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REPOST: A Bar Inspired Sophisticated Wedding Reception

By | Culinary Crafts Events | No Comments


Culinary Crafts is so excited to be guest posting today! Utah Bride & Groom Magazine is one of our favorite magazines for wedding trends and inspiration – and we are so honored to be able to add our voice to their stellar blog! Today, we’d love to showcase a beautiful wedding that we did recently that was chock full of divine eats and breathtaking elegance, all in the heart of Salt Lake City.

When we initially met with Lacey and Steven, the bride told us that she envisioned an incredibly elegant wedding at the McCune Mansion (with a GORGEOUS designer dress from Modern Trousseau) and AMAZING, romantic florals. But, she had a twist in store for us!  This bride wanted an sophisticated wedding reception BUT she wanted all of the food and beverages to be bar inspired!  How fun is that? She told us that she wanted to create an intimate atmosphere of total comfort and warmth for her guests – and, boy, was it fun for us to create a menu with such a contrast! I love the juxtaposition between the two styles.  Thank you also to Melissa Kelsey Photography for the fantastic photos!  Check it out!

A Bar Inspired Sophisticated Wedding Reception

This was such a fun couple and the stunning bride was about as bubbly as could be! Plus that gown!!! LOVE! Not to be out dressed, the groom, who’s a proud Scotsman, naturally wore full Scottish wedding attire which included a dashing kilt!  Such a stylish couple.

A Bar Inspired Sophisticated Wedding Reception

For this event, we really wanted to mix the feeling of high style elegance and romance with our re-envisioned takes on bar bites and libations for that added twist of fun.  So, of course we made sure that the drinks had that bar classics vibe, but with a feeling of refinement.  So, we concocted standby favorites and gave them a twist (literally and figuratively) and came up with fun, customized names that fit the couple to a ’T’!  Plus, the added touch of the hand drawn calligraphy from Karli Noel was such a pretty presentation!

A Bar Inspired Sophisticated Wedding Reception

A party is no fun unless the food and drink is plentiful and delectable! We love to greet the guests with hors d’oeuvres during a cocktail hour that allows guests to mingle and chat before dinner and for this very special menu of ‘bar bites elevated’, we dreamed up some really amazing eats!  We served the guests Mini Chicken & Waffles drizzled with Maple Syrup and Mary’s Signature Danger Tots with Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, and Jalapeño.  Seriously yummy – and FUN!

A Bar Inspired Sophisticated Wedding Reception

Isn’t this reception space gorgeous?  We loved the polished look of the golden charges which tied in the golden accents throughout the McCune Mansion.  Plus, the chic palette of white, blush, and pink florals from Native Flower Company really brought in the couple’s desire for a romantic atmosphere. We loved setting the scene for the fabulous meal to come!

A Bar Inspired Sophisticated Wedding Reception

Of course, a gorgeously elegant wedding day deserves a fabulously upscale, plated dinner for all the guests – but, of course, we gave that a twist for an extra element of unique-ness.  So, we served a starter of a summer favorite, Watermelon with Arugula, Goat Cheese, Fresh Mint, and Balsamic Reduction and then an entree of our AMAZING “Hello, Gorgeous!” Burgers which featured our House-made Grilled Brioche Bun and Culinary Craft’s Secret Sauce with a side of Hand-Cut Truffle Parmesan Fries with Smoked Aioli.

This wedding was SO fun to put together. The Culinary Crafts team are suckers for a gorgeous, elegant event, but raise the bar and ask us to get creative with a menu of classic, bar food to fit the upscale theme of the event? Yes, please!  Such a great day – and, just in time for all of you starting to plan for Valentine’s Day, we wanted to invite you all to an elegant and romantic event of your own!

Culinary Crafts will be hosting a Romantic Pop Up Restaurant dinner on February 14th at our own downtown venue, The Tasting Room. Please join us for a lavish and decadent 6-course dinner that is sure to dazzle your senses!  Find more details here.  We can’t wait to show you and your special someone what an amazing dining experience we offer to every one of our guests!  See you soon and happy dreaming, everyone!

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

VENDORS // Catering: Culinary Crafts // Venue:   McCune Mansion  // Photography: Melissa Kelsey Photography // Florals: Native Flower Company // Calligraphy:  Karli Noel // Gown: Modern Trousseau // Bridal Shop: Alta Moda Bridal

REPOST: A Modern Asian-Themed Wedding at The Leonardo Museum

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Parties, Vendor Love!, Wedding Trends | No Comments


We revisit this colorful and contemporary celebration featured in the pages of our magazine.

In celebration of Chinese New Year this weekend, we’re #FBF-ing to Candice Yee & Eric Bender’s Real Utah Wedding featured in our Summer/Fall 2013 issue.

The “Modern Shanghai” and “Upscale Chinatown” themed wedding at The Leonardo Museum in downtown Salt Lake City—planned and designed by FUSE Weddings & Events—was inspired by the couple’s love of travel and Asian street food. Culinary Crafts recreated some of the duo’s favorite eats for the cocktail hour, including skewered shrimp satay, pork pot stickers, and Thai-style fish cakes served with chopsticks in take-out containers lined with Chinese newspaper. The morning of the big day the couple held a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, a nod to the bride’s family’s heritage. During the reception, Yee swapped her Vera Wang gown for a traditional red Chinese dress. The couple later departed among a sea of sparklers and glowing Chinese Kongming paper lanterns.

Read the couple’s love story + wedding details here, and see more photos of their festivities here!


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

Delectable Food Photography Tips for Mouth-Watering Images

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Food, Top 5 Tips, Wedding Trends | No Comments

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to gain more followers on Instagram or another social platform, upgrade your cooking website by refreshing it with new images, or perhaps publish a cookbook – whatever your reasons are, photos sell your product!

You need to learn how to take photos visitors on your website or your followers and friends online will cry over. It’s not as difficult as it sounds and you’ll need to stick to a couple of rules.


Use Natural Lighting

If you want to get the right color and make it clear to everyone looking at the photo that you were in the presence of a culinary master-piece, my suggestion is to use natural lighting and take your photos in daylight. The flash of your camera, along with other forms of artificial lights will change the natural shade of the meal in front of you, and you want everything to look natural and tasty.

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Choose Your Pieces with Care

Before you take a photo, it’s important that you select only the most representable pieces of food you want to capture on camera. So, you need to spend some time making that selection in order to end up with a photo that’s absolutely perfect.

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Find Just the Right Angle

This one will take time and you must endure in your persistence – probably the most difficult thing about catching the yumminess of a certain meal and transferring it into a photo is finding the right angle. You’ll need to move around and experiment.

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Have a Tripod with You

Photo shoots require precision and you don’t want something like your hands shaking due to tiredness to stand in the way of you making the perfect photo. You can easily solve this problem if you carry your tripod with you, so make it an essential piece of your equipment.

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Experiment with Your Composition

Photographing food is a time-sensitive process – either it will get cold or it will melt before your eyes. So, if you don’t see things working out in the very beginning, change the table right away and move that composition in front of you around until you make it look as delicious as it tastes. Naturally, you’ll need a good photo editing job done afterwards so you can accent those crumbling layers and emphasize colors.

If you plan on doing this in the future, my suggestion is to learn about setting the table and decorating it with the use of various ornaments. This can come in handy when you’re on the set and trying to get the perfect photo, because you will be able to spot if anything is wrong with the composition in front of you, so you can fix it right away and prevent the food from getting ruined right before your eyes. There’s a lot to be learned here and you can only become better with practice, so make sure to get lots of it.

Guest post: written by Isabella Foreman

A Delicious Winter Salad (and Our Valentine’s Day Pop-Up!)

By | Recipe of the Month, Recipes | No Comments

The new year is such an exciting time! We’re looking forward to creating our February Valentine’s Pop-up Restaurant, and launching our new YouTube Channel, TheCraft(s), but first, I’ll tell you about a favorite winter salad. We get so many requests for this salad this time of year we wanted to send out the recipe. It’s a light and refreshing winter salad with an incredibly delicious vinaigrette…and it features pistachio’s! Did you know that pistachio’s are grown in Southern Utah? You’ll be able to find Utah pistachio’s at almost any local grocery store. You’ll love serving it as a starter for dinner or pairing it with soup for lunch. Garnishing this salad with sliced apples or pears is a healthy way to take it up a notch.

Enjoy! Mary
Mary Crafts-Homer

Garnish this salad with apples or pears for extra deliciousness

Our next pop-up will be a night to remember


Winter Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

with Roasted Pistachios, Gorgonzola & Dried Figs
Serves 10
Salad Ingredients
1 pound mix greens (farm greens)
1 cup of roasted pistachios (toasted)
1 cup of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (4 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled)
1 cup of dried figs (cut in quarters) We love using fresh figs when they are in season!
1 cup of poppy seed vinaigrette

Ingredients for the Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
1.5 Tbsp of mayonnaise
2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp of honey
1/4 cup of vegetable oil or olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp of poppy seeds

Combine mayo, vinegar and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. With blender running slowly add the oil until emulsified. Remove from blender. Whisk in the poppy seeds. Adjust seasonings. (You can use an immersion blender when making a smaller amount)

Toss together the salad ingredients and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

We catered a Surprise Pop-up wedding at The Tasting Room!

By | Parties, The Tasting Room, Vendor Love!, Vendor Spotlight, Wedding Trends | No Comments

The bride and groom, Angie and Scott, wanted to create a spontaneous and carefree wedding experience for themselves and their friends and family. Boy, did they succeed!

They told their guests they were invited to a dinner to share great food and great times with friends and family. When the guests arrived, to their astonishment, they found out it was actually a wedding…Angie and Scott were to married then and there! We give special thanks to their wedding photographer, Steve Speckman, for sharing his beautiful photos with us.

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

To create a calm and natural ambiance the chairs were decorated with sage branches and soft white ribbon.


Having pulled off their first “caper” as husband and wife, the bride and groom shared a congratulatory kiss in the gallery.

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

After the ceremony guests were seated at tables adorned with succulents in rustic wood boxes and gold mercury glass votives echoing the natural ambiance of the patio.

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

Guests were delighted with their 4-course Pop-up wedding dinner!

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

Mary Crafts-Homer introduced each course, explaining the nuances of the ingredients and preparations.

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

At Pop-up Dinners, guests can watch our chef’s cook and plate everything!

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

Angie and Scott were able to make their rounds to talk to their wedding guests during the first course.

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

After enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres, guests were served a fresh green salad with Parmesan, lemon vinaigrette, and lemon zest.

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

For the second course, we served the ultimate comfort food: Mary’s homemade meatballs and spaghetti with shaved Parmesan!

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

How incredible does this grilled prime filet look?! It’s topped with melon salsa and served over balsamic potatoes, leeks, and asparagus.

Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

For their fourth course, everyone enjoyed a tasting of Utah cheeses, honey comb, and apple as well as a wine and cheese napoleon on a brioche crostini.


Angie and Scott's surprise wedding at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City

For dessert guests enjoyed petite chocolate fudge wedding cakes with raspberry coulis and edible gold dust sprinkles, served with home made caramel gelato on the side.

All in all – this was a Pop-up Wedding success!

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Pecan Glaze Moat

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Food, Recipe of the Month, Recipes, Tips | No Comments

This feature was originally posted in Utah Valley Magazine Holiday Edition! Pick up a copy for more delicious recipes!


Shown here with a dried fruit confit and creme anglaise; the pecan glaze is equally delicious!



Ingredients for the cake 
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup melted butter
1 TBS vanilla
1/2 cup whiskey or apple juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sweet potato puree
METHOD FOR THE CAKEPreheat oven to 350 degrees, grease bundt pan with butter and lightly dust with with flour

1. Combine wet ingredients in a mixing bowl
2. Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl
3. Combine mixtures into one bowl
4. Add sweet potato puree, mix until incorporated
5. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan
6. Bake on center rack for 22 to 30 minutes, let cool and invert onto platter


1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup bourbon (optional) or 2 TBS vanilla

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to boil over medium heat. When it has reached a boil lower heat to keep warm. This glaze keeps for at least a week refrigerated, re-heat it before serving.

Ladle glaze onto serving plate and place slice of pumpkin cake on top, garnish with whipped cream, gelato, or ice-cream.


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Happy New Years! Recipe for Black Eyed Peas

By | Food, How To, Recipe of the Month, Recipes | No Comments
Black eyed peas are a staple for New Years. Tradition says if you eat this dish on New Years Day (Jan 1st), it will bring you good luck for the rest of the year! If you add collard greens to your dish it is said to make them even luckier because it’s the color of money! The beans are usually simmered with onion and a meaty bone like pork or ham and seasoned with just salt and pepper. 

  • 2 pounds black-eyed peas, soaked overnight if possible
  • 2 pounds smoked ham hock, meaty ham bone or slab bacon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds collard greens, cut in 1-inch ribbons (about 8 cups)
  • 1 bunch scallions, cleaned and chopped, for garnish


  1. Drain peas and put them in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add ham hock or bone (if using slab bacon, cut it into 2-inch chunks), cover with 10 cups water and turn heat to high. Add salt, onion stuck with cloves, bay leaf, black pepper and allspice.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until peas are tender. Throughout cooking, add water as necessary, always keeping liquid level 1 inch above surface, stirring with wooden spoon occasionally. Turn off heat. Check broth for salt and adjust seasoning. Mixture should be fairly brothy. With a pair of tongs, remove ham hock, ham bone or bacon. Chop meat and skin in rough pieces and set aside.
  3. Put a large wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and heat until wavy. Add garlic and red pepper and let sizzle without browning. Add collard greens and stir to coat. Season with salt and add 1 cup water, stirring to help wilt greens. Add chopped ham and reduce heat to medium, then cover with lid slightly ajar and cook until greens are soft, about 20 minutes. Check seasoning.
  4. To serve, put greens and meat in low soup bowls, then ladle over hot black-eyed peas. Sprinkle with scallions.

❄ Ginger Cookie Love plus YouTube Launch! ❄

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Wishing you the Happiest of Holidays

We’ve been busy elves this month! Not only have we been making all sorts of wonderful creations for our clients’ holiday entertaining, we’re also in the middle of launching “The Craft(s)” Culinary Crafts’ Youtube Channel! The new channel is all about the passion and drama of food, presented in ways you’ve never seen before. Things like fire, steam, and blades become the main characters and drive the story in each video. (These are not your ordinary cooking videos!) Check out the trailer below, and sign up to receive a notice when the channel goes live in January.
Now, for the December recipe — Oatmeal Ginger Cream Cookies. You’ll have some fun of your own making these delightful treats!

Love, Mary
Ginger Cream Cookie Recipe

Check out this trailer for our new YouTube Channel:
The Craft(s) launching in January


Oatmeal Ginger Cream Cookies

Makes 1 dozen cookies
Ingredients for Cookies
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned into cup and leveled off)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg

Ingredients for Filling

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons finely diced crystalized (candied) ginger
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/3  cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
dash of salt

Position the racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Place the oats on a baking sheet and bake on the upper rack for 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice to prevent burning, until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on for the cookies.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt

In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and the granulated and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in the toasted oats.

Roll 2 tablespoons of the dough into a ball, or use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop and drop the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. With dampened hands, flatten each to a 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake for 12 minutes, switching the baking sheets from top to bottom and rotating them from front to back halfway through, or until lightly browned around the edges and set. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling

In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Mix in the vanilla, salt and crystalized ginger. Spread the mixture on 12 of the cookies and then top them with the other 12 cookies. Enjoy!

Introducing The Craft(s) YouTube Channel Trailer

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Food, Recipes | No Comments

We are so excited to share with you the trailer for the new YouTube Channel we’re launching in January! This show is all about the food, the ingredients, and the craft! It will not be a how to. You’ll see Mary, Ryan, and Kaleb doing some of the coolest things we do here at Culinary Crafts. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the #foodporn you’re about to see. And remember, do NOT do this at home.

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❄ Luscious Holiday Pudding Cake! ❄

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Winter has arrived!

I recently took a trip to Scotland with Rick and a group from the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce. It was a fantastically beautiful trip. I was excited to taste some original Scottish cooking and baking to see how our recipes compared. One of my favorites has always been the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake. We have worked on developing the ultimate recipe and it has been one of our go-to recipes for years. When I finally tasted the original Scottish pudding cake, I was very pleased to find out that we had actually improved on the authentic Scottish version! Your family is going to love our new and improved version of this traditional holiday dessert.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Love, Mary

Here we are at the edge of the mystical lake “Loch Ness” on a perfectly overcast day in Scotland!


Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

Makes one pudding cake
1 cup plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1 cups boiling water
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Toffee sauce

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla


Whipped Cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round or square baking dish. Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper. Chop the date’s pretty fine. Place in a small bowl and add the boiling water and baking soda; set aside.

In a bowl of electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the date mixture to the batter and fold until blended with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake until pudding is set and firm on top, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack.

Directions for Toffee sauce
Combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil gently over medium low heat until mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Add vanilla and and serve immediately. Drizzle with toffee sauce and garnish with whipped cream.