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MONTEREY, CA — Church Bros.' annual party at its private family ranch in the California hills near here has become an annual tradition in the Salinas Valley — and one hot ticket.

Start with the setting: a historic private ranch and hacienda perched in low-hanging clouds atop a hillside. It's classic California cowboy.

Add in the food — from a whole roasted pig to fresh Mexican fare and local artisanal products, with a bar or cold beer always within easy reach.

Want entertainment? Two bands rock the event, and for the brave-hearted there's a mechanical bull sitting ominously beneath a tent.

It's no wonder everybody attending the PMA Foodservice show wants to head for the hills every year.

But the party is a private celebration for family, friends and customers. Try to get an early angle on an invite for 2017.


GILROY, CA — Garlic wasn't the only aroma in the air as Christopher Ranch recently celebrated 60 years as one of the nation's top providers of "the stinking rose" — the smell of success hung sweet as well (along with a whole lot of barbecue).

From mayors to garlic festival queens, Gilroy turned out to celebrate at the ritzy Rosewood CordeValle, tucked away in the San Martin, CA, hills near the garlic capital.

Fun fact: Christopher Ranch didn't even start out in the garlic business — the family originally grew prunes. Wiser heads obviously prevailed and the rest is history.


MONTEREY, CA — Edible flowers, wild mushrooms, frozen pomegranate and a system that lets purveyors hydroponically grow herbs and veggies on the spot — it's hard to say if any of those will be the next big thing in the foodservice industry, but they were among the most original offerings on display here at the annual PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo July 28-31 at the Hyatt Monterey Hotel & Spa.

This wraps up our video coverage from the show floor, but there's still more to come from the social side of the show, including an interview with "Top Chef" winner and judge Richard Blais about what chefs and consumers will be looking for in the next few months.


MONTEREY, CA — Top chefs representing Duda Fresh, Hollandia Produce and the National Mushroom Council squared off at the Hyatt Monterey Hotel & Spa here for a strolling chefs' tour and cook-off as part of the annual PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo.

Who won? Everybody — but you'll have to watch the video to see who took home the grand prize.


MONTEREY, CA — The foodservice industry sets the bar high for produce providers — the PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo, held here July 28-31 at the Hyatt Monterey Hotel and Spa, gives ample proof of that.

And providers, from growers to distributors to value-added processors, responded with some unique approaches and innovations that will set the bar for foodservice in the months to come.

The Produce News was there to catch it all wall-to-wall as our PMA Foodservice video series continues.