Chef Robert Irvine to Keynote PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo

Newark, Del. – World-class chef and businessman Robert Irvine is scheduled to keynote Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Foodservice Conference on July 24 in Monterey, California, USA. The Foodservice Conference & Expo runs July 24-25, with Center for Growing Talent networking events beginning on July 22.   

 Irvine is best known for his work as host of “Restaurant: Impossible” on Food Network, which is now airing its sixteenth season. He’s the author of four cookbooks, including the recent “Family Table By Robert Irvine,” which serves as a guide for bringing families back together around the dinner table. In addition, as a philanthropist focused on veterans’ issues, he created the Robert Irvine Foundation to support wounded servicemen and their families. 

 During “A Morning with Robert Irvine” on Friday, July 24, the high-energy chef and TV personality will inspire with healthy food tips, eating habits, and the passion he brings to everything he does. He’ll share insights on setting clear goals, the significance of image, and importance of quality. 

 Irvine will also serve as the celebrity judge for PMA’s 2020 Foodservice Lunch Competition, which will feature guest chefs preparing tasty, inventive, produce-centric recipes using sponsor products. Irvine will present the second-annual PMA Produce Plate Award on site to the winning chef and product sponsor. Attendees will vote for their personal favorite as well, and PMA will present a People’s Choice Award.    

PMA’s CMO delves into what’s hot in foodservice and culinary 

After the Lunch Competition, delicious eats, and award presentations on July 24, PMA’s Chief Marketing Officer Lauren M. Scott will dive into what’s hot in foodservice and culinary, and where produce can shine. Her “Insights and Innovations of Tomorrow” session is a precursor to smaller break-out discussions where participants will explore the topic further with industry leaders and come away with actionable ideas. 

Scott is a highly rated presenter with more than 20 years of experience in the consumer products industry. Prior to joining PMA, she worked at PepsiCo and Diageo in a variety of marketing roles including brand management, foodservice, activation, field marketing, cultural branding, global innovation and strategy. Scott’s civic passions include combating food insecurities and perpetuating arts and culture. 

Expo features flavor innovations, chef demos, and product showcase 

Saturday’s expo on July 25 will feature 200-plus exhibiting companies showcasing fresh produce and industry solutions, with product tastings, amazing displays, chef and product demos, special attractions and more.  

 600-plus buyers attend PMA’s annual Foodservice Conference & Expo each year, including operators, distributors, wholesalers, meal kit companies, commercial and school foodservice personnel and others. About 75 percent of the 1,800-plus attendees influence purchasing decisions in some way. Participants include supply chain executives, produce buyers, chefs, menu developers, dieticians, press, and food trendsetters, activists and influencers — people who are leading conversations and challenging appetites, menu development and the foodservice industry.   

 “The eat-more-plants movement, no matter what form that takes, is gaining momentum,” said Nichole Towell, senior director of marketing for Duda Farm Fresh Foods and PMA’s Foodservice Conference & Expo cochair. “PMA’s event is where menu developers, foodservice providers and other influencers can get the best access to suppliers, potential partners, and other innovators at the forefront of bringing good-tasting, good-for-you food and flavor combinations to diners of all ages and in each segment of the industry. You can’t get access to this many key players in foodservice and produce anywhere.”  

And there’s more!

PMA will soon announce opening session details for Saturday, July 25, so stayed tuned. The Foodservice Produce Expo will open following the Saturday general session. The second floor in the Steinbeck Ballroom will open at 10:30 a.m. and the first floor will open at 11 a.m. 

 In addition to the conference and expo, activities include Center for Growing Talent’s Bocce for Talent Tournament Wednesday, July 22; Center for Growing Talent Golf for Talent in Honor of Joe Nucci on Thursday, July 23; and Center for Growing Talent 5K Race for Talent on Saturday, July 25.   

 Networking opportunities include an afternoon reception at The Barns at Cooper Molera on July 24, and the Center for Growing Talent Women’s Fresh Perspectives Reception, which requires separate registration. Business Roundtables on July 24, which allow foodservice suppliers to connect face-to-face with operators and distributors, requires advance registration and space is limited.  

 Invite-only events include the Center for Growing Talent Contributor and Volunteer Reception and PMA’s Foodservice thinkTANK, a gathering of foodservice thought leaders charged with discussing critical issues facing the industry and serving as catalysts to increase produce consumption and help reach the goal of making produce #HalfThePlate. 

 For a complete schedule, more details, and to register, visit PMA’s Foodservice event page at 

 About Produce Marketing Association 

Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit