Slow Food Utah recently announced winners of the 2019 Snail Awards—an annual tradition since 2012 of honoring some of our community’s ardent supporters of the group’s mission. Slow Food Utah is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing everyone to the table to celebrate the pleasures of good, clean, fair food. “Slow Food people are connoisseurs of taste, protectors of food heritage and champions of local producers,” says Gwen Crist, Slow Food Utah board chair.
Awards were presented at the Feast of Five Senses, an annual banquet that funds the group’s microgrant program. The Slow Food Utah Microgrant Program has distributed over $115,000 to 110 small, local food-centric producers and projects over the past 11 years. This year’s feast, with 160 attendees, took in more than $15,000 with which the organization will soon fund another round of microgrant recipients.
The following community members were honored with a Snail Award:
Community Leader: Alison Einerson
Alison Einerson is founder and executive director of Urban Food Connections of Utah, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the community about local food, regional food producers and Utah’s proud agricultural heritage. She has brought growth and stability to the Downtown Farmer’s Market by creating an organizational structure that supports the Saturday Market and the Tuesday Harvest Market at Pioneer Park, and the Winter Market at Rio Grande. She is currently working toward the establishment of a year-round public market in SLC.
Farmer/Producer: Tyler Montague and Holiday Dalgleish of Keep It Real Vegetables
For almost a decade Keep It Real has grown produce on small plots of land in the heart of Salt Lake City, selling to local restaurants, at farmer’s markets, and through a CSA. Tyler Montague and Holiday Dalgleish have worked on farming projects around the globe and are dedicated to the principles of regenerative agriculture. They specialize in unique, heirloom varieties of vegetables, including many on the Slow Food Ark of Taste—varieties that are often in danger of disappearing but for committed growers like them.
Restaurant/Chef: Philip Grubisa, Beltex Meats
Philip Grubisa became interested in charcuterie, butchering and curing meats while working at the Spruce Restaurant (Park City). In 2014 he began selling his own meat products at area farmers markets. This led to opening Beltex Meats, just north of Liberty Park—a whole-animal, nose-to-tail butcher shop that uses humanely raised and locally sourced natural meat. In 2018 he received an award from the Good Food Foundation, a national organization that acknowledges social and environmental responsibility while celebrating craftsmanship and flavor.
Snail Award recipients are available for interview. Please contact Gwen Crist to make arrangements. Previous Snail Award recipients are listed on the website www.slowfoodutah.org.