Food Theory Thursday

UV Magazine Restaurant Review | Food Theory Thursday

By | Food Theory Thursday


As some of you may know, our very own Mary Crafts-Homer writes fabulous restaurant reviews for each issue of UV Magazine!  From high end eateries to down home comfort classics, she reviews them all.  And you know you can count on Mary to let you know exactly which are the best bites!  In the current issue, she reviewed The Old Towne Grill, which is part of the historic Center Street area in Provo.  I don’t know about you, but if the cheesecake photo (above) is any indication, this place is AMAZING!  If you want to read more about what she thought, pick up a copy of UV Magazine today.  Not only is Mary’s awesome review inside, but lots of other great stuff!  Happy reading everyone!

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Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Caterer | Food Theory Thursday

By | Food Theory Thursday


Even though we are almost into the full swing of wedding season, some of you still may be searching for stellar vendors to make your event AMAZING!  With that in mind, I thought this ever-so-helpful advice from our very own Mary Crafts-Homer would be perfect for anyone looking for a top-notch caterer.  These “Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Caterer” are a good way to find out which caterer will fit your taste, style, and budget – so you can sit back and relax, knowing that you’ve picked the best fit for you and your wedding!  Check it out!

1.  Let your caterer know your budget up front and ask what would be the best fit for your event based on that budget.  You may want a 7 course plated dinner for all your guests but that definitely adds major cost to your bottom line – so unless your budget allows for it, let the caterer suggest other options – such as a gorgeous dinner buffet with similar food options to cut your cost.  If the caterer won’t work with your budget or tries to upsell you an event you aren’t sure you can afford – be wary.  Also make sure that you trust your caterer enough to give you ideas you wouldn’t have thought of yourself, but also make sure that they keep your vision at the forefront.  It’s your day, after all!


2.  Ask if there are any additional costs for labor, alcohol service, gratuity, etc. that will be added into your final total.  This is especially important if you have a tight budget and do not want to be surprised with the final bill the week before your wedding.  Most caterers will outline any additional labor costs, extra staff costs, alcohol provider’s costs, and also suggest a gratuity based on your cost.  Make sure you are aware of the costs involved and plan for your budget and there will be no surprises at the end.  Also, remember the gratuity is based on the service provided.  So your gratuity should reflect your overall happiness with the event and service.


3.  Ask if the food is prepared on-site or in a kitchen off-site.  Culinary Crafts prides itself on preparing their food at the event site (which is one of the reasons it is SO delicious and fresh).  This allows you to plan for how much space the caterer will need to prepare the food and plan a layout where they will have their “back of house” or prep area.  You don’t want to be figuring this out on the day of – you’ll have more important things to focus on!


4.  Ask if they are a full service caterer or not.  Meaning, are they just going to show up and make sure the food is taken care of?  Or are they going to make sure that the layout is the way that you (the client) have envisioned?  And that the cake shows up?  Or that the rental company has delivered the chairs and linens you ordered?  Culinary Crafts will make sure all facets of the event are taken care of from layout to set up to execution.  Of course, a wedding planner would do this as well – so if you have hired one, Culinary Crafts will work closely with the planner to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.  One less thing to worry about on your wedding day!


5.  Ask other wedding vendors and past client about their experience with the caterer you are considering hiring.  No matter what the reputation is of the caterer, you should ask vendors and clients you know and trust about their experience with the caterer to find out if they would recommend them or had any problems with them.  It’s always important to know who you are doing business with.  It’ll make sure you are happy in the long run!

Happy planning everyone!

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Photo by Logan Walker, A Pepper Nix Photographer

Bon Appetit’s Food Trends for 2013 | Food Theory Thursday

By | Food Theory Thursday

Recently, Bon Appetit honed their culinary prowess to predict the top 25 emerging food trends for 2013 – which as you may guess is totally up my alley!  While I am truly loving the diversity on the list, I gotta say my fav one was #23: Blond(ie) is the new Brown(ie)!  Now, please understand that I am a die-hard choco-phile and I will never let my brownie love go, but I am truly excited to see blondies make a resurgence.  Especially since I know Culinary Crafts’s pastry chef, Jocelyn Ball, has a kick butt recipe for Salted Caramel Blondies – yes I said salted caramel blondies – that are heavenly!  I am thrilled to see blondies make a comeback – and will happily indulge in them throughout their rise in 2013!  Happy eating everyone!

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Photo via Logan Walker, A Pepper Nix Photographer

Salt Lake Bride & Groom Love! | Food Theory Thursday

By | Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, Food Theory Thursday

Reposted, with permission, from Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom Magazine

And the Award Goes To: Culinary Crafts Wins Big at the CATIE Awards

Utah’s own awarded Caterer of the Year by the International Caterers Association

The film industry has the Academy Awards, the music industry has the Grammys, the television industry has the Emmys, and the event catering industry has the CATIES. The Catered Arts Through Innovative Excellence Awards are held annually to “recognize achievement of exemplary food production at an event”–in other words, food presentation that’s as pleasing to the palate as it is to your other four senses.

At this year’s CATIE Awards, Utah-based Culinary Crafts cleaned up big time. And we mean BIG time. Culinary Crafts was awarded Caterer of the Year by the International Caterers Association. Yup, our very own Culinary Crafts snatched up top honors at the event, beating out catering companies from as far away as South Africa. And that’s not all: Culinary Crafts also won the ACE award at this year’s Catersource conference, one of only five awards given out each year (four in the U.S. and one internationally). No caterer has ever won both of these awards, let alone a caterer from Utah.


ICA Award Mary, Kaleb, Ryan

We caught up with Mary Crafts, CEO and president of Culinary Crafts, to get her reaction on the big win:

I was dumbfounded when we won the Caterer of the Year award! I had my shoes off at our banquet table because I was not expecting to win–when they announced our name I thought, “I have to get my shoes on!” I was so shocked, I could hardly speak. It was amazing to be there and to win these awards. My first thought (after thinking about my shoes) was, “Text the team!” Everything we do is a team effort. These awards are for the many people at Culinary Crafts who work every day to bring excellence to the company and make sure we’re the best around.

We’ve always championed the incredible talents of stellar local vendors like Mary Crafts and the Culinary Crafts team, and we’re thrilled to hear the international community is taking notice now, too!

Congratulations Mary, Ryan, Kaleb, and the entire Culinary Crafts family! Mary, we’re popping a bottle of champagne can of Diet Coke in your honor!

Thank you to Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom Magazine for the shout out and again!  You are the best!  We are just so thrilled to be able to bring this prestigious honor home to Utah and thank our team for being the amazing people that brought us here today!

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Check Us Out! | Food Theory Thursday

By | Food Theory Thursday

Have you checked out the Culinary Crafts website lately?  You definitely should because we are constantly updating, adding, and posting new events, photos, and all around good stuff!!!  You can sign up to receive the recipe of the month and newsletters from Miss Mary Crafts-Homer, check out the best of the best events, find out more about our venue The Tasting Room, meet our super talented staff, and just take in all of the glorious food and decor that we have to offer!  Not to mention we have stunning photo tours for all of the best venues in the valley and we’ve even added new event videos to our wedding and corporate galleries to boot!  If you haven’t gone to in awhile, you are missing out!  Happy surfing everyone!

Check out more on our website!

Culinary Crafts on 100 Magnificent Sites for Chefs! | Food Theory Thursday

By | Food Theory Thursday

Well, we are just tickled pink this week.  Not only are we nominated for the ACE award, but Culinary Crafts’s website has been added to the “100 Magnificent Sites for Chefs” list!  This list compiles sites that they deem all “aspiring chefs would do well to follow, since they’re at the top of the culinary heap or moving fast in that direction.”  From celebrity chefs, to regional cuisine, tofood stylists, and even culinary organizations and magazines, this is a list we feel just thrilled to be a part of!  Take a look – and thank you so much for the accolades!!!

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Finca Restaurant Review | Food Theory Thursday

By | Food Theory Thursday

Recently, our Mary Crafts-Homer tried out a new restaurant from the culinary powerhouse that’s behind Pago called Finca.  We love Pago‘s farm to table initiative, commitment to green living and reclaimed furnishings, not to mention the creative and innovative food offerings they are always coming up with!  Lucky for us, the people of Pago have opened another divine place with the same principles!   Finca is sure to become a foodie haven and culinary hot spot and we simply LOVE it!  We enjoy all of the small plates and tapas for sure.  Plus, Mary has started eating a modified vegan diet and was super stoked to see that there were so many options for her and her dining companion!  The attention to taste and detail is truly welcome to any one searching for a mouthwatering meal.  From the Ensalada de Remolacha (a beet salad with pickled strawberries, house ricotta, and greens), to the Gambas tapas (rock shrimp with garlic oil, lemon, and chile), to the Cordero de Asador (grilled local lamb belly with cider braised apples and squash puree) I think I would end up ordering the entire menu and rolling out of there in a heavenly food coma.  SO YUMMY! As if that weren’t enough to peak your interest, I have also heard about their attention to high end mixology and spirits, which sounds like a welcome addition to Salt Lake City – not to mention Finca was awarded Best Mixologist and Best Wine List by Salt Lake Magazine recently, so you know they got something great going.  The are really trying to bring their cocktail servings up a notch and have a truly innovative cocktail menu – not to mention they make their own tonics in house, can carbonate any cocktail per request, and have more infusions than you can shake a stick at!  Another great thing about Finca (and Pago) is that they both employ a cruvinet wine system that basically keeps the wine in a controlled environment that maintains the freshness of the bottle as well as if it were just opened!  This allows both Pago and Finca to be able to serve a greater selection of wines by the glass, which is great for anyone interested in pairing lots of wines with different dishes – or for a connoisseur who wants a great glass of wine every time!  So, if you are looking for something new and innovative, or would just like to treat yourself to a fine night out, DEFINITELY check out Finca!  Happy eating everyone!

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Logo, restaurant interior, and Farm to Table Logo from  Tostada image from Best of Salt Lake Restaurants and Hamburger image from Future RD Eats

Rustic Ranch Wedding Part 3 | Food Theory Thursday

By | Food Theory Thursday

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Today, we have Part 3 of our Rustic Ranch beauty of a wedding and I just know you are going to love it!  Today, we are focusing on the food and drink, which I must say, is ALWAYS my favorite part of the day!  I warn you, viewing these images might leave you hungry!  Check it out!

This canoe of vintage style soda bottles was one of my favorite details of the year.  Whimsical and functional, guests DEFINITELY loved this special touch.

We also appreciated their nod to Utah’s very own High West Distillery!  The couple chose to make their signature High West Lemonade their signature cocktail – which is DELCIOUS, I must say!

The couple chose so many appetizers to really get their guests appetites going!  Sweet Potato Fries with Utah Fry Sauce, Mini Cordon Bleus, Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Corn Salsa, Utah Smoked Trout Crostini, and Chipotle Shrimp with Cumin Spiced Cream were some of the offerings.  So delicious!

The bride chose to create a family style menu for her guests which is always a great idea with these long tables which allow people to pass and share the dishes easily!  Definitely one of our favorite dining style for sure!

Candy buffets are always a fun addition, especially when the couple picks their favorites to share!

Not only did the couple create a fun candy station, but they had a s’mores station, and bundt cakes instead of traditional wedding cake for their guests to enjoy!

This event was so much fun and we just LOVED all of the BEAUTIFUL details, the GORGEOUS venue, and FANTASTIC food that came together to make this wedding one of a kind – definitely not one to be forgotten any time soon!  Thank you so much to Nikki and Mike for letting us share in this extraordinary day!  Happy planning everyone!

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Photos by Logan Walker, A Pepper Nix Photographer

Chic Eats | Food Theory Thursday

By | Food Theory Thursday

We were lucky to be able to create some BEAUTIFUL dishes for Utah Valley Bride‘s article on the latest and greatest catering trends.  These dishes are truly indicative of today’s bride.  Whether you are hosting a rustic ranch wedding, a small backyard celebration, or a glam Great Gatsby style affair, people want their food to not only taste good, but be spectacular to look at.  These varying dishes are all geared toward different types of events, but, nonetheless, all are striking in presentation and will be sure to impress your guests!  We love adding special touches like artfully brushing the sauces atop the plate (as seen on the far right photo in the Caramelized Salmon with Fresh Mango Salsa, Fried Rice Noodles, and Balsamic Reduction), or serving drink in mason jars with burlap tied drink signage (as seen on the top middle photo in the Mason Jar Lemonade Trio of Fresh Mint and Lime, Strawberry and Vanilla, and Lavender and Ginger), and lastly the fun misting spray bottle for the appetizers (as seen in the far left photo in the Cumin and Tomato Dusted Shrimp with Grilled Lime and Poblano Mister).  Even adding paper straws and vintage style soda bottles (like in our Old Fashioned Style Creamsicle Ice Cream Soda) or building a dish vertically (like the Basil Encrusted Sea Scallop) can really take a dish up a notch.  We love that brides are looking for more from their catering than just a way to feed their guests.  They want scrumptious food, lots of variety, and creative presentation – and we LOVE it!  Thank you to Utah Valley Bride for letting us come up with some beautiful dishes for the magazine!  We loved being a part of it!  Happy planning everyone!

Check out more stunning dishes and catering on!

Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom – Food Forward Feature | Food Theory Thursday

By | Food Theory Thursday

Today, we are taking a little detour from the fantastic weddings we are thrilled to share from our local bridal magazines to showcase a food trend article featuring many leaders of Utah’s culinary scene – including our very own Mary Crafts-Homer!  This beautiful layout from Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom is more than just a pretty face – its full of food for thought.  Many brides are looking for ways to wow their guests while satiating their appetites, which is exactly what this article aims to do.  From side dishes to hors d’oeuvres – and everything in between – we get the new and upcoming deliciousness that is sure to delight wedding guests in the year ahead!  Definitely check out the newest issue of Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom, for this and SO many other AWESOME articles!  (Plus for all of you digiphiles – they have an e-issue available too!)  Thank you for allowing us to share these new an exciting food trend with your readers, SLPC Bride & Groom, you are AMAZING!  Remember to stay tuned for more DELICIOUS weddings from this and the other BEAUTIFUL local magazines coming up soon!

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Magazine Photographer by Lara Ferroni