Culinary Crafts Events

March 26, 2009

Las Vegas Wedding for 1600!


Culinary Crafts just completed another "first" for our company.  1600 caterers from around the world gathered in Las Vegas at the International Caterers Association annual conference to learn from us about planning, designing, and executing exquisite weddings.  We created an mock "real wedding" complete with gorgeous bride, groom, bridesmaids, a hilarious father of the bride, and the most hilarious toasting ever!  We served 26 different menu items at chef action stations as well as scrumptious passed hors d'oeuvres, and showcased designer linens and wedding cake.  My favorite part was the premier of our new "Roving Cupcake" Groom's Cake.   This is  a great presentation for the bride seeking a few unique touches to set her wedding apart from the crowd.   With over 100 staff, we dazzled the crowd with what "Utah" can do!   Culinary Crafts is setting wedding trends for caterers across the nation and around the world!  Hope you enjoy these photos and see more photos on our website.  And remember to fill you life with good food and joy!

March 18, 2009

Chili Cookoff!


Last summer, Ford brought all their dealers in Canada to a retreat in Utah. For most their of stay, the group stayed in Park City and enjoyed the numerous activities and restaurants there. However, they informed me that the highlight of their trip was the daylong leadership training, filled with various outdoor contests and culminating in a very competitive chili cookoff. Culinary Crafts, of course, was the caterer of choice to organize the cookoff and provide foodservice while they were off premises. The group of 120 divided into 10 groups of 12 and spent the day at Rendezvous Ranch rotating between 10 different outdoor challenges. The challenges included fly fishing, bull riding, an atv trail course, horseback riding, etc. At each activity the groups would earn points depending on their performance as a team. After 5 rotations, the group took a lunchtime break and we served up a bbq luncheon featuring buffalo burgers, rattlesnake sausages, and our homemchili7ade cookies. Following lunch, the group returned to their rotations and finished the 5 remaining activities. After each group had completed each activity, they were able to cash in the points they had earned during the day at our 'General Store' for their choice of ingredients to make a pot of chili. Each team was given a 1 knife, 1 cutting board, 1 dutch oven, 1 bag of charcoal briquettes, 1 chimney starter, 1 leather mit, and 1 book of matches. In addition to exchanging their points for ingredients, teams could also buy 5 minutes of advice from an outdoor cooking expert (yours truly). During the cookoff, we had an open bar serving up some of our choice Utah microbrews and we passed hors d'oeuvres featuring some of our favorite local products. The mood was quite jovial but nonetheless very competitive. At the end of the alotted time, we took each team's pot of chili and set up a dinner buffet which included all the chilis that had been prepared along with our specialty dry rubbed and wood fired chicken, house made corn bread and Utah cheddar coleslaw. Then came the judging. Mary, and two Ford CEO's tasted and judged all 10 chilis by a number of distinct criteria. We tallied the 3 judges scores and gave each team their composite score and annouced the winners. I must admit, that when we planned this event I was worried that the day would be too long for these guests; that after a day of rigorous outdoor activities, they would not be inclined to cook their own dinner. Yet, when it came time at the end of the day for the chili cookoff, the group jumped right in and you should have heard the cheers (and jeers) as we announced the judges favorite chili. Every guest I spoke to that evening said the day was the best part of their 10 day stay in Utah and that the food we had served and helped them prepare was the best they had tasted anywhere else during their stay. chili23When the group finally loaded up to head back to Park City at the end of the night, I too, felt like despite the long hours I had put in, it was the funnest event I had worked in a long long time. If you'd like to see more photos of the Chili Cookoff, just click the Corporate and Conventions tab on our web site, scoll down to Ford of Canada and click on the photo tour. Speaking of the joy of cooking and the exciting competitive spirit, don't forget to enter Culinary Crafts' recipe contest for a chance to win a free Black Satin Fudge Cake prepared by our veteran pastry chef and shipped straight to your door. Just send your favorite recipe to or post in the comments here on our blog. Ryan Crafts Culinary Crafts Director of Catering

February 23, 2009

Candy Stations are in!


img_8322loresWhat better way to keep the small children occupied at a wedding than to have an extravagant candy station?!   The idea of candy stations has really caught on in the last year or two.  And it is fun for all ages.  It works great as a favor table where guests can fill up a small bag of monogrammed M&M's or it can just be a fun activity for children.  Either way candy stations can add a lot of fun for a relatively small amount of money.  HOORAY for sugar! Enjoy, Kalebcandy

February 6, 2009

Oelsner Bar Mitzvah


We worked a really fun event this last weekend at Rice Eccles stadium, which is always one of my favorite venues. It was a Bar Mitzvah for the Oelsner family. We catered their older son's celebration last year and this family is really into sports. So to bring in this young man's love of sports, especially baseball, we made the event feel like a baseball game. We all wore ball caps and red aprons. We had two gentlemen walk around the whole night like hawkers passing cracker jacks and peanuts. Then we had different food stations. We had a hot dog and french fry station, a taco station, a banana split station with real Italian gelato and others. We served the banana splits in little red baseball hats with all the goodies. The children got to pick what flavors and toppings they wanted. They loved it! We even set up some beverage tubs with ice cold cokes in real glass bottles. For a minute I almost felt like I was at a baseball game. Combine all of this with great decor and an awesome DJ and we had an amazing party. This event turned out great and the kids had a blast! Kaleb Crafts Culinary Crafts General Manager

February 3, 2009

Food & Funny Stories from the Front of the House



About three years ago I was setting up an intimate dinner party at a home in Salt Lake City. When the client arrived home, I introduced myself as Ryan Crafts, her event captain for the evening.


“Ryan Crafts, like Culinary Crafts?” she asked, “Or is that just a coincidence?”



“No, it's not a coincidence.” I replied, “I'm one of the family. Ron and Mary, the owners, are my parents.”



She paused for a moment to sort out what this meant and then said, “Oh, how sweet. Your parents named you after their company!”



Although it would be a deeply heartwarming story, I was not named after the company. Nonetheless, I do have a strong personal attachment to Culinary Crafts. I grew up in the thick of the catering world. As young boys, my brother and I would spend our summers playing in the large open fields around our kitchens and would come in at the end of the work day to help put away all dishes the chefs had used. That was almost twenty years ago, so those open fields are now occupied by the huge Mighty Light factory and the UPS Utah County Sorting Facility.



In all the years that I've worked with the family business, I've worked in just about every capacity in the catering industry. From dishwasher to event manager to payroll secretary to senior grill master to fleet manager to certified foodie, I've done it all.  Although my interests are varied, catering is really a passion of mine and I hope to share some insights into the catering world: what goes into pulling off a fabulous event, some snapshots from behind the scenes, and of course, some of the more humorous moments as they unfold in the world of special events.

January 30, 2009

Meet Kaleb


cancun-004Hi there fellow blog viewers.  My name is Kaleb Crafts and I am excited to start helping out with the company blog.  I have never done this blogging thing before, but my wife is great at it and she is showing me the ropes.  Mary and Ron, owners of Culinary Crafts, are my parents, and I have been privileged enough to see Culinary Crafts grow and be an intimate part of that growth for the last 25 years.  I now work as an event and operations manager for the company and most of my posts will be about a lot of the fun events that we cater at Culinary Crafts.  It truly is a fun environment to work in and we do some amazing things.  Can't wait to see the blog develop.

27x winner Utah’s Best of State

24x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year