Salt Lake magazine gave its first dining awards in 1996–the idea is to recognize Utah restaurants in the interest of fostering, encouraging and rewarding excellence in all areas of the restaurant business.

I wasn't around for the first one–a potluck supper held in Memory Grove. Now the evening is a full-blown party, with a formal awards presentation followed by a champagne reception. This year, winners will be celebrating at Natural History Museum of Utah.

Winners are determined by an awards panel, this year including Jim Santangelo and Chantelle Bourdeaux, as well as Scott Beck of Visit Salt Lake and Jason Mathis, director of the Downtown Alliance, in addition to myself.

It's a fun night, and we wish everyone could come see their favorite restaurants take home the prize. Because that's not possible, we'll post as many pics and videos online as we can of the presentations, the party and your best local chefs and restaurateurs partying together on a rare night off together.

Also, the March-April issue of the magazine will be out this week, so you can read all about the winners and the event. Results of your vote for Readers Choice are also in this issue.

Eat well and stay tuned.