US Foods announced Monday that 11 US Foods chefs have joined the elite team of Food Fanatics Chefs focused on sharing culinary expertise and industry insights that will help chefs and restaurateurs take their businesses to the next level.
The new Food Fanatic Chefs were carefully chosen for their rich, culinary backgrounds, deep knowledge of the restaurant industry and love of all things food. They join US Foods’ group of more than 25 Food Fanatics Chefs in local markets across the country. All Food Fanatics Chefs complete a rigorous university program that focuses on testing and expanding their skills to ensure they meet the Food Fanatics designation.
“We are always looking for new ways to bring value to our customers and our Food Fanatics Chefs are great examples of how we do just that,” says Marshall Warkentin, vice president of marketing at US Foods. “The Food Fanatics Chefs’ blend of culinary skills and business acumen provides our customers with someone they can turn to when they have a problem or want to explore new ways to reach greater success. We’re thrilled to add these new chefs to the program and continue to grow the ranks so that our customers everywhere can benefit from a Food Fanatics partnership.”
Using their own culinary expertise, as well as insights from the company’s work with more than 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operations, the Food Fanatics Chefs collaborate with chefs and restaurateurs across the country. Their responsibilities include introducing the latest US Foods products and innovations to local chefs, offering in-depth menu and recipe analysis for restaurateurs and consulting with operators on enhancements they can make to help their businesses succeed. The newest Food Fanatic Chefs include:
Chef Stephen Afflixio from Tampa: Through his more than 25 years of experience in the foodservice industry, Chef Afflixio has gained extensive knowledge in consulting, menu development, and food distribution. For the past 20 years, Chef Afflixio has served as a board member for the Tampa Bay chapter of the American Culinary Federation. Most recently, he was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs.
Chef Jeff Bland from Roanoke, Virginia: Chef Bland is an award-winning chef with more than 34 years of food service experience. He began his culinary career at the age of 14 and has since gained valuable knowledge working in restaurants and foodservice facilities across the country, including Walt Disney World and La Petite France. Chef Bland is also an esteemed culinary arts educator who has taught at both the high school and college levels.
Chef Ed Butler from Knoxville, Tennessee: Chef Butler began his culinary career in Nashville at the age of 16. He quickly discovered his love of the culinary arts and devoted himself to learning from anyone and everyone. Since then, he’s held various leadership positions at restaurants, country clubs, and banquet halls.
Chef Foster Deadman from Milwaukee: With more than 19 years of experience in the culinary and hospitality industry, Chef Deadman came to US Foods after serving as the Corporate Chef for Supple Restaurant Group in Wisconsin, as well as extensive work with high-volume catering and events for notable hotels and restaurants.