Rice Eccles Stadium & Tower

December 5, 2023

It’s About the Story


by Ryan Crafts

President and Resident Storyteller

Growing up in the catering business, it always puzzled me why, in the middle of a busy event, my mother would suddenly pick up the microphone and talk to the diners about the food they were being served. “No one wants to hear it,” I would think to myself. “They just want to eat in peace!” But now, with a couple more decades of experience under my belt, I get it. It’s never just about the food. It's about the story the food tells.

University of Utah football, football helmet, U, football, Utah caterers, red football symbol

The Best Sandwich He Ever Had

I will always remember the first meal we catered for University of Utah football at Rice Eccles Stadium. We’d been told that they wanted "football foot," including classic Buffalo chicken sandwiches, but we wanted to make it special. It was our chance to make a first impression, so we decided to elevate the tailgate classics into something extraordinary.

We started with the same organic, free-range chicken that we use for high-end formal plated dinners. Then we spent days bringing the meat to perfection. Every element of the sandwiches—from the bread to the meat to the toppings—was made fresh from scratch with great care. These sandwiches were good…like really good!

So we were disappointed when, after the fans started to arrive, our team reported, “No one’s trying the Buffalo chicken! They’re just walking right past it.” Immediately, I pulled a few teammates away from their assigned tasks and put them at the head of the sandwich buffets. They were to greet every guest with a huge smile and to say the following.

"Welcome to Rice-Eccles Stadium and Tower! We have a special treat for today's game. For our Buffalo chicken sandwiches, we picked the best chicken we could find. Then we brined it, braised it overnight, shredded it, and simmered it in our Buffalo sauce. It’s topped with our famous Beehive white cheddar coleslaw and served on a homemade ciabatta bun baked fresh from our stone oven. Go Utes!"

Immediately, the feedback changed. Instead of “No one’s eating the sandwiches,” our team told us, “We’re running out!” In fact, the Buffalo Chicken ended up being the most popular item we served that day, and President Uchtdorf said it was the best sandwich he’d ever had.

University of Utah, red U, pom-pom, red and white pom-poms

The Story of Our Food

That experience was a good reminder of something every caterer, host, and home chef should keep in mind. Food takes on a whole new level of meaning and enjoyment when we learn its story.

As Culinary Crafts, we put an insane amount of time and effort into giving our guests a terrific dining experience. In the thick of all that work, it’s easy to forget what a difference it can make to take a moment and share a little story, give a little context, and make a personal connection.

Last Christmas, we invited our whole team to share stories and recipes about foods that have special meaning to them. Then we compiled those submissions into a cookbook. Some of the stories were hilarious and some were heartbreaking, but all of them were a great way to draw closer over the shared experience of food. We’ve posted several on our website throughout the last year, and we still have more to share! We hope you’ve taken the time to read the stories and maybe try some of the recipes at home; they are excellent! These stories are a way for us to share a little of our passion for food and our appreciation for the people we make the magic happen. To you, our friends, clients, guests, and—most of all—our amazing team, a heart-felt thanks. We wish you every happiness this holiday season.

Eat well.

September 19, 2017

A Elegant, Glam Wedding at the Rice Eccles Tower!


QUICK NOTE BEFORE WE GET TO TODAY'S BLOG: Thank you to everyone who joined us at the ‘Showdown for Support’ yesterday! It was such a great evening and we loved having you all there to support such a great cause! As we plunge into cooler temperatures (and then back out, because Utah likes to keep us on our toes), our thoughts turn toward fall and winter weddings and their GORGEOUS color palettes that we love so much.  Today, we have a Culinary Crafts wedding that just screams 'winter beauty' with its rich blues and accents of silver.  Pair that with elegant white and blue florals?  Well, I think you'll see why we love this event so much!  Check it out! Isn't this GORGEOUS???  We absolutely LOVED the sequined runners and the navy linens.  So pretty! Every Blooming Thing's elegant florals were so perfect for this wedding!  Plus, isn't the cake from Carrie's Cakes AMAZING? Another gorgeous floral arrangement!  We loved the use of different heights and types of arrangement to create a more visually interesting space. This couple was so fun!  They gave each table an 'assignment' to encourage guests to mingle and share stories about the couple.  Such a fun idea! How cool is this head table?  The use of the aspens trunks really added some drama to the table design! Another cool element on these tables were these super chic table numbers! Now, onto the food - which we thought was pretty amazing, if we do say so ourselves!  Guests were greeted with butler-passed hors d'oeuvres like these Pomme Frites with Aioli Dipping Sauce in bamboo cones.  Yum! Another shot of these delicious fries, because why not? Another butler-passed hors d'oeuvres was our Argentinian-Style Chicken Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce - so good! The couple chose to serve an amazing buffet which included our Miso-glazed Salmon and, of course, our House Made Breads with Sea Salted Butter! Along with the Miso-glazed Salmon, we also served Teriyaki Grilled Chicken, Sautéed Zucchini, and Asparagus Risotto with Mascarpone Cream.  Such a decadently delicious winter menu! Another fun element?  The bride and her mom created this candy table for guests to fill a box to take home as their wedding favor!  We love how pretty it turned out! We absolutely loved this glam wedding and think the Rice Eccles Tower was the perfect venue!  We hope this inspires all of you with winter events to maybe add a little sparkle to your event!  You won't be disappointed!  Happy planning, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at! Vendors: Venue - Rice Eccles Tower // Catering and Tablescapes - Culinary Crafts // Lighting and Decor - Scenemakers // Cake - Carrie’s Cakes // Florals - Every Blooming Thing // Linens - Creative Coverings // Rentals - Diamond Rentals // Photos by Kelli Bramble

June 30, 2016

A Culinary Crafts Welcomes Paralyzed Veterans of America’s National Veterans Wheelchair Games!


Just in time for the July 4th holiday weekend, we have this AWESOME event that we did recently at The Tower at Rice-Eccles Stadium to welcome the sponsors for the 2016 Paralyzed Veterans of America's 36th National Veterans Wheelchair Games!  What an amazing event and we had so much fun kicking off this competition which has been taking place in SLC all week long!  Check it out! CC_ParalyzedVeterans3 CC_ParalyzedVeterans What a turn out!  We loved being able to host for such a great group of people.  Plus, we had so much fun with the sports themed event! CC_ParalyzedVeterans2 Of course, we served stadium favorites like popcorn!  But we put a Culinary Crafts gourmet twist on it.  We served gourmet flavors like White Chocolate Peppermint, Bacon Bourbon, and White Chocolate Blueberry! CC_ParalyzedVeterans4 Aren't the floral centerpieces fun?  Plus, we created some sports favorites at the "Lollipop Station" that were easy to eat on the go so guests could easily mix and mingle through the event.  First up?  These BBQ Wing Bites with Blue Cheese dressing that were delicious! CC_ParalyzedVeterans5 We also served Mini Corndogs with Ketchup and Mustard and Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce.  YUM! CC_ParalyzedVeterans6 Of course, we didn't stop there!  We also had Crab Cakes with Creme Fraiche and Utah Beef Chuck Sliders with Beehive Cheddar, Angry Onions, and Fry Sauce.  Seriously, so yummy! CC_ParalyzedVeterans7 And no Culinary Crafts event would be complete without some action stations!  First, the 'Dodger' Dogs Hot Dog Bar! CC_ParalyzedVeterans8 Next, the 'Yankee Stadium' Nacho Bar.  Over the top yummy, I'd say!  Mmm... CC_ParalyzedVeterans9 This is one of our guests's awesome Nacho Bar creations.  We love action stations that let people create their own dream eats with the best quality ingredients! CC_ParalyzedVeterans10 Another fun creation we served were these 'Milwaukee Brewers' Pulled Pork Parfaits - and just like the sign says, parfaits aren't just for breakfast anymore!  These were a crowd favorite, for sure! CC_ParalyzedVeterans11 Our house made gelato was another "fan-favorite"!  Perfect for the warm summer night and a great way to round out this awesome meal!  Mmmm... Culinary Crafts loves being able to give back to our local community as well as national organizations like the Paralyzed Veterans of America who do such great work for the heroes who have given so much to our country!  We hope this inspires you to celebrate the holiday with a spirit of gratitude and honor - as well as enjoying the day with joy and freedom!  Happy 4th, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at!

April 1, 2016

Friday Instagram of the Week!


CC_IGofTW66 Today's Instagram of the Week comes from one of our favorite florist partners, Decoration Inc!  You may recognize this BEAUTIFUL tablescape at The Tower at Rice Eccles from our newest ads and we are still so in love with this shoot!  (Lindsey Shaun captured it perfectly, do you think?)  We love this shoot and thank you so much to Decoration Inc for the share!  Remember, add the hashtag #culinarycrafts or tag us at @culinarycrafts for your chance to be next week's Instagram of the Week!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at! Concept & Catering: Culinary Crafts // Photography: Lindsey Shaun // Tables, Chairs, & Florals: Decoration Inc // Venue: The Tower at Rice Eccles // China: Diamond Rental // Linens: Creative Coverings // Cake: Flour & Flourish // Gown: Alta Moda // HMUA: Versa Artistry // Rings: Sierra West

January 22, 2016

Friday Instagram of the Week!


CC_IGofTW62 Today's Instagram of the Week is from McKell Davis who snapped this shot of Culinary Crafts's ad in the newest issue of Utah Bride and Groom (which is pretty stunning, I must say!!!)  McKell, the marketing director from the U of U, was such an amazing partner to help bring this inspiration shoot at The Tower at Rice Eccles to life and we are SO happy to share it with you all!  Thank you again for the post, McKell - and remember, for your chance to be next week's Instagram of the Week, just tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post.  Check back next week to see who's post is picked!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at!

December 29, 2015

Top 10 Reasons To Join Culinary Crafts On New Year’s Eve!


December 16, 2015

Recipe of the Month: Southern Pecan & Walnut Caramel Squares


Dec_Recipe_2015_Pecan_Squares To get your seats to our New Year's Eve Extravaganza, click here - they're going fast!  Happy cooking, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at!

December 9, 2015

New Year’s Eve Pop-up Restaurant Extravaganza!


 New Year's Eve Email Top

Your New Year’s Eve celebration will be elevated to new heights by joining Culinary Crafts and Ballet West for a once-in-a-lifetime NYE Pop-up on December 31st. The location is awesome…..the 6th floor of the Rice-Eccles Tower, and the dining will be over the top! The Tower features a breathtaking view of Salt Lake City — and at midnight, when fireworks light up the skyline, you will have the best vantage point in town.

7-10pm Mary’s Outrageous Culinary 10-Course Adventure! Hors d’oeuvres, Dinner, and Desserts

10pm -12:30am Dancing to “Disc Connection” Midnight toast and fireworks overlooking the city

In order to attend this exclusive celebration, you must purchase your tickets in advance.

They are very limited, and they sell out quickly. Don’t delay!


$200   for the evening, per person $250   includes 2 signature cocktails and wine pairings, per person (tax and gratuity are included in the price)

Attire:      Creative Black Tie

When:     Thursday, December 31st, 7pm

Where     The Tower Above the City at Rice-Eccles, 6th Floor, University of Utah


Event profits benefit Ballet West


Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at!

September 25, 2015

Friday Instagram of the Week!


CC_IGofTW55 Today's Instagram of the Week comes from our very own Mary Crafts-Homer who posted this GORGEOUS sneak peek of an inspiration shoot she designed and put together this week!  We know you'll want to see how it all comes together too, so stay tuned!  Thanks for sharing, Mary - and remember, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts for your chance to be next week's Instagram of the Week!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at!

March 20, 2015

Friday Instagram of the Week!


CC_IGofTW35 Did you know that Culinary Crafts is the exclusive caterer for the Rice Eccles Stadium & Tower?  Well, it's true!  Today's Instagram of the Week is from the newly launched @culinarycrafts_thetower feed that shows all of the AWESOME goings on that happen as a result of our partnership!  This particular capture is a great display of a recent staff training where we learned all about the Rational Self Cooking Center - so COOL!  Remember to add the hashtag #culinarycrafts or tag us at @culinarycrafts for your chance to be next week's Instagram of the Week!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at!

27x winner Utah’s Best of State

24x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year