“We’ve won a lot of awards, but we’re only as good as our last event.”
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. Her awards include:
- – “The Kirk Englehardt Ethics Award” from Utah Valley University
- – “One of the 10 Coolest Entreprenuers in Utah”, Utah Business Magazine
- – “A Woman of Excellence” award from the Barbara Barrington Jones Foundation
- – “Excellence in Leadership” award from the Woodbury School of Business
- – Honored as”One of Utah’s 100 Women” by Utah Valley University Women’s Success Center
- – Named one of Utah’s “30 Women to Watch” by Utah Business Magazine
- – Twice named “Outstanding Business Woman of the Year”
Mary’s 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 President Elect of the Salt Lake Visitors and Convention Bureau Board, President of the International Caterers Association Education Foundation, she is a board member of Utah Valley University Foundation, the UVU School of Business National Advisory Council and the Intermountain Healthcare Board of Trustees.
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).
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.
Morgan Cannon, Chef de Cuisine
Morgan knew he loved to cook when he realized that he actually enjoyed helping his mom prepare dinner for his family. That would be dinner for 10! As he got older Morgan took cooking classes in high school, but when it came time for college he decided to give physics a try.
He soon realized his heart wasn’t in it and he wanted a profession he could enjoy for the rest of his life. That’s when he decided to become a chef. He enrolled in Utah Valley University’s Culinary School, where he received a Culinary Arts Scholarship and was on the Deans List.
Morgan is energized by challenges, so he jumped at the chance to compete twice in the “Knowledge Bowl” for UVU, and he competed for the national title as 1 of 2 apprentices for the Western Chef of the Year.
Morgan started at Culinary Crafts as a production chef in May of 2015 and was promoted to Sous Chef in September 2015. He advanced to Chef De Cuisine in April 2016. His favorite thing about Culinary Crafts is the top-notch quality of the food. He also loves that it’s a family run business and everyone treats each other like family.
Morgan says he has a hard time deciding what his favorite things to prepare are because he loves everything and it’s hard to narrow down. However, he is very intrigued with vegetables because there are so many different kinds and varieties with endless colors, textures and flavors. Before joining Culinary Crafts, Morgan worked at Pago, Finca, East Liberty Tap House, and Cirque Lodge at Sundance.
MICHAEL BARRETT, HEAD BAKER
Mike was in his teens when his interests in cooking and gardening took root. His two hobbies blended together nicely as he grew his own organic herbs and vegetables and used them to cook meals from scratch. He loved using homegrown handpicked ingredients for his recipes.
After he graduated from high school, Mike worked in retail for a few years, but eventually had to admit, he really missed being in the kitchen! He decided to follow his passion and enrolled in the Utah Valley University Culinary Arts program. It was there that he discovered he was fanatically interested in baking, especially breads. Breads of all kinds, with creative flavors and toppings, for example, pea and fava bean puree on a ciabatta crostini topped with a mini mint and majoram salad, Yumm!
Check out the bread photos in our formal plated dinners and buffet dinners photo galleries and you’ll see some of his handiwork. Mike joined Culinary Crafts in April of 2015. He loves his job as Head Baker because Culinary Crafts doesn’t have set menus that repeat every day. Mike gets to do what he loves, and Culinary Crafts’ clients get what they love, fresh and delicious baked-from-scratch breads and rolls at every event!