Green Fork Environmental Award
As environmental issues become more prominent, food has become politicized. Where and how we grow and manage our food resources has lasting consequences for the planet. Huge changes in policy and philosophy are required, but until then, we need to start small with our own businesses and buying decisions. Heirloom Group—Colton Soelberg, Joseph McRae and Casey Bulkley—runs Communal, Pizzeria 712 and Mountain West Burrito. It’s made the environment part of its business plan from the beginning, insisting on sustainability and choosing the local route whenever possible, proving that idealism can be practical and sustainable practices can mean success.
Pizzeria 712, 320 S. State St., Ste. 185, Orem, 801-623-6712; Communal, 102 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-373-8000; Mountain West Burrito, 1796 N. 950 West, Provo, 801-805-1870
Community Service Award
Why: His contributions to the Utah community prove the individual can make a difference.
His annual fundraiser for the Utah Food Bank raised more than $20,000 last year. When the Farmers Market needed a place to hold its winter pop-up market, Jorge raised his hand. When the Young Architects Forum needed a place to plan downtown’s burgeoning Granary District, he volunteered his warehouse. Local First Utah celebrated its bounty at Jorge’s Rico warehouse, and Real Food Rising, a program linking kids with farm-raised food, held its fundraiser there. He’s on the board of Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Local First, the Wells Fargo Latino Board and the Salt Lake City Business Advisory Board. From penniless immigrant to thriving businessman, Jorge’s life has been the American dream, but the dream come true is that he gives back so much and is always ready to help someone else get started. His answer is always si. ricobrand.com
Golden Spoon Hospitality Award
Because: She single-handedly changed the landscape of Salt Lake food.
Three years ago, we gave SuAn Chow, whose Chow Truck was brand new, our award for Best Quick Eats, one of the most useful, least glamorous prizes we give. This year, Salt Lake ranks among other U.S. food cities with its steadily growing food truck scene. SLC trucks have been featured on TV shows, written about in books, newspapers and magazines and fed thousands of grateful citizens, and we can thank SuAn for that. Besides the backbreaking work of driving her truck, the never-ending creativity of her menu and her embrace of the food community by featuring dishes created by local chefs, she has fought tirelessly for regulations favoring food trucks, opening Salt Lake to a whole new kind of dining. Thanks, SuAn. chowtruck.com