Culinary Crafts

The Dream Team of Catering

Mary Crafts, CEO and President

When Mary started Culinary Crafts in 1984 her sights were set on always being her very best. Now, she’s catering events for Oprah Winfrey during the Sundance Film Festival, her company is the largest off-premise caterer in Utah, and she is known as Utah’s Martha Stewart!

 

The success of Culinary Crafts has lead to local and national recognition for Mary both as a businesswoman and a caterer. Mary has received the “A Woman of Excellence” award from the Barbara Barrington Jones Foundation, the “Excellence in Leadership” award from the Woodbury School of Business, she’s been named one of Utah’s 30 Women to Watch, and was twice named “Outstanding Business Woman of the Year”. Her events and catering tips are regularly featured in national media such as Martha Stewart’s Wedding website, “The Knot” wedding blog, Colin Cowie’s television show “Get Married”, and Catering Magazine. Locally Mary has become a familiar face on “Good Things Utah”, “Good Morning Utah” and on KBYU public television, where Mary’s popular cooking show “Culinary Creations” is still being aired. Mary writes a monthly restaurant review for Utah Valley Magazine and her wedding and catering tips are often featured in Utah Bride and Groom, Utah Valley Bride and Latter Day Bride magazines. Mary is honored to serve on the Salt Lake Visitors and Convention Bureau Board of Trustees, The Board of Directors of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce and as an Honorary Director of the International Caterers Association.

 

Mary’s gift for sharing has also put her in the spotlight as a keynote speaker and presenter. She frequently presents educational seminars for the International Caterers Association, and is asked by dozens of business and educational organizations every year to be a keynote speaker for classes, meetings and conferences. Mary is also a champion for Utah. She never misses an opportunity to promote local food purveyors and to highlight Utah as a destination for national and international conventions.

 

Mary also volunteers for several non-profit service organizations. She’s a passionate supporter of the United Way, and was featured on their national television and radio commercials, and served as the President of Women In Philanthropy for two years. Mary is also a volunteer for the Welcome Baby Program, and is a mentor for business students at the Utah Valley University. Mary gives thanks every day for the blessings of her family and friends and for the opportunity to share with others her hard won life lessons and success.


Ryan Crafts, Chief Operations Officer

Because he started sooo young, Ryan has worked in just about every capacity at Culinary Crafts. From dishwasher to event manager to payroll secretary to senior grill master to fleet manager (meaning he made sure the 12 catering vehicles were in tip top mechanical shape at all times), Ryan really has done it all. So, of course he couldn’t help becoming a certified gourmet foodie along the way. Ryan never tires of the creative challenges involved in orchestrating large events, and he truly loves sharing his passion for food with Culinary Crafts’ clients and staff. It just never gets boring for him!

Currently Ryan is the Director of Catering and supervises the on site execution of Culinary Crafts’ events. From setting a dining room for an eight-course meal to perfectly searing the sea bass, Ryan oversees all the details required to maintain Culinary Crafts’ high standard of excellence. He ensures that the grand vision designed by the event planners and the client becomes a reality.

Ryan is also an avid inventor who loves improving on things in the catering world. For example, he wanted to amp up the wow factor of Culinary Craft’s flaming desserts and couldn’t find anything he liked in catalogs, so he designed his own, and then worked with a metal fabricator to have them made. They became such a hit that news of them spread quickly through the catering industry. Ryan was asked to debut his custom designed “Ring of  Fire” flaming tables at an international catering conference in Las Vegas, then he and his tables were featured on the cover of the Jan. 2012 Catersource magazine. More recognition followed when he was asked to do a seminar about Chef Action Stations and his new “Ring of Fire”  at a national catering education conference in Denver that summer. Way to go Ryan! To see the Ring of Fire tables go to our our gallery page in the Chef Action Station category.

Kaleb Crafts, Chief Sales Officer

Kaleb was born the same year Culinary Crafts began. Starting out as an infant in his family’s catering business gave Kaleb a head start compared to his catering peers. This was pointed out by Utah Valley Magazine in 2012, when they included Kaleb in their “Utah’s 40 under 40” list of rising stars in Utah…forty local pros who are low on years but tops on talent, aka, “Utah’s most wanted whippersnappers.”

Yup, they nailed it. Whippersnapper. When Kaleb was three, his brother Ryan and he would pull their Radio Flyer wagon, full of Culinary Crafts’ now famous Sourdough Bread, around the neighborhoods of Provo. Best pre-school marketers anyone ever saw! From then on, Kaleb has been an integral part of the business. Learning every aspect from the ground up is easier when you start out at 3 feet tall, and are adorable.

These days, Kaleb can speak with authority on a multitude of culinary, sales and management topics. Kaleb is our resident expert on roasting a whole pig, while maintaining a healthy sense of humor and holding dozens of people accountable for a myriad of tasks, and, following-up to the nth degree to make sure clients are fully taken care of. Also, if you need pointers on weight training, Kaleb can bench press 589.5 pounds. We’re serious. Check out his video on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srjK73patOM).

In 2013 Kaleb became a partner in Culinary Crafts and is now Chief Corporate Sales Officer as well as being involved in all other aspects of the business, and he’s still adorable.

 

Vicki Skeem, Executive Chef

Vicki knew from an early age that cooking was for her. She loved to cook with her mom (who is also an excellent cook), helping to make dinner, bake bread, and of course, make cookies. Vicki took a Culinary Arts class in high school and loved it so much she decided then and there that she would become a chef. And that’s exactly what she did.

 

Vicki earned her associates degree in Culinary Arts from Utah Valley University and then continued there graduating with her bachelors degree in Hospitality Management.

Vicki’s culinary skill earned her recognition from the American Chefs Association when she competed against other student chefs and was named Western Regional Student Chef of the Year, and, she was part of a competition team who took home a Silver Medal.

 

Vicki loves the logistical and creative challenges of being Culinary Crafts’ executive chef. Every day she has infinite creative opportunities to put her skills to work. Each event calls for special handling because venues are different, menus are customized, and all her culinary presentations must compliment a unique theme. Vicki loves what she does, and she does it amazingly well.

 

Vicki was born in Delta, Utah. Her first job in the food industry was with Taco Time— she was16 years old. From tacos to truffles, you’ve come a long way Vicki!

 

 

 

Jocelyn Ball, Executive Pastry Chef

Jocelyn discovered her natural talent for baking at the young age of eight when she made her first pie. She loved the experience and she’s been practicing her craft ever since! During her years at Utah State University Jocelyn realized her passion for professional baking could become a real life career when she landed a full time job as a pastry apprentice at a fine dining restaurant. In two short years she was running that pastry department! Jocelyn had mastered not only pastries and desserts, but also artisan bread baking by the time she started at Culinary Crafts a few years later. The expertise she developed running a restaurant pastry department transferred beautifully to the challenges of a catering kitchen. Clients love the customized presentations and flavors Jocelyn comes up with to perfectly suit their menu and event theme. And Jocelyn loves the constant creativity required to accomplish new and exciting desserts for each client and event. Culinary Crafts’ award winning bakery and pastry department has never been better thanks to the skill and commitment of Jocelyn Ball!

In 2012, Jocelyn joined Mary as a presenter of a Pastry and Desserts seminar for caterers nationwide – in person at the “The Art of Catering Food” conference in Denver, Colorado, and also on the web…they taught a webinar on the same subject sponsored by the International Caterers Association.