2018 Utah Restaurant Industry Awards Gala

The Utah Restaurant Association (URA) honored restaurant professionals all over the state at their annual Restaurant Industry Gala Monday, May 6, 2018 at the Grand America Hotel. The URA recognizes individual achievements; along with honoring restaurant concepts from quick service, fast casual, casual dine and fine dine. At the URA we know food is all about community and we feel privileged to be able to bring the entire industry together to celebrate one another and include every aspect of our dynamic and abundant industry! With over 500 attendees, the gala provides the URA the opportunity to recognize the incredible achievement of professionals both in the restaurant industry and those who contribute to the success of the restaurant industry from outside.

Legacy Awards

This year’s gala was also a celebration of the Utah Restaurant Association’s 75th Anniversary serving as the voice of Utah Restaurants. The association honored outstanding contributions to Utah’s restaurant community by recognizing four individuals who though not directly in the industry, have had a positive impact on the industry with a prestigious Legacy Award including Senator Orrin Hatch, who was introduced by Tom Guinney, Owner of Gastronomy Restaurants and honored at a ceremony earlier in the week at the New Yorker. Other Legacy Awards included the late Vasilios Priskos, Julie Wilson co-founder of PCARA and past URA chairman, and Melva Sine, President of the Utah Restaurant Association for over 24 years of leadership.


Utah Del Taco husband and wife team Paul and Jane Hitzelberger were honored with the Lifetime Achievement.

The prestigious Golden Spoon aka Restauratuer of the Year was given to Michael McHenry, CEO of Even Steven’s Sandwiches.

The Hall Of Fame award was given to two outstanding restaurateurs – Glee Zumbrunen, of Brick Oven Pizza and Robert “Sully” Sullivan, owner of Utah Food Services.

Yelena Caputo, of Caputo’s Market & Deli was recognized with The Heart Of The Industry award.

Chef Of The Year was given to Executive Chef and Partner in the New Yorker, Will Pliler.

The Eating Establishment was recognized for having the Bar Program of the Year.

The Chairman’s Award acknowledged Governor Gary Herbert for all his good work in serving the restaurant industry and helping bring down the wall.


The Best New Concept awards are presented to recognize new restaurants for their innovation and progressive contributions to the industry. The 2018Best New Concept winners included Sego Restaurant in Kanab for Fine Dine, Nomad Eatery in Salt Lake City as Casual Dine, Vessel Kitchen in Park City as Fast Casual and Freshies Lobster Co., who is preparing to open their second brick and mortar in Salt Lake City as Quick Service concept of the year.


Taste Utah Award’s highlight dining destinations all over the state. These locations are features on the Taste Utah series Saturday mornings on CW30, as well as smaller videos featured on TasteUT.com. Get into your summer by eating your way through Utah and trying each of these dining destinations!


3 Cups, Amano Chocolate, Avenues Proper Restaurant, Bandannas Grill, Bateman Dairy Farm, Blue Copper CoffeeRoasters, Blue Plate Diner, Centro Pizza, Central Milling, CHOM Burger, Clifford Family Farm, Copper Kitchen, Cupbob, Desert Bistro, The Eating Establishment, Eva’s Bakery, Fullmer’s Dairy, Gourmandise the Bakery, Houweling’s Tomatoes, HSL, Liberty Heights Fresh, The New Yorker, Oscar’s Cafe, R & R BBQ, Red Acre Farm, Rio Grande Cafe, Rockhill Creamery, Royal Street Cafe, Sage’s Cafe, Salsa Leedos, Sandhill Farms, Sego, SLC Top Crops, Snuck Farm, Stoneground Kitchen, Tin Angel, Veneto Ristorante Italiano, Vessel Kitchen, Zucca Ristorante.


The gala brings future employees and restaurateurs together with industry by highlighting the URA’s ProStart Program and team achievements for the 2017-2018 regionals and state culinary and management competitions, as well as honoringan outstanding culinary educator with Teacher of the Year. Shelly Mendenhall of Desert Hills High School received this honor and ProStart Student of the Year was Westlake’s Hunter Reben, he receives a $10,000

scholarship compliments of Sysco Intermountain. This year’s ProStart Culinary and Management champions were also recognized along with regional winners. State champions for culinary, Westlake High School and management, Provo High School represented as team Utah last month at the National ProStart Invitational.

Utah Prostart State Finals


Utah ProStart represented strong in both management and culinary at the National Invitational in Providence Rhode Island.
Provo High presented their restaurant concept bright and early on Friday morning as the 1st team of the day. Their concept included a fast casual dining experience within an airport, where eating green is possible – even on the go.

Provo High School’s Team Included:
Diane Cluff, Instructor
Abbey Chambers, Jacob Cannegieter,
Kaitlin Pace, Justin P Sevison, Julian Hsiang

Westlake represented in the culinary competition preparing a three-course meal using only two burners and no electricity. The teen chefs were scored by floor judges on techniques such as knife skills, mis-en -place, menu execution, intelligent plating, sanitation, uniforms, teamwork and food safety among other things. A huge congratulations to both Utah Prostart teams for competing at the National ProStart Invitational.

Westlake High School’s Team Included:
Candace Wilson, Instructor
Elizabeth Jeppesen, Andrew Hanks,
Hunter Reben, Aubreille Gillespie, Hunter Bennion


Important Legislative Amendments Effective July 1, 2018

As of July 1, 2018 these Amendments to HB456 will take effect (Unless a specified date is listed by Section).

  1. HB 456 eliminates the requirement for a restaurant to post a sign stating: This business is licensed as a restaurant NOT a bar.
  2. Bars will be required to post a sign: Bar – No one under 21 permitted (or allowed).
  3. HB456 addresses variance issues for restaurants that have been operating under a variance that was issued by the UDABC before January 1, 2007 and allows for this variance to continue.
  4. On or after July 1, 2018 restaurants will be required to scan the proof of ID for any individual who looks 35 years or younger who procures (orders) an alcoholic product within 10 feet of a grandfathered bar structure. Restaurants will still be required to scan anyone seated at the bar.
  5. Restaurant owners will only have to submit a RASP (Responsible Alcohol Service Plan) plan one time and then only re-submit if there has been a violation at the restaurant or the restaurant has made changes to their RASP plan.
  6. On Premise Retail Licensee – Training will be required one time unless there is a violation and then everyone in the restaurant will be required to be re-trained.
  7. Definition of a room is defined in HB 456. Restaurants will be allowed to have a “room” on the premise (in the same building as the restaurant) and be licensed as a “bar” but must comply with 32B-5-207 which states you must have a wall at least 8 feet tall, separate entrance into the room, a patron going into the restaurant cannot see the dispensing area in the bar and the door into the room is of a “translucent” material that light can pass thru but a person or object cannot be seen thru the translucent material.

We have included a bullet point list of the list of all of the changes in HB456 that address restaurant issues here:

▶︎ clarifies the appropriate measurement point for determining proximity to a community location;
▶︎ addresses the standard for demonstrating a previously approved variance for purposes of proximity to a community location;
▶︎ requires electronic age verification of certain individuals who are within 10 feet of a grandfathered bar structure;
▶︎ allows the Alcoholic Beverage Control Advisory Board to meet at the chair’s discretion;
▶︎ modifies the circumstances under which a retail licensee shall submit a responsible alcohol service plan to the department;
▶︎ addresses expungement of a record related to a violation of a provision of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act;
▶︎ amends the requirements related to when a retail manager or an off-premise retail manager must complete a department training program;
▶︎ modifies the circumstances under which a person may hold two retail licenses for the same premises or room;
▶︎ provides that a restaurant licensee may employ a minor who is at least 18 years of age to bus tables;
▶︎ provides an exemption from certain dispensing area requirements for small restaurant licensees;
▶︎ repeals the requirement for restaurant licensees to display a sign stating the restaurant’s license type;
▶︎ allows a dining club licensee to convert to a full-service restaurant license or a bar license before July 1, 2018;
▶︎ provides that the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control shall study issues related to the use of banquet catering contracts and report to the Business and Labor Interim Committee;
▶︎ extends the time for a business entity to transfer a retail license following a change in ownership;

**Please note that for all restaurants the once required sign
“This is a Restaurant not a Bar”
can officially be removed from your establishment as of May 8, 2018.

Teenchef Pro Auditions Season 4

WEDNESDAY JULY 25, 2018  8:00 AM
Salt Lake Community College
South City Campus Sound Stage

1575 South State St SLC, Utah 84115

Remember you must be IN Utah ProStart (either currently enrolled, enrolled next fall or recently graduated) and YOU could compete ON THIS TELEVISION COOKING COMPETITION SERIES for a chance to win a FOUR YEAR scholarship to Johnson & Wales University and the title of TeenChef Pro Champion!

Contact Katy Sine:  Katy@UtahRestaurantAssociation.org for an application!

*All contestants under the age of 18 must provide parental consent

2018 Golf Tournament

invites you to participate in the
Annual Golf Tournament and Summer Networking Social.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018  

 Crater Springs Golf Course 

700 Homestead Drive 

Midway, Utah

Click Here For Sponsorship / Registration Form

Your participation is greatly appreciated as it will help promote and protect the restaurant industry in Utah through advocacy and education. The presence of the Utah Restaurant Association advocating in behalf of our industry insures that the restaurant industry is well represented and the story of our industry is being told. The URA will be hosting many educational and  advocacy activities during the year. 100% of the proceeds from this event will be used for restaurant advocacy activities. We encourage you to join with the restaurant industry in the state of Utah for an exciting day of golf.

First, Second and Third Place teams will be awarded prizes, as well as Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive. We look forward to seeing you on the golf course and thank you in advance for your generous support. A strong and viable restaurant industry benefits all of us.

Please return your registration / sponsorship form by July 13, 2018 to the Utah Restaurant Association.  We look forward to a great day of golf with you!

email: Info@UtahRestaurantAssociation.org
phone: 801-274-7309     fax: 801-274-7310
Mail: 5645 S. Waterbury Way Suite D-203
SLC, UT, 84121

Taste Utah Season 4

Taste Utah is back for season 4 on Utah’s CW30 at 11:00AM.

Join your hosts Katy and Jami as we take a bite out of Utah and showcase our state’s vast culinary landscape. Travel with us as we highlight Utah’s contributions to food through agricultural, conventional food communities, vacation destinations and what each unique local dining culture offers. Utah dining is the destination!

Stop by www.TasteUT.com for an innovative, interactive website as we introduce Utah to inspiring culinary destinations and grow Utah’s food tourism to the world.

Get tasting Utah!