes that feature fresh berries. The event has generated valuable brand partnerships with participating chefs and continues to promote fresh berry consumption. Held every five years, the Chef Invitational Academy aims to recognize the talent of past winners while continuing to influence menu development.

California Giant Berry Farms wishes the Chef Invitational Academy participants the best for an enriching and inspiring experience and would like to thank them for their partnership and contributions over the past years.


California Giant Berry Farms provides the best berry experience to retailers, foodservice operators and consumers alike by delivering sustainably grown blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries year-round that meet the highest standards of quality, consistency and delight. Over the past 40 years, California Giant has grown into a global family of people passionate about delivering the best berries. Quality, consistency and community inspire the mission and values ​​they continue to uphold.

Anna Harden

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