Breaking bread with another human being is the most basic act of communion at the most basic level. In other words, restaurants are about community. Each year we award our Blue Plate Specials to honor restaurateurs who make more than just great food, they help make a great community.

Lavanya Mahate Owner of the Saffron Valley group of restaurants
Lavanya was an immigrant herself when she came to Utah in 2001. Now, her aim is to give back and help the folks who are going through the same difficulties she did as a newcomer. So working with the Utah Refugee Training and Education, she has opened a culinary kitchen to train refugees and immigrants in culinary arts and food business. Beyond hands-on cooking, students receive access to internships and help with job placement.

Ryan Lowder Owner of Copper Onion, Copper Common, Copper Kitchen and The Daily
When Taste of the Wasatch announced it was going to renege on its pledge to fund Utahns Against Hunger, leaving the non-profit short of the money it needs to accomplish its mission, Chef Ryan Lowder stepped up to fill in the gap, donating a portion of proceeds to the cause. Not only that, but he rallied other chefs to do the same.

Earl Fredrich Moessinger Owner of Caffe Molise and BTG
Earl was told by the city he had to move his popular restaurant and wine bar for new construction. Instead of moving to Cottonwood Heights or Holladay, Chef Moessinger looked inside the city and made the bold decision to renovate and rehab the old Eagle building, an architectural beauty that seemed destined for demolition. Preserving old places is part of what gives a city true character; we thank Moessinger for giving us this piece of the past.

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