When Mayor Becker of Salt Lake called and said, “I want to host a dinner for the League of Cities that they will never forget!” he had our attention. We live for these kind of challenges! We designed a chef’s dinner where all the chefs’ cooking, presentation, and fun were focused in the center of the room. The dining tables encircled the “kitchen” where each course was prepared right in front of the guests. Mary was on hand to walk them through the bounties of Utah which were showcased in each course. Aside from the fabulous meal they enjoyed, lasting friendships were made and Visit Salt Lake sealed the deal for this important client to return to SLC with their annual conference. What we created that evening changed the entire focus of our company. We realized we do more than just serve food. We create experiences for our guests. Mary stood and hugged each guest as they departed and one gentleman exclaimed, “A year from now, I may not remember what I ate tonight, but I will never forget how I felt.” Wow! Those kind of experiences make everything we do worth it.
Blue Sky Utah
On the second night of partnering with Offsite Utah for the out-of-state executives, they were looking for something interactive, so we setup a chef’s style dinner with the kitchen in the front of house right out with the guests. Our own Mary Crafts-Homer was on-site personally to emcee and guide the guests through a culinary adventure. We were pleased to feature products from dozens of local farms, ranches, and food artisans at this Utah focused dinner. The guest favorite was probably the surprise chocolate tasting featuring local award-winning single source chocolates from Amano Chocolate. Thanks to Offsite Utah for the chance to work together to bring some fun events to life! -Kaleb
Utah Olympic Park
We were privileged to partner with Offsite Utah to create two fun events for a group of out-of-state executives. We took care of them for 2 consecutive nights, first at the Utah Olympic Park and then at Blue Sky Utah. The first night was a “Welcome to Utah” event with all outdoor cooking and chef action stations. The Santa Maria grill was the show stopper for sure. Photography by Angela Howard Photography. -Kaleb
The Tasting Room
I love designing unique breakfast menus and this one at the Tasting Room was no exception. As guests arrived, they were greeted by macerated local seasonal fruits with Chantilly cream and orange zest. The bread selections were a house-made bran muffin and kouign-amann, our two most requested breakfast items! Baked bacon and eggs in ramekins are always a hit, but the highlight of the meal was the table side cooking of the ebleskivers served with buttermilk syrup, whipped cream, and berries. Fresh ground coffee and fresh orange juice finish a perfect start to the day. Love, Mary
Salt Lake Hardware Building
ASAE was one of the busiest weeks in our history, but we were thrilled to be able to host so many VIP parties for a number of different clients that weekend. This one at the SL Hardware Building was a blast. 400 guests coming and going and coming back to party more made for an awesome evening! I especially loved the dessert table that highlighted Utah honey! Each recipe used a different style of local honey. Safe to say, this party was buzzing! :) -Kaleb
Multiview has been a great local client for a few years, so when their corporate office came into town for ASAE, we were honored to help put together a really fun evening concert event for their VIP guests. Food stations at The Depot . . . fun decor, fun food, fun venue, do I need to say more? -Kaleb
Natural History Museum of Utah
Helping a local company with their 25th anniversary was a lot of fun. 500 guests on the south terraces at the Natural History Museum of Utah meant a lot of hauling equipment up and down the stairs and the side of the mountain. This also meant we were staging food and running down from the upper floor of the museum back down to the 3 levels of the terraces . . . all in the heat of a Utah summer! Luckily, we set up our famous house-made gelato to keep guests cool along with cold drinks from our signature drink wall. Ice cold local watermelon with fresh basil and other small plates were the perfect fit for this outdoor event. Photography by Kelli Bramble. -Kaleb
Fun, creative, and scientific food was the goal of the menu design for this large event at The Leonardo. The science of coffee highlighting 6 different brewing methods was one of my favorite things. Guests loved the flaming ramen and couldn’t believe the purple potato puree. The dry ice and beaker cocktails were tons of fun. And our custom drink wall looked amazing! We also loved working with two local event power houses, DSC and In The Event. Fantastic evening! -Kaleb
The Tasting Room
In true Big Apple fashion, New York City pulled out all the stops to throw a lively and unforgettable event. NYC was searching for a venue close to the Salt Palace with some character and personality to complement their event. The event would host a handful of potential clients, so the pressure was on. They asked us to create a menu that was entertaining and reminiscent of the action-packed rhythm of the city. We did not want to disappoint, so we kicked off the evening with some savory passed hors d’oeuvres: chipotle shrimp passed on a lime wedge, smoked Rocky Mountain trout with High West vodka crème fraiche, bacon wrapped dates, and strawberry soup sips with basil lime. Then on to the main show, our signature action stations . . . the mezzaluna station with Snuck Farm’s greens, local peaches, and candied Red Rock pistachios served with our house made ciabatta and sea salted butter; grass-feed beef tri-tip, precision cooked and flame seared live at the station with a house-made chimicurri served with Green River watermelon with feta, fresh mint, and balsamic reduction; and Mary’s signature gnocchi, a delicate potato dumpling, sautéed at the station in brown butter, with charred corn and chanterelle mushrooms. And like all good Broadway acts, we included a show stopper: our famous flaming donuts served with our amazing house-made gelato! Encore, encore!
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Building
The new S.J. Quinney College of Law building at the University of Utah is one of our favorite venues in which to cater. Not only is the view outstanding, this space is so versatile when creating both the mood and menu for any occasion. We loved the beautiful holiday decor and delicious food for this festive party! Favorite appetizers included roasted artichoke & Gorgonzola on house-made crostini and coconut shrimp with apricot ginger dipping sauce. Follow that with chef carved prime rib with roasted shallots, bacon & port wine au jus, prosciutto wrapped chicken breast with a balsamic reduction, or for those who prefer a vegetarian option: a roasted red pepper stuffed with farro and seasonal vegetables. It’s amazing there was any room left for dessert! But of course there is always room for chocolate peppermint cheesecake or cinnamon bread pudding with brandy cream sauce.
Salt Lake Library Square
Not since the Winter Olympics in 2002 has such an event impacted Utah as much as the American Society of Association Executives conference in August 2016. We were fortunate to cater the huge opening night party for 5000 attendees as we welcomed them to the new face of Salt Lake City. It takes a village to plan and execute an event of this size with over 200 service personnel and chefs and 100 bartenders. It took months of planning, but it was all worth it when guests couldn’t believe there were no lines at any of the bar or food tents and everyone was so friendly! Thanks to all the staff at Visit Salt Lake for their guidance and trust. We showed the world that Utah not only has amazing food and drink, but we’re also tons of fun!
The Tasting Room
Choose Chicago was one of the many fun events we had the opportunity to cater during the ASAE conference in Salt Lake City. This was a unique set-up at our very own venue, The Tasting Room, with action stations representing 6 of the Chicago neighborhoods, each with a different theme and food style. From a catering perspective it was so educational and exciting to research foods and design menus that would be representative of each neighborhood. From slow roasted pork carnitas to Szechuan noodles the variety of small plate foods at each station was amazing! We we also had the pleasure of working with Chef Titek Suprapti from Chicago’s Vermillion Restaurant. She flew out for the event and we worked together to prepare her amazing Tandoori skirt steak recipe at the “Devon Avenue” station. As with all of the stations we paired it with a cocktail including the beautiful cardamom, saffron infused vodka with coconut milk and a rose petal that you see in these pictures.
The Falls Event Center
Visit Seattle partnered up with Visit Austin for this event and it was really an amazing experience working with these folks. Having lived in downtown Seattle for many years designing a menu that fused Pacific Northwest and Southern cuisine was absolutely a treat! We sourced several local ingredients from both Austin and Seattle’s Pike Place Market to create a food that would represent both cities. Smoked salmon with Tito’s Vodka infused creme fraiche on a kettle chip and the grilled beef tenderloin marinated in “Franklin’s” espresso BBQ sauce were a couple of favorites! A special thanks to “In The Event” for creating a stunning atmosphere at The Falls Event Center. Photography by Kelli Bramble.
Red Butte Garden
Alice in Wonderland may be one of the most fun themes to play with when it comes to event planning! This event for the Super Computing Conference 2016 Board was an absolute blast. The chair of the board’s favorite book was Alice in Wonderland, so we took that and ran with it. From custom escort cards, entry signage, specialty drinks in potion bottles, “eat me” favors, and antique china, we really got to flex our creative muscles. The event planning company and end client were both so great to work with . . . we even got to paint the roses red on the centerpieces. Photography by Kelli Bramble.
The Tasting Room
When Visit Salt Lake (our local convention bureau) needs to impress clients, they love to turn to Culinary Crafts to host a chef’s dinner to engage guests in the beauty and bounty of Utah food. The food at this dinner featured all things local from Creminelli prosciutto-wrapped asparagus to butter-poached local trout to Utah pork chops! My favorite part of any chef’s dinner is the opportunity I have to speak with guests and cook live as guests watch in amazement. Welcome to Utah, the next Food City, USA!
This breakfast, with a simple menu of eggs, bacon, pancakes, fruit, and granola, turned out to be one of my favorites of the whole year. It’s always a joy to partner on events that support charitable organizations. The garage was incredible—guests were drooling over the cars as much as the food! And the Star Wars theme made the childlike excitement unavoidable. A big thank you goes out to my 6 year old son who let me borrow all the film memorabilia and LEGO sets from his bedroom for the table decor. And if you’re wondering, yes, Star Wars shaped waffles DO taste better.
Rice-Eccles Stadium and Tower
What a thrill it was to be a part of the ‘Holy War’ college football game between Brigham Young University and the University of Utah! The rivalry between these two schools has intensified since 2013 and the heat was on, not only on the field, but also in Culinary Crafts’ kitchen. As the exclusive caterer at the Rice-Eccles Stadium and Tower, it’s always a pleasure to serve the U of U Athletics Department, Crimson Club, TV, and countless football fans. Our custom “Game Day” menu hit the spot for over 900 hungry Utes fans. Fans enjoyed street tacos, a fajita bar, and other fiery game day concessions such as jalapeno poppers, fried pickles, wings, pretzel bites, and more. No matter your rooting preference, Red or Blue, everyone had their appetites completely satisfied! The result: Culinary Crafts for the Win!
There’s nothing we love more than an exciting new venue, Hank’s Place of Stewart Mountain Lodging was no exception. Hank’s Place served as the perfect opening night venue for this corporate group who were entertaining their top employees. This was a true mountain-style “Welcome to Utah” event! We featured local fare as much as possible to give guests a real taste of Utah. We greeted guests with our signature lavender lemonade featuring local Utah lavender and a variety of passed hors d’oeuvres including grilled Morgan Valley lamb chops. After cocktail hour we opened up five different chef action stations where our chefs prepared everything right in front of guests. The stations featured fresh hand pulled mozzarella with local heirloom tomatoes with our house-made ciabatta bread, gnocchi with browned sage butter served in petite mason jars, grilled shrimp, onion, and pepper with local Utah corn on the cob, and a whole pig rotisserie with fresh cooked cornbread waffles topped with pulled pork and blood orange barbecue sauce. The roasting pig was a huge hit and really stole the show! For dessert we served a variety of Southern-style shortcakes topped with local peaches, strawberries, and blueberries. To end the evening guests enjoyed s’mores cooked over an open flame in the Hank’s Place original chimney fireplace. Hank’s Place looked fantastic with the perfect mountain chic feel you would expect from Utah. A big thank you to Yonder Rentals from Denver for providing the unique decor.
We were privileged to serve Jane for their first annual user’s conference at their brand new offices in Thanksgiving Park. This company was so fun to work with and their offices are some of the coolest I have been in. Designing food and beverage areas that matched the urban chic feel of their offices was a blast. Congratulations, Jane, on being an awesome company!
This was one of the coolest events I have ever been a part of. The National Business Aviation Associtaion (NBAA) puts on an AMAZING event each year. We were fortunate to assist with the Bombardier Chalet at the Static Display in Las Vegas in 2015. They go from an empty tarmac at the Henderson Executive Terminal to a full scale Static display with dozens of business jets, custom built chalets and buildings, all in about a week. Then the event runs for 4 days with thousands of guests per day eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then they clean the whole thing up in 2 days. The large scale event logistics were off the charts and we were able to take a crew on the road who went toe to toe with catering and event companies from around the world and we hit it out of the park! Photography by Michael Roberts Photography.
This Is the Place Heritage Park
When 600 high end caterers from around the world came to the “The Art of Catering Food” conference in Salt Lake City, we were honored to be selected to cater the big off-site event at This Is the Place Heritage Park. Our goal was not to compete with previous host cities on the “night club” scene, so we designed “Boots, Buckles, and BBQ” to showcase everything Utah and the Wild West. The attendees took the theme seriously bringing all sorts of shirts, hats, and boots to deck out for the occasion. We hit a home-run with the food, service, and venue. We even taught them line-dancing and bull riding! Culinary Crafts was the 2013 International Caterer of the Year, so guests’ expectations were high. All agreed it was the most fun event they had attended in a long time! Photography by Kelli Wood.
Red Cliff Ranch
When the national Toyota group wants to entertain their highest level of incentive awardees from their dealerships, they look for places that offer a unique and memorable event. Red Cliff Ranch was the perfect location to give them that exact experience. We served everything Western including rattlesnake sausage! The chef’s dinner was prepared completely in front of the guests with samplings of our local cheeses, trout, and meats (including bison). Everything was sourced within a 70 mile radius. A favorite part of the evening was the commentary describing the preparation of each course, when Mary shares our passion for food and our intention to create wonderful memories for the guests. Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
Utah Olympic Park
It’s always so much fun to plan events at the Utah Olympic Park and the Trace3 event was all about transformation! This client had a beautiful vision of both the food and decor and we really enjoyed executing it. From the paper lanterns and strung bistro lights to the stunning autumnal florals and menu design this was truly an outstanding event. The cool mountain air was perfect for outdoor grilling of peaches and Rocky Mountain trout and harvest season blessed us with delicious array micro-carrots, beets, and mushrooms for a local flavor on the menu. Our distinctive Utah themed signature cocktails were a mouthwatering treat for the end of the night finale of watching the Flying Aces perform.
Gallivan Center Plaza
What is the best way to feed 2500 guests in 45 minutes? Have the finest catering team in the state serve from 16 different buffet lines. This carnival themed event was a blast from the cotton candy to hawkers passing roasted nuts and popcorn. JK with In the Event did an awesome job with his team to make sure the event looked perfectly and flowed smoothly.
Cache Valley Electric
A local family owned and operated company turns 100! What an accomplishment and we couldn’t have been happier to help with this fun party. What a great group. This open house was held in Cache Valley Electric’s electrical warehouse, so I wanted to design the food stations to take advantage of and feel like a warehouse. Food on forklifts, electrical spools, and ladders was a ton of fun. We were fortunate to work with In The Event who did some amazing decor, furniture, and signs for the food stations as well.
UMFA and The Tower (Rice-Eccles)
Culinary Crafts was thrilled to help with the UMFA’s annual gala in 2015. Amazing art, food, venues, and guests made for an amazing evening. 2015 featured The British Passion for Landscape with some wonderful art. We were honored to add our form of art to the evening. Playing into the British theme, we served Welsh rarebit, Yorkshire pudding, sea trout, sticky toffee pudding with Scotch caramel and much more. This multi-venue event started with a reception and art stroll at the Utah Museum of Fine Art followed by a formal plated dinner at the Tower at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The Falls Event Center
When my close friend reached out and asked Culinary Crafts to help cater the grand opening of Traeger Grills new headquarters in Sugarhouse we were honored. Designing the menu was the most fun part. Utah, wood, outdoors, smoking, grilling, and roasting were just a part of the inspiration. The food was amazing! Carne asada street tacos, Rocky Mountain trout, bison chili, and braised short ribs. However, I think my favorite part was the grilled Utah peach with honey whipped local goat cheese and toasted pistachios.
The Tower (Rice-Eccles)
The University of Utah Athletics Hall of Fame event in 2014 was hard to top, but 2015 blew it out of the water. As always, The Crimson Club wanted to welcome and honor the 2015 inductees with splendor. Red and gold draped tables paired perfectly with a grand three course dinner including pomegranate and molasses glazed chicken followed by Utah beef tenderloin filet; creating a night of elegance and grandeur. Not to be outdone, the after party was a night to remember; full of casino games, desserts, and drinks, every guests partied the night away as a VIP.
The Gallivan Center
It was a pleasure to create a one-of-a-kind event that was “as unique and unforgettable as” O.C. Tanner for their Annual Black Tie Awards Dinner. Guests showed up dressed to impress in their best formal wear, a glamorous contrast to the winter wonderland setting. This formal plated dinner exhibited four exquisite courses, our divine satin fudge cake among them. This was truly an event as timeless as O.C. Tanner. Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
The Tower (Rice-Eccles)
I love to see large companies giving back. JetBlue encourages its employees to choose a cause they are passionate about and spend volunteer hours with their cause, foundation, community or charity. At the end of the year, the employees across the nation who logged the most volunteer hours are invited to a black tie event in a city somewhere in the US. In 2014, Salt Lake City was lucky enough to be the chosen destination to host this fun event. JetBlue did a phenomenal job of making these employees feel important and really took care of them for a few days in SLC. We were able to pull out some stops with JetBlue signature cocktails, custom branded bars, logo-ed ice sculptures, white spandex chair covers, and more. The food was a real highlight, especially the 3 different dessert stations: create your own ice cream sandwich, flaming crepe suzette, and make your own s’mores. Photography by Angela Howard, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
It’s always an exciting time catering events at the City Creek Center mall in downtown SLC. Whether it’s for rockin’ H&M, chic Hugo Boss, trendy Banana Republic, glamorous Tiffany’s, or stylish Porsche Design, we bring out our smiling waiters to make everyone feel welcome and pampered. Take a look! Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
The pressure is on when hosting the annual Visit Salt Lake party with a guest list of the Who’s Who in the Utah hospitality industry. Each bite of the passed hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour must be divine as they set the expectations for the rest of the evening. I love executing formal plated dinners with a touch of something unique. The first course was not the usual green salad but rather an Italian flavor explosion of imported olives, feta, tomato, and arugula . . . yum. The budget called for a chicken entree so we added an angel hair pasta and organic vegetables to take things up a notch. Then, for dessert, we impressed by offering a sampler plate of our scrumptious house-made bites: Pistachio Macaroon, Demitasse cup of Agrodolce, Petite German Chocolate Cake, and our signature Salted Caramel Gelato . . . yup, total yum! Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
eBay knows how to throw a party and they know one of the important elements is to pick a theme that can be executed throughout the event. “Wine and Roses” was the perfect theme to use at The Depot with its nightclub atmosphere. We served a variety of chef action stations where the food preparation is part of the theater of the event. A few passed hors d’oeuvres always helps pace the flow to the food stations. The venue offered plenty of room to add lounge furniture, activities, and entertainment on the main stage. Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
Some events I will never forget . . . such as Echelon. The Echelon company had booked another venue that had doubled booked their space. When the group showed up in Salt Lake City with no venue and only 2 days to go, we went to work to find them a new venue to host their premier “Diamond” Event. The Depot was the perfect location for this glimmering night and by using the main floor and mezzanine, we were able to seat all the guests. Another “never to be forgotten” moment happened when the waiters filed out to the tables carrying an individual Buche de Noel complete with meringue mushrooms for each guest. The fountain sparkler in each dessert completed the Sparkling Diamond theme. Unforgettable. Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
Imagine catering a hospitality suite by day for Eddie Bauer. This suite then needs to change into a dining room for an elegant dinner buffet for who’s who at Sundance within 60 minutes. This whole time a separate crew is setting up upstairs for a late party for HBO and Game of Thrones that starts just minutes after the dinner ends. Such is the Sundance Film Festival! These are just a few pictures of the fun! Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
Sundance Film Festival is a crazy time of year for a catering company in Utah! What is not to love about high profile clients planning detailed parties on very short notice? We were privileged to be a partner on this super fun event for CNN Films at the ClaimJumper on Main Street. We entertained 600 guests as they went in and out all night in a building where we didn’t have anything but a small closet with electricity. We were able to put together a very fun and modern menu that kept the fire marshal happy and the guests LOVED it. They enjoyed a gourmet mac and cheese bar with lobster, Snake River Farms pulled pork, bacon, and hot sauces. There was also shepherds pie, flat bread tapas, a charcuterie station, and much more. To finish the event there was a variety of our house-made from scratch finger desserts. This was one to remember. Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
Blue Sky Ranch
This Western event at the beautiful Blue Sky Ranch was a ton of fun. This was the closing night for a destination corporate group that was wining and dining their top employees in Park City, so this had to be over the top. We featured local as much as possible to show these guests a real taste of Utah. We started with a whole hog from a local, turned on a spit as guests entered. Our mesquite grills cooking local trout and Utah corn were on display as well. We tray passed prickly pear cactus and scallop ceviche, mini sliders, Rattlesnake sausage, and local goat cheese and Slideridge honey on griddle corn cakes. After a lovely cocktail hour on the back patio with live music, a High West Whiskey tasting and open bar, we took the guests inside the barn for more music and dinner stations. The farm tables with burlap runners in a chevron pattern looked amazing. The photo booth was a hit. At the dinner stations we featured Green River watermelon, Cornaby’s raspberries, Red Rock Ranch pistacchios, local heirloom tomatoes, and more. For dessert, fresh Utah peaches over house-made shortcakes stole the show, but a Mountainland apple crisp, Dutch oven cherry cobbler, and Amano chocolate brownies a la mode with house-made gelato made honorable mention. Photography by Angela Howard, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
The Tower (Rice-Eccles)
Parterning with Rice-Eccles Stadium and the University of Utah Athletics has been a ton of fun this year. Football games aside, one of the highlights was the hall of fame dinner honoring the 2014 inductees. The Crimson Club really wanted to roll out the red carpet for this group and did a fabulous job helping show appreciation to them. From the gold sequin linens to the mokara orchid centerpieces, this event looked amazing! From the center cut tenderloin medallions to the macadamia encrusted halibut to the custom gold box cupcake take away with custom printed chocolate, the food was equally as impressive. Throw in an after party with desserts and a bar upstairs, and this was one of my favorite parties of 2014. Photography by Kelli Bramble, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
This was the second time we have been asked to help with this fun event. There were 600 people at the CEO’s estate in Park City. We created a Utah-themed BBQ menu with a carnival and did I mention a heated pool that looks like a pond? Guests were greeted by cotton candy, old fashioned sodas and live music. They played carnival games while they smelled the mesquite charcoal grilled trout, beef brisket and corn on the cob! Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
Nu Skin Innovation Center
We have been privileged to work with this great company and were honored when they asked us to host their ribbon cutting luncheon for their new Innovation Center. There were 350 guests for a plated lunch and our team pulled it off without a hitch. Beautiful linens, napkins and china, tuna tataki salad, and an amazing demi dessert trio . . . Perfect! Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
The Rail Event Center
The National Truck Driving Championships came to Salt Lake City in 2013 and FedEx brought in 650 employees and spouses for the week. We catered 4 events for them over 3 days, but the finale was the closing dinner at The Rail Event Center. FedEx went all out and really took care of their team. I got a chance to chat with the winners before the award ceremony and can’t recall meeting with a nicer group of gentlemen. I also can’t recall working with a committee quite as nice as the lovely ladies of FedEx who planned this fun Fire and Ice event.
Utah Olympic Park
Chobani approached us about designing a menu with recipes featuring their Greek yogurt, we went to work. After many conference calls with their chef and our chef, and after some trial and error, we were able to produce some phenomenal food. Greek zucchini cake with Chobani dill yogurt sauce, Chobani enriched orange rolls, and Chobani panna cotta with fresh raspberry and vanilla bean just to name a few. Throw in some world-class event partners like Scenemakers, Utah Olympic Park, Flying Ace Allstars, and VIP Incentives, and you end with a once in a lifetime event.
This is the Place Heritage Park
Outdoor cooking at its finest! Dutch oven themed Utah menu for 700 guests at This is The Place Heritage Park. Complete with whiskey barrel bars, home-made lemonade, and mesquite grills. Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
When the super computing conference comes to SLC, everyone wants to make a splash. Dell knows how to throw a party that guests will remember. They chose an “outerspace” theme and went over the top with specialty drinks, decor, entertainment and of course, food. We were able to have a lot of fun with the menu. Flatbread flyer saucer bites, galactic cake pops, etc. All of this at a great venue like Club One made for a great event! Thank you, LMG Events, for the fabulous decor, design, and entertainment. Photography by Logan Walker, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
Recipe for a super fun corporate branding party: Start with great lounge furniture, lighting, and decor. Add the most scrumptious food imaginable. Wrap it with exceptional service. And showcase it in a fun venue. Viola! An over-the-top branding event that clients remember and applaud. Thank you, Ashley Veenendaal, our fabulous corporate planner extraordinare, for being super creative, professional, and so wonderful to with our clients! Photography by Angela Howard, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
When Outdoor Retailers’ Convention comes to town, you can bet there will be fantastic events to get our creative juices running! New Balance loves to partner with Culinary Crafts to launch their new products as we know how to cement a brand through the entire event. The product: “New Foam” shoes. The menu: “New Foam,” complete with signature cocktail, passed hors d’oeuvres, and our innovative honey comb display of mini desserts. Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, and Pesto Foam. Seared Pork Belly with Apple Mousse Foam. Cumin-crusted Flank Steak with Bleu Cheese Foam. Thai Shrimp with Wasabi Foam. House Nut Brittle with Raspberry Foam. Crispy Strawberry Meringue Foam. Fresh Strawberry with Lime Curd Foam. Macchiato with Biscotti and Ice Cream Foam . . . well, you get the idea! Photography by Kelli Bramble, a Pepper Nix Photographer.
Nothing says “elegant” like a formal plated dinner event at the McCune Mansion. We created a signature Xango drink for them and placed bottles on every table of their famous juice. The rich jewel tones added to the winter mood and importance of the event. The smooth jazz of Joe Muscolino makes every occasion a night to remember. Photography by Pepper Nix Photography.
Grand Hall at the Gateway
Chevron is a group that knows how to party! For many years we have been privileged to work with this fun group for their holiday party. This year they chose the Grand Hall at the Gateway and it was a perfect fit. The historic space is perfect for a large party and with 300 people for dinner, that is just what was needed. The ticket booths make for a perfect bar setup and the perimeter of the space turned into a casino after dinner. The focal point of the room was the giant Ring of Fire we setup in the center for our now famous Flaming Donut station. Chevron lets us flex our creative muscles and we did just that in designing a custom winter menu for them. My favorites were the pulled pork with house-made pickled red onions on a local kettle chip we did as a passed hors d’oeuvre, along with the pumpkin seed encrusted black cod with maple sweet potato puree on the dinner buffet!
As part of the National Governors Conference, Utah hosted several prestigious governors to a State Luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion to meet the distinguished Chinese Trade Delegation. I was thrilled to be asked to cater this detailed State Luncheon as all the protocol of a high political dinner was in place. We were asked to design a menu featuring Utah products with a Chinese flair . . . and we were up to the task! The salad course featured fresh Utah berries and anise-poached pears and a vanilla-bean rice wine vinaigrette served with our artisan breads. There is always a flurry of activity just before guests arrive to make sure every detail is scrutinized. The piano music begins, the white gloves are donned, the final serving instructions are given, and then we wait. Ah, finally guests arrive. The time line is tight so salads are pre-set and entree service soon begins featuring Soy-lacquered Utah trout and Five Spice Utah chicken with a Roasted Vegetable Napoleon. I oversee each plate that leaves the kitchen as food budgets for the event were not extravagant so I wanted to make sure our service and presentation were flawless. The final dessert course was a Utah Amano Chocolate Pot de Creme with Candied Asian Ginger, Raspberry and Green Tea Sorbet Quinelles on Genoise Dust. Culinary Crafts loves being a preferred caterer at the beautiful historic Governor’s Mansion.
Utah Olympic Park
On the second day of the National Governors Conference, we treated our high-profile guests to an evening in the beautiful mountains of Utah at the Utah Olympic Park. The theme for the event was “Live from the Hive” as the beehive is the Utah symbol of industry. Fortunately, we had Scenemakers, Utah’s finest decor company with us, so the floral and design were over-the-top. We featured more local Utah products than I can count. At an event of this size, the staff and organization are critical: The back of house must be clean and organized; final details overseen; and the sheer numbers of chefs needed to grill 800 pieces of Utah trout onsite is staggering! Guests were greeted with our local Utah microbrews, local cheeses with Utah apples, and Utah lamb sliders. One of the most important things with a group this size is to make sure there are no lines . . . anywhere! At the bar, at the food, at the tables . . . everything is orchestrated perfectly so the event flow is flawless. Yum . . . Utah corn, vegetables, berries, beef . . . followed by Utah desserts of Apple Cobbler, Gingerbread with High West Whiskey Sauce, and Amano Black Satin Cake. Guests were treated to the sounds of a world-renowned Utah high school jazz band and the Flying Ace Jump Show. We know how to do it right in Utah and at Culinary Crafts!
Grand Hall at the Gateway
Even after a great evening’s event at the UOP, some people are not ready to call it a night! Some “out-of-towners” believe there is no such thing as good “Late Night” in Utah, but that is far from true. This gig was hosted at the Grand Hall at the downtown Gateway. Guests enjoyed the cool sounds of Joe Muscillino and some of Utah’s best bar offerings: Utah Kiler Grove Wines, Squatters Microbrews, and Green Jello Shots! We designed some fun, funky hors d’oeuvres: Utah Punjab Turkey Kabobs and Chai Tea Shooters, Cotton Candy Thai Shrimp with Wasabi Pop Rocks, BBQ Wings with Blue Cheese and Veggies. Our appetizer “Libraries” were the perfect display to place around the room for easy “grab and go” snacks throughout the night. The showstopper of the evening was the flaming desserts—Flambee Donuts with our Signature Gelato and Grown-up S’Mores with Chocolate Ganache and Graham Crumble. Guests loved toasting their own marshmallows on our mini fire jets. Party on!!!
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
The Speed Gala was a highlight on the Salt Lake social scene for 2012. This one-of-a-kind exhibit showcases some of the world’s most elite and expensive cars. The cars almost took second seat to the beautiful gowns, jewels, and finery that came out for it’s premier gala! The event began with a VIP reception complete with Oysters on the Half Shell, Foie Gras, and Caviar! The main event featured festive action stations and a large shrimp & crab bar with a 3D ice sculpture of the Duesenberg masterpiece car. Guests danced the night away to our flaming desserts, macaroons, and be-dazzled bonbons. An Art Deco night to remember!
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
The Speed Exhibit is a fabulous exhibit for the Utah Mueum of Fine Arts, but the highlight was a visit from a very recognizable face: Jay Leno . . . as funny and gregarious in person as on TV. Jay is quite the vintage car extraordinaire so he felt quite at home cracking jokes among these multi-million dollar cars. The Culinary Crafts staff were to be seen and not heard with impeccable service and bites of delicious hors d’oeuvres . . . something easy to do for our professional team.
The Tasting Room
We recently held a spectacular event at our new venue, The Tasting Room. This was a 7 course educational chef’s dinner. The chefs were right there table-side discussing the food, showing techniques and plating and serving the meal for the guests. Guests were enthralled as they learned about everything from the importance of local products to how to extract their own vanilla. We even took them on the back patio for a grilling class for the fish course. Each course had its bread pairing made fresh from our in-house bakery. Each course also had its own wine pairing and we had our sommelier on-site to educate and talk about the pairings he had made . . . nothing like an $80 bottle of Silver Oak Cabernet to make the bison tenderloin go down smoothly! Whether you are looking to wine and dine your guests, or just looking for fabulous dinner in the most intimate of settings, this is by far my new favorite way to dine. Photography by Pepper Nix Photography.
The Tasting Room
We love throwing parties for ourselves and our friends! We recently opened our new downtown offices which include an intimate urban chic venue we’ve named The Tasting Room. I themed the event around the fabulous linens from Creative Coverings and I wanted the food to reflect our trendy new setting. As you can see, the menu was a hit with rave reviews all around. You can see the blog post, complete with menu, here. Photography by Pepper Nix Photography.
We did an event recently that was amazing and for an even more amazing foundation! We were so thrilled to be able to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and help give back by making their theme, “Wishes take Flight,” one to remember! Signature “Retro Manhattan” cocktails and “Retro Badminton Coolers” were the perfect cocktails and mocktails to greet guests and jump start the 1930’s flight theme.The hors d’oeuvres, plated dinner, and signature dessert all made for a fabulous evening. The blueberry cheesecake martini was designed just for the occasion. We had such a good time at this gala and our very own Mary Crafts-Homer got into a bit of a bidding war at the silent auction—all in good fun though! We are happy to report that Mary did win her prize and all of the proceeds went to help a worthwhile cause.
The Rail Event Center
Everyone in Utah knows when you want to create an over-the-top party . . . call Culinary Crafts! This “Retro ’80s” themed holiday party was a blast to plan and execute. With 1000 guests, logistics and advance venue planning were the key. We created 8 food areas featuring fun action stations, 2 Ring of Fire set-ups with flaming donuts and eggnog ice cream, and 4 “roving butler buffets” with paper cones brimming with colorful ’80s themed snacks and candies. An extraordinary comedy show from the real Mr. T, a break dancing performance, and a totally hip dance band kept the energy of the evening at a fever pitch!
Utah Olympic Park
We were ecstatic to be working with DVIP again to create an amazing event to greet 800 guests arriving on busses together at the UOP! Convention guests come to Utah wanting Utah food and we never disappoint! The smell of our mesquite grills fill the air as we serve Rocky Mountain trout, Utah turkey, pork ribs, Utah corn on the cob, and fresh Utah harvest produce! Local microbrews are always a hit. To top off the evening, guests thrill to the Flying Ace Sky Jumps and fresh cotton candy for the show.
When the Visit Salt Lake Convention Bureau wanted to showcase Salt Lake’s newest venue at the Gallivan Center and entertain 250 guests from their Board of Trustees and invited dignitaries, Culinary Crafts was their first call. In keeping with the contemporary styling of the new venue, we selected sleek white displays to showcase the de-constructed yogurt parfaits and shadow-box fruit presentation. Guests loved the individual bamboo cones of our scrumptious home-made breakfast pastries. Here’s the tricky part: the event started at 7:30 a.m. so our day began at 2:30 a.m. making fresh pastries and setting the elaborate display! But at Culinary Crafts, we never think twice about these things . . . our team has the ultimate attitude of “whatever it takes!” Photography by ZumaPhoto.
Utah Olympic Oval
The Utah Olympic Oval is said to have the fastest ice on earth and this colossal venue has also hosted some of the greatest events on earth! For groups from 500 to 5000 this venue has room for any size party. And what better theme for the event than that of “ice”? From the full-sized ice bar to the clear “ice” chairs, this event was all about matching the feel of the venue. We hosted 500 guests to action stations throughout the oval. The group was in from out of town, so it was our time to make Utah shine. After greeting them with a “Blue Ice Martini” they enjoyed local Utah products with a little Culinary Crafts flair: Utah stream trout with rose hip aioli, Utah corn with chipotle lime butter, Amano Chocolate macadamia nut cookies and much more. Thank you to DVIP for the honor of being involved in another one of your spectacular events!
This event made you want to be a kid again! This company loves to have fun, so we took a Toyland theme and designed an entire event around it. Presents, teddy bears, and nutcrackers accented the decor throughout. Children’s games and treats were used to create some amazing centerpieces on the seating tables. Snowflake gobos and a train completed the look. The only thing left was the menu! Kids’ food all-grown-up was the theme for the menu. Lobster and marscapone mac and cheese and designer pizzas were just the beginning. Grilled cheese was taken to a new level with Brie and toasted walnuts on our house-made focaccia served alongside a butternut squash soup sip. And of course guests roasted their own marshmallows for the traditional s’mores dessert. My favorite, though, was the cookie decorating station! Photography by Cake Photography.
Flapper girls, prohibition, peacock feathers, speakeasy, cigars, martinis, jazz bands . . . in short the Roaring 20’s! What better venue for a party like this than the McCune Mansion?! This event was a blast from start to finish. We even had our staff wear spats and arm bands. Hair was slicked back and mustaches were encouraged! We started the evening on the front lawn with bars on the veranda and a big jazz band. Flapper girls mingled with the crowd throughout the cocktail hour as we served served “home brew” in mason jars. Guests came inside to dinner stations themed to the 20’s. Chicago pasta bar, New York ice bars, beef bourgignon and Waldorf salads. Everything was served in a martini glass. Topping off the food was a prohibition themed finger dessert display where each of the desserts had just a bit of booze. After dinner guests were invited to an authentic speakeasy where a password was required to enter. Upon entering they found themselves right in the middle of a 20’s casino and bar. If poker and craps are not your thing, we invite you to enjoy the cordial and cigar bar on the second floor. Vintage cars, fedora hats, custom signage and, of course, more booze rounded out the unforgettable evening! Photography by ZumaPhoto.
H & M
Rarely has a store opening generated so much excitement as H&M! Hundreds of VIP guests lined the street to be the first to see Utah’s newest hip store. We created 3 new signature cocktails for the evening, and passed trendy bites of goodness—chocolate-dipped potato chips, saffron shrimp, sliders, pear gorgonzola pizzette, just to name a few. The night continued for many hours with guest still lining the entrance. Over 1000 VIP guests in all! Photography by Cake Photography.
The Hotel/Club Elevate
Conventions love The Hotel/Club Elevate and this group of guests from Japan was no exception! Vertical buffets, passed hors d’oeuvres, chef action stations, and live sushi rolling station with the city’s most talented sushi chef! Wow . . . they kept the sushi coming all night and enough to please this group of discriminating sushi eaters! With great nightclubs like this, Salt Lake’s reputation is becoming quite the party town!
The Equine Pavilion
I had a great time collaborating with this client to pull off their extremely detailed, up-scale corporate event for 300 guests. The western-themed event was held at the Equine Pavilion in Heber City, a gorgeous and massive venue nestled at the mouth of Provo Canyon. We started with five different hors d’oeuvre stations . . . the hit of the day was the Utah Moroni BBQ turkey sliders with sweet potato fries. The social hour featured western-style activities . . . mechanical bulls, roping contests, genuine cowboys mingling with the guests and even a chance to see a wolf and hawk up close and personal! For dinner we took the group inside the pavilion for a lavish buffet with buffalo tenderloin, Cornish game hen and Utah stream trout. Our gourmet “top your own” Utah grilled corn station was an additional highlight on the buffet. Dessert featured our house-made gelato and bite-sized cakes topped with mini cowboy boots. This event was stunning—from the Ralph Lauren plaid napkins to the western food, to the gorgeous venue . . . the guests will be talking about this one for a long time. -Kaleb Crafts Photography by ZumaPhoto.
The Hope Gallery
Because VA Pro is a small business, we are able to find unique venues and themes when hosting their events. I am always excited when they call because their event planner, Hailey Kandell, is always open to fun ideas. This year, we chose a classic and elegant setting to host their 22 employees and their dates. The Hope Gallery is an elegant downtown location perfect for smaller formal dinners. When choosing venues, we were impressed with the opulence and elegance of the Hope Gallery…from the beautifully displayed art to the stained glass ceiling on the second floor. The decor was inspired by a particular painting of a peacock. Everything from the invitations to the linens and the centerpieces were based on this painting. Guests began with butler-passed hors d’oeuvres and specialty mocktails in the first floor gallery and were later invited up to the second floor for an intimate plated dinner. Dinner began with a roasted butternut squash salad served with a spiced pecan vinaigrette. Next came a fish course of Chilean Sea Bass with wild mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and a three cheese polenta. We followed up with a filet of beef tenderloin with an Ancho dry rub and a fennel aioli served atop roasted winter root vegetables. We then served a luscious cheese course featuring Utah’s own Drake goat cheese with a poached pear and clove-flavored honey caramel. After dinner, guests were invited to romantic carriage rides while they enjoyed chef action stations of Belgian waffles, flaming crepes Suzette, and delightful petit fours. Photography by Zuma Photo.
Utah Olympic Oval
Out-of-state conventions love the Olympic Ice Oval. They can go to a hotel ballroom anywhere in the country, but they can only go to a United States Olympic venue of this magnitude in Utah! The Ice Oval makes an event for 800 seem like a small party and Culinary Crafts knows how to treat the guests to a genuine Utah experience. We only have 60 seconds to get drinks in the guests’ hands and head them toward the scrumptious chef-action station food. The bar featured Utah Microbrews and the Gold Medal Martini while the chefs tempted guests with Western BBQ Beef, Sizzling Woks, S.W. Quesadillas, Local Hot Dogs, Italian Pasta, and Flaming French Desserts! Guests will long remember trying their hand at Ice Curling, Mountain Photo Ops, and Olympic Bungee Training!
The Tower (Rice-Eccles)
Culinary Crafts is honored to cater the Sutherland Institute Annual Recognition Banquet. As usual, the event is held at Rice-Eccles Stadium with that magnificent view of the city lights. Anytime we cater an event year after year, it is a challenge to create new menus and visual impact for the guests. This year we selected lush lamour linens in aubergine and citron with amber goblets, hand-painted gold china, and copper flatware. The evening began with a VIP reception of passed hors d’oeuvres and a creative Golden Lemonade mocktail. The favorite hors d’oeuvre of the evening: Salmon Capaccio with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce! The formal plated dinner started with a Roasted Beet, Goat Cheese, Orange, and Walnut Salad. I selected a Slow-roasted Beef Short Rib and Shrimp entree with Charred Fresh Corn. Dessert was a masterful Napoleon creation with Fresh Raspberries and Chantilly Cream. No wonder guests can’t wait to attend this event every year!! Photography by Zuma Photo.
South Jordan and The Depot
Ebay opened its brand new LEED certified data center and they chose our company to create the menus and catering. Since the focus was on an earth-friendly building, who better to choose than Culinary Crafts to create a “green” event. We began with the luncheon at the data center to celebrate all of the designers, builders, and engineers who made this incredible building happen and ended with a fun celebration at The Depot where guests let loose to a disco band and had some fun with games. The menu for the luncheon was prepared on site and served at its peak time and the later event served menu items from sesame soy black cod to beer braised short ribs. Check out our new, pressed leaf, verterrra disposables made from pressed palm leaves and biodegradable in 30 days! Photography by Zuma Photo.
When you have a repeat client, it’s important to make sure that the next event is not only better, but, a better planning experience for your client. Well, this year, working with Scott was really fun because he let us do what we do best. . .design his event and make some scrumptious food for everyone to enjoy. When it comes to decor, we lit the room in gold and fuchsia uplights to accent the candlelight centerpieces and the take home orchid centerpieces. Guests were seated at tables draped in luxurious copper, bronze, and fuchsia lamour linens and set with gorgeous copper flatware with an amber water goblet. The look was rich and luxurious without being too stuffy. Employees were treated to a wonderful dinner of herb encrusted roast beef with a horseradish dijon sauce, maple glazed salmon, and our mashed potato bar. Dessert was exceptional with traditional Holiday treats like Bouche de Noel and Baked Alaska. After dessert, the fun began with a casino party that ran late into the night with poker, craps, and blackjack. Photography by Zuma Photo.
Who better to cater the opening of the 222 Main building than Utah’s greenest caterer? When Karen from Hamilton Partners approached me to cater her event, I was more than thrilled! What an honor to be asked to unveil the first LEED-certified highrise in downtown SLC. The event was held in the first floor lobby and the unfinished 21st floor of the brand new building. The David Group did a fantastic job of turning the rough interior into a chic and sophisticated cocktail party environment. We offered a local and sustainable menu with Morgan Valley lamb skewers over a fava bean puree with sauce verte, roasted kabocha squash and fennel soup sips with toasted pumpkin seeds alongside apricot and rosemary stuffed pork loin. Hors d’oeuvres were displayed on our copper floating buffets and we served tasty little delights such as crispy polenta bites with pesto and watermelon with blood orange and balsamic reduction and toasted pistachios. We showcased our newest display case, our dessert library with some fresh dessert selections. . .cranberry and pistachio nougat on an almond tuile, white chocolate and raspberry napoleon, and chocolate chipotle soup sips. At the end of the evening, after enjoying the Joe Muscolino band, guests were treated to an edible take home treat of our Italian Creme cupcakes with toasted hazelnuts and a custom made LEED-certified chocolate garnish.
The Tower (Rice-Eccles)
Gentlemen, start your engines. Verizon Wireless called on us to cater their annaul sales event in Utah while also promoting their new NASCAR racecar. We created a concessionaire style event complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, and popcorn. We passed Hawker trays full of ice cream sandwiches while the Verizon pit crew hollered out offerings! When it comes to pep rallys, what better venue than Rice Eccles Stadium where top sales associates were honored and the winning car was celebrated!
My dear friend, Symbria, approached us again to cater the annual George Wythe Gala and I was honored to assist. She is an amazing event planner and every detail was covered from the gorgeous, custom linens to the beautiful centerpieces created by Every Blooming Thing. The lighting was theatrical and her center stage in the round was genius for a speaker like Glenn Beck. So many aspects of this event were just flat out inspiring….from the fife and drum to the student actors reciting the Declaration of Independence. Our food was just as dramatic, serving a Cabernet braised short rib over garlic mashed potatoes with wilted Swiss Chard and caramelized pearl onions and finishing with a poached pear filled with a Goat cheese Mousseline on a pool of Creme Anglaise. Boris Roberts, Master Butler, intoroduced each course throughout the evening, while our professional wait staff attended to every guest’s need, from placing the napkins in their laps prior to dinner to serving with speed and fluidity. Throughout dinner, we were treated to inspiring speeches and performances while enjoying the company of student ambassadors. The evening wrapped up with a speech by honored guest, Glenn Beck where he focused on liberty and the fundamental truths of our Founding Fathers. Thank you Symbria, I look forward to the next event! Photography by Zuma Photo.
Culinary Crafts' Sugarhouse Office
Check out some of the new hors d’oeuvres and fun we had at our recent grand opening of our new Sugarhouse offices located at 1053 East 2100 South. We love our new space that we share with some of the best photographers in Utah: Zuma, Sprout, and Pepper Nix! We have a chic glass conference room for initial consultations and an intimate dining room with lounge and kitchen for tastings and more detailed planning meetings. Love these photos: Gourmet Cupcake Cake; Watermelon with Aged Balsamic and Pistachios; Maple Chicken and Waffles; Iced Soup Sips; Lamb Confit with Couscous; Quinoa with Cranberry Salad; Beef Lavosh with Watercress and Stilton. And what open house would be complete without signature free-flowing drinks! Photography by Zuma Photo.
Salt Lake Library Square
How do you describe our most exciting event of 2009?? With a great big “WOW”! 2500 International Meeting Planners descended on Salt Lake City to host their World Education Congress on July 11, 2009. We hosted the opening event on Salt Lake Library Square which is the perfect blend of Old and New Salt Lake. Guests entered through the architectural marvel of the SL Library. For a successful event, we have about 3 minutes to get a drink in their hands and food in their tummies! Our signature Mountain Manhattan with High West Whiskey and local cherries was free-pouring for all to try along with grilled Colosimo Sausages with Raspberry Chutney. As guests emerged on the plaza, waiters hawked local tamales, salt water taffy, and kettle corn. The theme for the evening was to create a Farmer’s Market to showcase all the “Utah’s Own” incredible products and the world received them with gusto! Mountain Valley Trout, Moroni Turkey, Blue Ribbon Beef, Drake Goat Cheese, Beehive Cheese, Castle Creek Wines, Local Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, and Sprouts, Amano Chocolate, and Squatter’s Beer…to name just a few! We even invited some of the local artisans to be on site to showcase their products and involve guests in their unique visions. “Project Bandeloop” thrilled the guests with their free-air dances off the top of the library and entertainers dotted the plaza with music and dance. As the sun began to set, the last station standing was our homemade Italian ice cream and homemade cookies as guests couldn’t get enough of our Utah goodness and real food. UTAH–YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL!!
Memorial House, McCune Mansion, Pierpont Place
Xango hosted 3 events simultaneously for their top executives during their most recent Salt Lake City conference. Each event had separate event planners and each could have chosen a variety of caterers, however, they all chose Culinary Crafts. In all we served 300 guests that evening and staffed 40 of our best staff to service each event. The Memorial House began with a Xango luge carved in the image of a huge Xango bottle where we served a never ending Xango-tini fountain of drinks! We went on to serve a wonderful Formal served dinner to a very complimentary crowd followed by a fabulous key lime Cheesecake dessert. The second event was held at the very elegant McCune Mansion where guests enjoyed a jazz trio along with a mouth watering Beef tenderloin dinner. The third event was edgy and eclectic- just like the Pierpont Place. Guests enjoyed Chicken Dijonaisse and a fabulous presentation. Each event was different and, yet, each event received rave reviews all around! Photography by Pepper Nix.
One of the fun parts of my job is attending some swanky parties and meeting many impressive people. The Swaner VIP event was one for the books as Bob Vila granted Swaner their certificate for Utah’s greenest building. Robert Kennedy was the honored guest and speaker for this momentous occasion as well as a parade of Park City’s finest citizens. Culinary Crafts’ butlers passed hors d’oeuvres featuring Utah’s Own products and the bars served only organic wines and Squatter’s organic beer. The room was set with recycled sea glass china and burlap linens in keeping with Swaner’s mission statements. The chic menu reflected sustainably harvested foods with the emphasis on local slow food. The 4 course formal dinner started with a dramatic waiter-poured soup course and ended with a cheese course featuring local Utah pears and Drake Family Farms goat cheese. The rave reviews are still coming in…”I have attended hundreds of these events but this was the best food I have ever been served”! A true compliment indeed from the distinguished guests.
Kimball Art Center
When the Packard Foundation came to Utah to honor the brightest minds in America, they chose Culinary Crafts to coordinate the entire event from the decor to the menu, we handled every detail with ease and finesse. It is a very high priority of the Foundation to use sustainable and local products as well as eco-friendly disposables. We have always held these same standards close to our hearts and worked to provide a natural scape and fresh menu for our out of town guests. We served a pan seared sea bass with a Piquillo pepper sauce over wilted garden greens, a crab and lobster salad, vegetarian asparagus and shitake mushroom eggrolls, grass fed organic beef tostadas with lime aioli, and flaming orange crepes for dessert. Everyone loved the food and the event was a buzz all evening with interesting conversation, great food, and wonderful entertainment from a caricature artist to living sculptures and music galore! We enjoyed servicing the Packard Foundation and we were inspired by their obvious love for humanity.
How do you create a “perfect event” in Utah? Combine the efforts of Culinary Crafts, Global Event Productions, and Scenemakers; select the pristine mountain setting of Rendezvous Ranch; serve the most delectable foods; and have Pat Benatar as the headline entertainment…yes, perfection. The guests arrived on buses from downtown Salt Lake to one of Utah’s most gorgeous ranch locations and began the evening in a “Mountain Man” village complete with Native American dancing, tomahawk throwing, and banjo pickin’. Wild West Hors d’oeuvres featuring Utah artisan products such as Rattlesnake Sausage with Fresh Tomato Jam, Smoked Jalape�o Cheddar on Utah Apple Crisp, and Chipotle Shrimp with Bear Lake Raspberry Chutney. The smell of Mesquite-grilled Rocky Mountain Trout and Buffalo Tenderloin filled the air as guests made their way to the chuck wagon buffets. Glistening tables with amber goblets, copper flat ware, and sunflower centerpieces surrounded the huge performance stage. As dusk descended, Pat and her band filled the mountain air with music, laughter, and excitement. At the end of the evening cordials of hot cocoa and coffee were served to warm the guests during their ride down the mountain. Navarre has been hosting these once-in-a-life-time events across the globe for 15 years, and they had not experienced a finer event than this!
Recipe for success: take Culinary Crafts, add Ford Motor of Canada, organize with DVIP, set them at Rendezvous Ranch and turn up the heat! The day began with dozens of outdoor activities from ATV trails, to fly fishing, to bull riding where guests earned “Ford Dollars” to later “purchase” ingredients for their chili cook-off. Guest stopped for lunch to dine on our scrumptious gourmet hamburger and rattlesnake sausage bar and then back to activities of archery, roping, and tying flies. Mary Crafts was on-site to orchestrate the chili cook-off . . . Hey, give her a megaphone and she’s a kid again! While the chili simmered, the crew served hors d’oeuvres to the sounds of mountain music. The culmination of a fabulous day came with the chili judging and Mary’s skills at making everyone laugh and feel loved. What better way to end the day than with a bowl of chili, smoked baby back ribs, and brownies a la mode with homemade ice cream.
The Tower (Rice-Eccles) and Olympic Cauldron Museum
The Sutherland Institute once again hosted its annual gala at the Rice Eccles Stadium and Olympic Cauldron Museum. The evening began with a VIP reception in the Cauldron Museum featuring poppy linens and our copper floating buffet to accentuate the Olympic colors throughout the venue. Guests were treated to our scrumptious butler-passed hors d’oeuvres as well as the small plate presentations on the floating buffet. On the 4th floor of the main stadium tower, we had quite a surprise waiting as we ventured from the typically traditional decor and menu of this event. The room featured sea foam green and blue linens, sea glass plates, emerald green goblets, and a pre-set Asian first course of Thai Shrimp in a Cucumber Cup with a Crab-filled Won ton drizzled with a sweet chili sauce. An unusual rectangle plate carried the entree of Asian beef tenderloin, grilled asparagus, and a sesame noodle nest. The dessert sampler trio featured my new creation of Star Anise and Caramelized Pineapple Creme Brulee, long-stemmed strawberries with lime curd, and the bite of chocolate mint truffle to finish off the palette temptations.
Utah Olympic Oval
When the international event company, Evolutionary Events, called us to plan their closing night party, we jumped right on board. Where better to host all of these out of towners than our famous Olympic Ice Oval? The evening began with butler passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while guests enjoyed the Olympic speed skating exhibition. Following the race, we dropped the walls and laid down some carpet in order for the guests to cross over into our spectacular “Winter Wonderland” where everyone enjoyed a hip lounge set up with custom lighting and expert design. We provided a spectacular feast of action stations and vertical buffets. On our first Vertical, we featured our glazed scallops with an almond caper butter sauce along side vegetable spring rolls with a Thai peanut sauce. On another vertical buffet we displayed s’more shooters and miniature crème brûlèes. All of these surrounded by our live chef’s action stations serving pan seared sea bass with a piquillo pepper sauce on a bed of wilted garden greens, seared crab, shrimp and lobster on a bed of shredded lettuce with a lime vinaigrette and cilantro aioli, and our famous mashed potato bar with a beef tenderloin carvery. Truly unforgettable!
Union Pacific Depot
When Subaru came to town with their international incentive program, they were clear on their expectations from the beginning: high-end quality food, beautiful presentations, and impeccable service. I love working for these demanding clients as they are the ones who really appreciate all our attention to detail and our truly amazing food. 1200 guests were treated to such delights as Chilean Sea Bass with Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Tomatoes, and Three-cheese Polenta, Roasted Rack of Lamb Hand-rubbed with Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic, and Shallots, Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic, Chili and Lime served over Wilted Arugula and Israeli Couscous, and Flaming Crepe Suzettes just to name a few selections. Subaru initially didn’t want to offer any butler-passed hors d’oeuvres until I served these 2 chef specialties at their tasting and the flavors were simply too scrumptious to resist: Gorgonzola Bruschetta With Seared Garlic Greens, Pine Nuts, and Sultanas, and a Local Artisan Lavender and Coffee “Buzzed? Cheese On a Crisp Utah Apple Wedge. The event was, of course . . . flawless! My thanks to DVIP for their gracious event guidance, to Design Werks for their creative design, and to my incredible staff for their never-ending support.
National Tour Association/Utah Olympic Oval
Our Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau worked for many years to land this prestigious convention full of international meeting planners and tour operators. The goal: Showcase Utah! Culinary Crafts was honored to be chosen as the caterer for the only off-site event at the Utah Olympic Ice Oval. 2400 attendees; 800 pounds of BBQ beef; 6400 local microbrewery beers…just to name a few! The pictures tell the story. Following the event, one of the national guests wrote me a special note: “on the buses back to our hotel, everyone was a buzz with surprise over the amazing food. It was the best food we have had at any NTA convention in anyone’s memory! Congratulations, Utah! What an incredible event!”
Utah Olympic Oval
Cingular’s branded orange color was everywhere at this event! Spandex, lighted cubes, mood lighting, and trendy action stations made for an enticing night—complete with 8 chocolate fountains flowing from Cingular’s orange “jacks” logo. The New York Ice Company was on hand for a dazzling ice show, and L.A.’s Cirque d’ Soleil provided additional entertainment to the guests. With 25 food stations and 16 bars, there was not a line to be found anywhere among the 3000 guests. Cingular went out of their way to applaud the Culinary Crafts staff of 125 who made this event absolutely perfect! Thank you to DVIP for the honor of being involved in another one of your spectacular events!
Union Pacific Depot
“Lights, camera, action!” Hollywood comes to Utah at the International Xango Convention at the Union Pacific Depot. Guests were greeted by sky lights, red carpet, and curb side valets to add to the feeling of excitement for the black tie event. Dazzling ice sculptures with the Xango logo poured the “Xango-tini’s” as butlers passed several scrumptious bites of our famous cuisine. As guests were escorted to dinner, they were met with photo-ops, grand decor, and the sounds of cool jazz. The plated dinner featured a dual entree of Filet of Beef Chauseur and Seard Ahi Tuna. The highlight of the evening arrived as the chefs filed from the kitchen to begin the Flaming Crepes Suzettes to the drama of drum roll and applause! A night to remember for all! Photography by Pepper Nix and Zuma Photo.
Utah State Capitol/Utah Olympic Oval
NCSL provided several challenges to Culinary Crafts—but, of course, we love a challenge! 3600 guests arrived for a western reception at the State Capitol where they only had 1 1/2 hours for food and beverage before being whisked off to a special performance by the Tabernacle Choir. The very next night, we had to repeat the feat at the Olympic Ice Oval but this time, they were staying for 4 hours and ate the whole time! Both events were to showcase Utah and our cuisine—okay, so we couldn’t do barbecue both nights! Guests had no idea the cuisine of Utah was so diverse! In this business, it’s always something new and that’s why after 21 years, I still love it!
Union Pacific Depot
Culinary Crafts designed this 1930’s dining experience from start to finish. The Union Pacific Depot set the stage for the entire evening. Guests were greeted by travelers and conductors, announcing the boarding of their trains at Gate 47. Guests entered the station to train waiters passing hors d’oeuvres and era-costumed bartenders serving Golden Spike Martinis. The velvet drapes parted and dinner seating was announced. Black, gold, sparkle and trains were the decorative them of the dining room. Entertainment for the evening was provided by the renowned Platters, bringing and end this most memorable event.
Union Pacific Depot
Novell’s international clients came together for this explosion of color, fun and festive food. Scenemaker’s “Grand Escape” party and entertainment set the stage for our international chef stations featuring: Chinese Sizzling Wok, Americana Mashed Potato Bar, Mexican Quesidilla Bar, The Old West Revisited, African Chocolate Falls, Italian Caesar and Pasta Station, and the Sizzling Seafood of the South Seas. There’s never a dull moment at an event like this!
Utah Olympic Oval
This technology giant’s off-premise convention night was held at the Utah Olympic Oval. The event planner was amazed at our “no lines” approach to food and beverage, while still offering the highest standards in “restaurant-style” cuisine. High energy, high volume and high expectations were all met with grace and skill, thanks to our 20 years of high-end experience.