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Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press

December 6, 2023

Hosting Tips from the Pros

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In November, Salt Lake Magazine published an “Ask the Experts” article with hosting tips from Culinary Crafts. Now, as the holidays approach, we wanted to share even more ideas from our experts on how to host like a pro.

Ryan Crafts, Meagan Crafts, Kaleb Crafts, Culinary Crafts, sibling owners, family business, catering company. Utah catereres, white cowboy had, black and white shawl, denim shorts, teach a man to fish

Meet the Experts

Ryan, Kaleb, and Meagan Crafts have been part of the catering and hosting business ever since they were big enough to dry a plate or push a broom. In fact, when Culinary Crafts began as a tiny baking company, the Crafts children used to deliver fresh-baked bread and cookies around the neighborhood in their little red wagon! Since its inception 39 years ago, Culinary Crafts has not only climbed to the top of Utah’s catering industry; it has dominated. Winning 27 Best of State awards and 9 Caties (essentially the Emmies of the catering industry), Culinary Crafts sets the standard for catering excellence in the Mountain West. Now that their parents have turned over the reins, the Crafts siblings are more than qualified to show you how to elevate your hosting game. Kaleb Crafts, happy host, hospitality, hosting, smiling bald man, Culinary Crafts, hand on shoulder, mustache

Kaleb’s Hosting Tips

“My top hosting tip is 'Be there for your guests.'

“We’ve all been to events where the host was running around franticly, trying to put out fires. Believe me, I know how stressful hosting can be! But you can’t let yourself get caught up in other concerns and ignore your guests. If they aren’t your top priority, they can feel it.

“To be there for your guests, don’t crowd the timeline of your event too tightly. Leave time for everyone to savor the experience and for you to adjust when something unexpected happens.

“Also, don’t try to be a martyr and do everything yourself. Let someone else take the photos and handle the music. Delegate. Call a caterer. Ask for help.

“Finally, do as much of the work as possible beforehand. Half an hour before guests arrive, you should be relaxing with a drink, ready to enjoy your own party. Once the party has started, silence your phone and put it away. At that point, your job is to be fully present with the people you love, who are the real reason to celebrate.”

Ryan Crafts, Culinary Crafts, owner, dinner guests, hospitality, Utah caterer

Ryan’s Hosting Tips

“Food is a social catalyst. When I’m hosting, I try to plan a menu that will help guests relax, start talking, and enjoy each other’s company.

“I like to create a menu that’s a mix of the familiar and the new. Some of the dishes should be standbys that guests are sure to love, but I also include one or two elements that might be unfamiliar. Throwing in something a little exotic is a great way to get guests excited and to stimulate conversation.

“When I’m hosting at home, I like to splurge. That doesn’t always mean caviar or wagyu beef; it means that even if I’m just serving grilled hamburgers, I’m not going to cut corners. I love the time-honored tradition of a host giving his or her very best—that’s a tradition you see in cultures all over the world. The way I see it, the ideal time to break out that whiskey I’ve been saving or the special dish I’ve been dying to make is when I can share it with family and friends.”

Meagan Crafts, Culinary Crafts, piping, frosting, black apron, smiling hostess, Utah caterer

Meagan’s Hosting Tips

“Hosting is a tremendous honor and one of my absolute favorite things! I can get lost in the excitement of planning a party, so I have to remind myself of what matters. Creative invitations, fun party favors, and adorable tablescapes are all great, but what really matters is helping my guests feel cared for. Years from now, no one will remember what games they played or even what they ate at your event, but they will remember how you made them feel.

“Instead of approaching hosting like a checklist of things to do, focus your planning on the experiences you’d like your guests to enjoy. What are the first things they’re going to see and smell and taste and hear? How can you help them feel welcomed and a little bit pampered? Keep most of your event simple, but find one or two ways to go above and beyond. For example, maybe offer valet parking or a coat check. Put some careful thought into the seating chart, or offer your guests’ favorite desserts. It doesn’t take a lot to let guests know that you planned with them in mind."

May 12, 2022

Culinary Crafts Works with Renowned Chef Wolfgang Puck

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Wolfgang Puck, Brandon Roddy, Culinary Crafts, famous chef, Wolfgang, Puck, Utah caterer, Salt Lake caterers, top caterers in Utah, Top Caterers in U.S., Top chefs, Iron Chef, world-class catering, best caterer, 5 star food, 5-star catering

Culinary Crafts recently had the honor of co-catering an event alongside world-famous chef Wolfgang Puck and his amazing team.  The occasion was a retirement celebration for one of Utah’s movers and shakers, Todd Pederson, Founder and CEO of Vivent. With 600 guests, it wasn’t the biggest event we’ve done, but it certainly was one of the most memorable.

retirement party, Catered event in Utah, guests, catering in Utah County, Todd Pederson retirement, party, gala, special event, Nike shoe display, hors d'oeuvres, candles, candlelight, hurricane glass

Days before the gala, Chef Puck’s team joined us in our Pleasant Grove kitchen and bakery, and preparations began. What a joy to collaborate with these consummate professionals who are not only masters of their craft but are so gracious, down-to-earth, and easy to work with!

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With our reduced staff (due to Covid), we had to scramble to find 75 team members to handle service. UVU’s Culinary Arts Program kindly recommended two dozen of their students, and they did a fantastic job.

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The incredible evening began with butler-passed hors d’oeuvres. The highlights of the world-class menu were Japanese and U.S. wagyu beef, served side by side, followed by the most delicious banana cream pie you’ve ever tasted!

A surprise concert from pop star Justin Bieber topped off the fabulous evening.

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Since the event, our relationship with Chef Wolfgang Puck and his amazing team has continued. Four of our chefs and bakers were asked to help him cater Super Bowl LVI, and we look forward to other future collaborations.

December 8, 2017

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Instagram of the Week comes from the fantastic Love Wins Utah with this pic from one of our FAVORITE weddings ever.  (You can see more from this AMAZING celebration on SLPC Bride & Groom's blog here.)  Plus, how cute are their pups?!  LOVE IT.  Thank you for sharing Love Wins Utah!  And remember, for your chance to be next week's pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts and check back to see who gets picked next!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

November 3, 2017

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Instagram of the Week comes from the fantastic M + B Events who we had the pleasure of working with on this stunning inspiration shoot that happens to be featured on Utah Valley Bride here!  We absolutely LOVE this shoot and it's such perfect inspiration for fall weddings and events!  Plus, who can resist a custom menu design and gorgeous florals?  I know I can't!  Thank you for sharing, M + B Events!  And remember, for your chance to be next week's pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts and check back to see who gets selected next!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

September 29, 2017

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Instagram of the Week comes from our friends at In The Event who we had the pleasure of working with on Utah Opera's 40th Anniversary Gala.  This event was AMAZING!  Case in point?  Trees were brought in to create this tent's dramatic entrance!  Plus, the color palette was gorgeous - we absolutely loved it!  Thank you for sharing, In The Event!  Remember, for your chance to be next week's pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post and check back to see who gets chosen next!  Happy weekend! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

September 13, 2017

A Simply Stunning NHMU Wedding from the Pages of SLPC Magazine!

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Today, I am going to share a GORGEOUS Culinary Crafts wedding that is brimming with natural beauty that you might recognize from the pages of Salt Lake / Park City Bride and Groom Magazine!  Plus, it's perfect inspiration for the upcoming fall season because the menu took queue from some of the bounty of local fall produce.   We absolutely LOVED this couple, the venue (The Natural History Museum of Utah ) is gorgeous, and the beautiful, yet low key, organic vibe was so perfect.  Plus, our friends at Fuse Weddings & Events did the event design and planning, so it was flawless, of course!  Thank you for sharing these stunning images, Elisha Braithwaite Photography - now, check out this amazing wedding! How pretty is this Minted invitation suite?!  Even the stamps are perfectly picked to match the style of the wedding!  LOVE! The Natural History Museum of Utah is such a GORGEOUS backdrop for photos!  We love the architectural design of the space and the mix of materials makes it so full of texture and visual interest! Isn't this couple stunning?  Love them! Another great feature of this venue?  The natural light!!!  Not only do you get amazing views of the Salt Lake Valley, but it makes this reception area so bright, open, and airy!  Also, we loved that the dinner menus were custom designed to match the invitation suite!  Such a great touch. A simple, organic table scape is anything but boring!  We loved the pop of gold with the natural and white linens, the texture of the glass, concrete, and wooden flower vessels, and the soft pinks, whites, and green colors of the florals that Orchid Dynasty put together.  Add a sprig of lavender with a simple tie of gold raw silk in the napkins, and you are set! Another simple, yet gorgeous, piece of this wedding was this escort card table!  We love the use of succulents and the white rocks with the modern design of the cards!  Such a clean, polished look! Of course, we put together one of our signature charcuterie boards!  Full of local cheeses and meats, local honey, and dried fruit this is a perfect nosh for guests before dinner! This couple chose a 'family-style' dinner - which is one of our favorites!  This setup encourages guests to interact and mingle while sharing plates of delicious food, like our house made breads and gourmet butters.  We loved the Heirloom Carrot Sourdough with Black Lava Salted Butter and the Rustic Ciabatta with Pesto Butter! The salad course was our Snuck Farm Salad with Spinach, Romaine, Utah Pears, Cranberries, Candied Walnuts, Gorgonzola, and Balsamic Vinaigrette.  So yummy! For the entree course, we served a bunch of different options so guests had a ton of variety to choose from!  This is our Rocky Mountain Red Trout with Granny Smith Apple Chutney.  Such a great fall menu choice! Next, our Roasted Vegetable Napoleon with a Rosemary Skewer, Olive Oil Drizzle, Garnished with Sea Salt.  Aren't these so pretty?  They are pretty tasty too! Another fantastic fall menu option?  Our Brown Butter Sage Gnocchi with Chantrelle Mushrooms and Sweet Corn.  This is always a guest favorite! Last, but certainly not least, our Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs.  SO.  GOOD. Isn't the view AMAZING?  Imagine dining with this incredible backdrop, some fun conversation, and fabulous food!  Pretty perfect, I'd say. Staying true to the simple, yet gorgeous, feel of the event, the couple asked us to create a simply gold accented Almond Cake which we garnished with blueberries and simple greens.  I absolutely adore this cake, so pretty! Another fun element that the couple chose that we loved?  Local chocolate and tawny port tastings!  You know how we LOVE our local chocolatiers, so this was a favorite part of this wedding for sure! Of course, there were sweets too!  These Lavender Shortbread cookies tied in the sprigs found in the guests napkins and also were a great little treat to grab before going back onto the dance floor! For autumnal weddings, we love serving a dessert that perfectly pulls from the fall harvest!  So, we served Sweet Potato and Pecan Cakes with a Salted Caramel Moat.  And let me tell you, this dessert was made of the stuff of my dreams, people.  A knock-out way to end this couple's amazing menu! Wasn't this wedding so dreamy?!  Thank you so much, Salt Lake / Park City Bride and Groom Magazine for featuring this gem in your glossy pages!  We hope this inspires all of you to have fun with your menu and go for simple, yet striking details that will amp up your wedding day!  Happy planning, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

August 18, 2017

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Instagram of the Week comes from our friends at Salt Lake Magazine!  We love this capture from the set of Fox 13's The Place where Culinary Crafts's own Ryan and Kaleb Crafts made gourmet s'mores 3 ways!  You can find the video here.  We had so much fun with this feature (and loved that the Crafts brothers got some time in the spotlight).  Thank you for sharing this AWESOME BTS photo, Salt Lake Magazine!  Remember, for your chance to be next week's Instagram of the Week, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post, then check back to see who gets chosen next! Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

June 30, 2017

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Instagram of the Week comes from Carla Boecklin who shot this AMAZING feature for Park City Mag!  We love this post because it is simply perfect inspiration for the holiday weekend!  Thank you for sharing, Carla!  And remember, for your chance to be next week's pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts in your post and check back to see who gets chosen next!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

June 29, 2017

A Wedding With A Patriotic Twist!

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You know, all of us here at Culinary Crafts think we get to host some of the most AMAZING weddings!  We especially love events that have a twist on a theme and this one is a favorite for sure.  Plus, it is perfect inspiration for any of the 4th of July events you might be hosting this upcoming weekend.  So, without further ado, let's get to showcasing this stunning wedding - with a twist of festive, patriotic flair! CC_LizLee Aspen Meadows is breathtaking, don't you think?  It was such a lovely place to host this breathtaking wedding! CC_LizLee2 We love the subtle hints of Americana and love the couple's choice to bring a bit of romance and balance to the red, white, and blue palette with pops of pink instead of bright reds.  Such a pretty decor! CC_LizLee3 Next, we created drink to fit with the patriotic theme like the Strawberry and Blueberry Mojitos!  We loved that the fruit added a delicious touch - but was a super fun "patriotic" detail as well! CC_LizLee4 Isn't this a pretty site for a cocktail hour?  We love that the tables weren't competing with the surrounding natural beauty.  Also, using the taller tables encourages people to mix and mingle - which is great idea for any event! CC_LizLee5 While the interior had hints of the patriotic palette - and definitely a gorgeously, romantic vibe - the outside was a place that we took the theme over-the-top!  From this fun red, white, and blue teepee (which the kids LOVED) to the patriotic pillows on the luxe white lounge furniture.  It was the perfect way to amp up the theme! CC_LizLee6 Of course, we made sure to serve some truly delicious eats.  The couple wanted to keep with a more casual menu with an elegant, upscale feel!  The hors d'oeuvres were definitely a reflection of that.  Yum!!! CC_LizLee7 Such a pretty day for a wedding!  We loved putting the dinner buffet just outside the dining area - another great way to tie in the beautiful surroundings! CC_LizLee8 We kept the romantic, yet casual, vibe going through dinner - and it was scrumptious! CC_LizLee9 To kick off the buffet, we served some gorgeous sides like the Mixed Baby Greens Salad with Feta, Berries, Toasted Almonds, & Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette; Roasted Potatoes with Herb Salsa; and Fresh Mozzarella, Basil & Grape Tomatoes Salad.  Light and fresh - perfect for a summer party! CC_LizLee10 Next, we get to the main courses!  House Made Corn Bread with a Sprinkle of Paprika, served with Honey Butter; Grilled Chicken with Herb & Chili Rub; and finally our AMAZING Barbecued Short Ribs.  Seriously delicious! CC_LizLee11 Another festive touch for this party?  Fire pits which just beckoned the guests to get outside and hang out.  LOVE! CC_LizLee12 Of course, since we have fire pits (and it's a summer party), we just had to have our S'mores Bar complete with Hershey's Chocolate, Graham Crackers, and Culinary Crafts Signature House Made Marshmallows!  The guests LOVED this fun station! CC_LizLee13 And, lastly, the bride and groom chose to have this AMAZING American flag 'cake pop' cake for dessert which had to be my FAVORITE detail of the whole day!  It was so fun and so festive - a perfect touch for this patriotic wedding! We loved this wedding so much and think it has so much to inspire you in planning your parties and BBQs for this holiday weekend (and all of summer parties, really)!  Happy planning, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

April 12, 2017

Dreamy Pink & Blue Spring Utah County Wedding!

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Today we have a GORGEOUS wedding that Culinary Crafts did last spring that we LOVE.  This little beauty was featured on Martha Stewart Weddings AND our local Utah Valley Bride magazine!  It was such a dreamy day, captured by Ashley Sawtelle, and we are so happy to be sharing it with you!  Check it out! Our signature House Made Strawberry Shortcakes were a guest favorite!  We love this dessert and it was perfect for this spring wedding. Isn't this invitation suite beautiful? Lovely stationary design by Alex Fairchild and calligraphy by Kelle McCarter! This bridal party is perfectly matched!  We love the blue and pink palette! Another calligraphic gem by Kelle McCarter, we love these place cards!  Another great element?  The lavender cones that were passed to guests to shower the couple at their send off! Isn't Stone Hill Lodge Estate beautiful?  We love it's rustic elegance and isn't this tablescape to die for?  L'Arrangement Floral nailed the florals and the rentals from Diamond Rental and linens from La Tavola Fine Linens came together just perfectly! How amazing is this cake and macaron display from the talented Flour and Flourish?  LOVE IT!  And the crowns were a favorite detail, for sure! This wedding was SOOOOO pretty and we are so thrilled to see it shared in so many awesome publications!  I hope it inspires you to create a magical event of your own!  Happy planning, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com! VENDORS: Photography, Ashley Sawtelle | Location, Stone Hill Lodge Estate | Catering, Culinary Crafts | Flowers, L'Arrangement Floral | Videography, Paris Tews | Stationery, Alex Fairchild | Calligraphy, Kelle McCarter | Cake, Flour and Flourish | Music, Joshua Scott | Rentals, Diamond Rental; La Tavola Fine Linens | Bride's gown, Blush by Hayley Paige | Bride's accessories Malls Henderson (veil and headpiece); Made by Mary (jewelry); Steve Madden (shoes)  | Hair and Makeup, Vivian Johnson | Flower Girl dresses, Old Navy | Groom's suit and menswear, ASOS | Bride and bridesmaids' bracelets, The Shine Project

27x winner Utah’s Best of State

24x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year