US Foods’ Food Fanatics Set to Sweep the Nation

Following a nationwide search and an intense head-to-head battle, US Foods, one of the country’s most innovative food companies and leading distributors, appointed two of its chefs to become the first Food Fanatics. Selected for their passion for food, expertise in cooking and knowledge about menus and restaurant operations, US Foods will introduce Minneapolis-based Chef John Byrne as the nation’s first Food Fanatic at its 2012 Food Fanatics An Epicurean Experience show. Chef Todd Pearson will make his debut as Food Fanatic in Austin later this year.

Charged with delivering the latest in food and restaurant trends, Chef Byrne will host and lead the conversation with restaurateurs, operators and the foodservice industry at the Food Fanatics An Epicurean Experience show. The event will provide approximately 2,000 attendees with opportunities to meet and collaborate with Chef Byrne, taste and try new recipes and products and consult with US Foods’ expert chefs. Other events and experiential activities include demonstrations from local chefs and restaurateurs, interactive displays of local produce and dry-aged beef, and an event featuring the American Pizza Tossing team.

“Our passion for food is at the heart of everything we do at US Foods,” said Stuart Schuette, chief operating officer, US Foods. “We are creating innovative new products and approaches to help make our customers more successful, and we are excited to bring this to life in Minnesota with our Food Fanatics An Epicurean Experience show and the kickoff of the Food Fanatics.”

Beginning this fall, the Food Fanatics will share their passion for food and the latest trends by working collaboratively with restaurateurs, operators and those in the foodservice industry, nationwide. Based in Minneapolis and Austin, the Food Fanatics will reach US Foods’ customers and others in the industry by:
·         Traveling with their mini mobile kitchens to top food and culinary events

·         Providing samples of the latest products, and gathering insights from those in the industry to help develop and launch new and innovative products

·         Hosting workshops to help identify and create business solutions

·         Providing menu analysis and consulting with restaurateurs and operators

“Each day, we work collaboratively with our customers to help their restaurants and businesses grow, not only in the ‘back of the house,’ but in everything they do,” said Food Fanatic Chef John Byrne. “Being named one of the first Food Fanatics provides an even greater opportunity to share my passion and expertise with US Foods customers and others in the industry.”

Food Fanatic John Byrne
Chef Byrne began his culinary career at the age of 15 in his hometown of Arklow, Ireland, a town of about 14,000 just south of Dublin on the coast of the Irish Sea. Beginning in the kitchen as a dishwasher, he worked his way up to a banquet prep assistant and knew he had a true passion for food. Following culinary school in Dublin and stints in a hotel kitchen in Bern, Switzerland, and as the chef and maitre d’ for Carnival Cruise Lines, Chef Byrne landed in Minnesota, his wife’s home state. His food philosophy is to not only create great tasting food, but “food with feeling,” which he says he achieves by working to inspire everyone around him.

Food Fanatics An Epicurean Experience show
US Foods will host the Food Fanatics An Epicurean Experience on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Saint Paul RiverCenter. For more information about the Food Fanatics An Epicurean Experience, visit: <> .

About US Foods
With more than $20 billion in annual revenue, US Foods is the 10th largest private company in America. As one of America’s great food companies and leading distributors, US Foods is Keeping Kitchens Cooking and making life easier for more than 250,000 customers, including independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions. The company offers more than 350,000 products, including high-quality, exclusive brands such as the innovative Chef’s Line, a time-saving, chef-inspired line of scratch-quality products, and Rykoff Sexton, a premium line of specialty ingredients sourced from around the world. US Foods also showcases its innovative food culture through The Scoop, a quarterly launch of new, on-trend products designed to make customers more successful. The company proudly employs approximately 25,000 people in more than 60 locations nationwide. US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., and jointly owned by funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Discover more <> .