Working with Chef Joey Ferran, owner Dean Pierose has spent years turning what was a casual Avenues deli into a bistro and wine bar where Avenue residents gather to enjoy a place where everybody knows your name while the cuisine excites your taste buds. At Cucina Wine Bar and Deli, Chef Ferran pulls together a small world of flavors, from seasoning cauliflower with red mole to sweetening a duck breast with saba to finishing a fried avocado with tamarind-coconut curry.

Pierose responded to the COVID-19 crisis with his signature manic energy, quickly expanding his outdoor dining experience, pivoting to curbside delivery while Chef Ferran created takeout boxes of his elevated ingredients that could be assembled at home. But more than that, Pierose’s outdoor spaces became a place where the neighborhood could gather safely. He offered free coffee in the mornings and encouraged his regulars to linger and commiserate together, preserving a semblance of society during a socially distanced time. 

1026 2nd Ave., SLC
801-322-3055

Each year, Salt Lake Magazine editors honor growers, food evangelists, grocers, servers, bakers, chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs with the Blue Plate Awards. A Blue Plate Award is given to an establishment or an individual who has done more than put good food on the table. They’ve created culture, made acts of kindness and education and are paragons of service that goes beyond. To see the full list of winners, click here.