Chef/Owner Wolfgang Puck, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, was named the 2017 Gold Plate Award winner by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA). He was one of eight operator executives eligible for the award after earning recognition as a IFMA Silver Plate award winner in March. Wolfgang represented the Independent Restaurants/Multi-Concept category.
Puck is largely credited with changing the way Americans cook and eat by combining classic French techniques with California and Asian influences. He also paved the wave for the star-chef era and was among the first celebrity chefs to open a restaurant.
In addition to Puck, IFMA recognized the following 2017 Silver Plate winners by category:
- Chain Full Service: G.J. Hart, Executive Chairman & CEO, California Pizza Kitchen
- Chain Limited Service: Chris Newcomb, Co-founder, President & CEO,Newk’s Eatery
- Health Care: Patti Oliver, Director of Nutrition,UCLA Health
- Elementary & Secondary Schools: Betti Wiggins, Executive Director, Office of School Nutrition,Detroit Public Schools
- Colleges & Universities: Ted Faulkner, Director of Dining Services,Virginia Tech
- Business & Industry/Foodservice Management: Jeff Metz, President & CEO,Metz Culinary Management
- Retail & Specialty Foodservice: Chris Gheysens, President & CEO,Wawa Inc.
Silver Plate winners are nominated by IFMA members and industry leaders, then selected by a distinguished jury including national trade press, foodservice experts and past Gold and Silver Plate award winners. From the Silver Plate winners, one is chosen by the jury to receive IFMA’s Gold Plate Award