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MONTEREY, CA — Chef Richard Blais, the genius behind restaurants like Atlanta's FLIP Burger Boutique (now with locations in Birmingham Nashville) and San Diego's Juniper & Ivy, first won fame as a "Top Chef" winner and judge, and is now know as the host of the Food Network hit series "Hungry Games."

The Produce News caught up with Blais recently for a discussion about where trends in the industry are going.

Some of the industry's current stalwarts may be on the way out. Blais' advise? Be ready for the return of carrots, beets, Swiss chard and other surprises.

Manns-Inside-the-Valley

Just in time for the back-to-school rush, Mann Packing released its latest video in the Inside the Valley series as an ode to the company’s millennial interns.

“The Veggie-Go concept was the brainchild of our millennial interns who were tasked with creating social media content this past summer,” Gina Nucci, director of corporate marketing at Mann’s, said in a press release. “They love this new on-the-go gaming craze and thought the idea of tying in the health benefits of eating more veggies while promoting our brand would be a fun and clever way to share the message.”

The video was a family affair, featuring company interns and employees, and reminds consumers of the convenience of on-the-go veggie-based meals including Mann’s Nourish Bowls and Mann’s Power Blend.

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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.

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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.

prei

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.