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November 20, 2019

Delicious Fall Harvest Pop Up Restaurant at the Tasting Room

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We loved hosting our Pop Up Restaurant at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City! When planning any event in any season, we strive to feature local seasonal food. Usually, it’s food we can buy a stone’s throw from our commissary! Using our countless vendors, we were able to create this special Pop Up where we only featured Utah artisans! From the first bite to the last, it was full of flavorful Utah’s finest ingredients.

Cocktail hour

To start off the evening, Pop Up guests enjoyed two passed hors d’oeuvres! The first on the list of dishes being passed was our classic butternut squash soup sip topped with Slide Ridge Honey apple cider cream and toasted Utah pepitas. A soup sip is a simple yet delicious way to warm up your appetite as the weather gets colder.

Drake’s Family Farms goat cheese and Red Rock pistachios on a smoked Utah peach was the star of cocktail hour. We love to smoke fruit! It is an unusual addition to some of our fruit dishes that is always a pleasant surprise!  With our late winter last year, we still had fresh watermelon come fall. This lent to making a beautiful signature cocktail for the evening. We made the Green River Mule that’s made from Green River watermelon which we froze into a granita, Jackson Hole ginger beer, fresh Utah mint, and Sugar House vodka.

The Harvest

We started our 10-course dinner with an amuse-bouche. Amuse-bouche translates to “entertained or amused mouth” so this amuse-bouche for the evening was a brown butter and Utah acorn squash mousse on a dried Mountainland apple and sage crisp certainly was a delight to the pallet! What makes our Pop-Up Restaurants different from our standard events we cater? So many things but one of our favorites is that our pop up restaurants is a show where the food is the star! While enjoying a spectacular 10-course meal you get to watch our chefs prepare it all right in front of you.  Every step will dazzle you. So this simple Snuck Farm greens with roasted Utah butternut squash, wild mushrooms and shallot duxelles with Slide Ridge honey vinaigrette became one of the favorite courses of the guests. Our chefs come out with large mezzaluna knives and chop huge bunches of greens at speeds that would astound you. The squash is toasted with torches table side. The mushrooms and shallots were then flambeed and sauteed to perfection.  It was all plated with finesse and grace. A simple salad became enthralling. No Culinary Crafts event is complete without our house-made artisan bread! Guests enjoyed our black pepper brioche paired with our Utah sea salt butter and our Utah pumpkin cornmeal roll paired with our house-made Cox honey cranberry compound butter. We love sharing our love for fresh artisan bread! We have loved the resurgence of fondue! We as a society have fallen in love with fondue again! Dipping things in cheese is a passion of ours- and why not it is fabulous!! For our next course, we served individual fondues to each guest which featured local tomatoes and Drake’s Farm goat cheese. This flavorful dish had guests licking their plates! As we love to keep things local, we love to serve trout as often as we can. We are always delighted to show off another local vendor, Riverence. They are raising our favorite trout in these here parts! Many local Utahan’s are used to the usual river trout often caught in Utah, but their Ruby Red Trout is a trout unlike you have ever eaten.  Our guests enjoyed delicious mesquite-grilled trout with Mountainland granny smith apple chutney grilled fresh minutes before plating. No fall meal would be complete without squash. Our trout was served with squash sauteed in pine nut butter and torches tableside! It was a perfect complement to the trout.

For our first entree course, we wanted to keep things warm and very fall so we served a Chicken Honfleur soup! Serving the soup in a miniature sugar pumpkin added an extra holiday flair! Check out the November recipe of the month on our blog for the Chicken Honfleur recipe. Every single Culinary Crafts recipe we share is something you can serve to your friends and family!

The second entree of the evening was our sous vide ribeye from Double Ranch served with cowboy caviar, sweet Daley’s bacon and torched shishito peppers. Sous vide is one of our favorite ways to cook during the fall and winter. It lends to the perfectly cooked piece of meat every time and cooked perfectly all the way through. This ribeye we sous vide for 5 hours and then, using handheld torches, we added that idyllic crust and grill marks to the outside. This method lets us serve all our guests the best and freshest product all year round!

At the end of every meal, we host we like to end with a tasting. We love to feature and educate about our local artisans. The iconic cheese and chocolate pairing was a perfect way to end this fall evening. The cheese menu of the evening included Deer Valley Truffle Double Cream, Beehive High West Whiskey Cheddar, Heber Valley Orange Rosemary, and San Luca Parmesan Reggiano. Each cheese has its own unique flavor profile all of which are made right here in the Beehive state! Did you know that one of the top chocolate companies in the world is right here in Utah? Amano’s use of Italian and French confectionery techniques brings out the natural flavors of quality cocoa beans which showed in their Morobe, Madagascar, Dos Rios and Ocumare chocolates we served during the Harvest Pop Up.

Decadent dessert to end the evening

No dinner is complete without dessert! To end the wonderful evening, we served our flambeed Utah apple and plum crostata with vanilla pastry cream and our signature zabaglione gelato. It was a decadent end to this beautiful meal. As you read through this menu, it may have surprised you that the food kept coming. Dish after dish. How could guests have enjoyed this delectable dessert? At Culinary Crafts we believe in slowing down the eating experience. Meals are meant to be enjoyed and a leisurely affair. Our pop up dinners usually last 4-5 hours. Our biggest recommendation when planning your next event- from a wedding to your next family meal is to slow down, enjoy the moment and relish every bite. It isn’t something to check off your list. It is the highlight of the day. This fall season slow down and enjoy your company and every bite. In addition to all the local creations we got to create for this event, and the joy of hospitality we got to share with our guests, one of the most rewarding parts of our pop up restaurants is that each time we get to partner with one of our favorite local charities and donate the profits to them! At this specific pop up we partnered with The Green Urban Lunchbox! Check out their vision! They are doing amazing things: https://www.thegreenurbanlunchbox.com/. We loved hosting this incredible Harvest Pop Up at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City and hope you join us at our next Pop Up Restaurant!

November 6, 2019

November Recipe of the Month: Chicken Honfleur Soup

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This delicious Chicken Honfleur Soup this time of year is sure to bring that fall feeling into your home this time!  There are so many seasonal flavors we know you’ll love! This seasonal dish is one we enjoy sharing in the fall weather during Thanksgiving or a simple get together with your neighbors. Serve them in mini sugar pumpkins to add extra holiday flair!

Chicken Honfleur in a Miniature Sugar Pumpkin - Yield 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs of shredded turkey or chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz shallots - finely diced
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 ⅕ lbs mushrooms - sliced. You can use your favorite type of mushroom. We love wild mushroom varieties such hon shimeiji and chanterelles. Button mushrooms and portobellos are also great choices.
  • 2 ½ apples - cored and sliced - you can use your favorite type of apples but Fuji and Green apples work really well
  • 2 cups of brandy - we recommend Calvados apple brandy since it really brings out the apple flavor in this soup
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh thyme
  • 3-6 bay leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock

Directions

  1. In large Saute pan, melt butter. If using chicken thighs, add chicken thighs and brown on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside. If using leftover turkey, add as directed later in the recipe. 
  2. Add shallots to pan, saute until shallots appear translucent.
  3. Add garlic, mushrooms, and apples. Sautee for 2-4 minutes all ingredients are softened and the apples have started to release some of their juice.  
  4. Add brandy. This will deglaze your pan and incorporate all that flavor stuck to the bottom of your pan. 
  5. Add thyme, bay leaves, chicken stock, and cream. Bring liquid to a simmer and continue to simmer until liquid is reduced by a third- about 10 minutes. 
  6. Add chicken thighs and simmer 5-7 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe can be made ahead of time. You can store it in your refrigerator for 2-4 days and in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.

Add that extra touch of fall!

A fun holiday touch we love to add is serving Chicken Honfleur in individual mini sugar pumpkins! To do this, simply remove the top with the stem just as if you were going to carve a jack o’ lantern, clean out the insides of the pumpkin and get the sides as smooth as possible.   Once you have the inside clean, bake the whole pumpkin on a sheet pan in your oven at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until the inside is soft and tender. Once pumpkins are roasted they will stay good in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month. Take care of your pumpkins ahead of time so you’re not stressed getting ready for your dinner party!

October 31, 2019

Fantastic Halloween Open House in Park City

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Halloween is the perfect time of year to host a spectacular party! Check out this house warming party we did in Park City.  

Cocktail Hour

Guests were greeted with a breathtaking cocktail bar set up in a decked-out welcome tent. The tent was fitted with lounge furniture, chandeliers, and stunning custom cocktails. The bar was decorated with a Halloween vibe using hollowed-out pumpkins as beverage tubs and marquee signs for custom barrel-aged cocktails. Cocktail hour continued with our artisan Culinary Crafts cheeseboards and housemade lavosh, and crackers. We couldn't forget the pumpkin decor galore!

The Menu

To keep guests mingling and partying all night, the menu was all butler passed. As guests toured the house they were delighted with a myriad of selections all brought right to them. Some of the selections from the evening were our favorite fall salad with pears, goat cheese, and local mixed greens, seared polenta bites with a salted caramel drizzle, dried apricots, and candied pecans. Utah beef and pork meatballs with roasted vegetable ratatouille were also on the menu. The mini BLT sandwiches were served with maple bacon, butter lettuce, heirloom tomato, and red pepper aioli. Guests also enjoyed chicken and white bean soup sips that were all the right size for eating and chatting. The bites kept on coming and featured chipotle shrimp and lime wedge skewer with cilantro creme fraiche, bacon-wrapped sweet dates with smoked Utah goat cheese crema and Utah beef sliders on a house-made bun with Beehive cheese and angry onions. The centerpieces for the evening instead of flowers had a sugary spin as we served white cotton candy on each table for guests to grab and munch on.

The Kid Zone

While the adults mingled and toured the home, the kids were invited to a special outdoor space just for them! The kids' area was equipt with movies and popcorn and endless amounts of games! We can't forget to mention the spooky touches to keep the Halloween times rolling. Spectacular food was served in the kids' area, haunted veggie cups with black ranch dressing, spooky fruit skewers, and the most delicious house-made corndogs which were battered and fried fresh at the buffet! Look at these personalized mason jars and straws with tags and each of the guests' names so the little guests didn't lose their cups! For dessert, a Halloween candy station was set up with our house-made skeleton cookies.

Dessert

Back in the main house, to cap off the evening, there was a dessert station with treats galore! Mini black caramel apples with twig sticks added a yummy fall touch! It was a chocolate lover's dream thanks to the white chocolate dipped marshmallows on a stick with white sprinkles, dark chocolate dipped pretzels with a white chocolate drizzle and dark chocolate whoopie pies. Black and white swirled meringue kisses brought swirly tasty goodness. A delectable black velvet spider web cake was the centerpiece of the dessert station! Hoping this inspires you for this Halloween Season! Eat Well!

October 9, 2019

October Recipe of the Month: Autumn Quinoa Salad

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During the Fall months, the opportunity to host family gatherings and parties seem to come in abundance. It can be daunting to come up with recipes that work as seasonal side dishes that will wow your guests and aren't time-consuming to make. This seasonal salad is one of our favorites! It will add a great deal of color and fresh flavor to any meal.

Flavors of the Autumn Quinoa Salad

One of the reasons why the Autumn Quinoa Salad is a favorite is it is full of beautiful seasonal items with different flavors and textures that make for the perfect salad. There are not many seasonal fruits in the Fall. However, using dried versions allows you to design fantastic well-rounded recipes. The tart, sweetness of the dried cherries are a great addition to different seasonal. You can also consider using dried apricots or figs which are both delicious in this recipe. The butternut squash and pumpkin seeds add the epitome of Fall flavors with a natural sweetness everyone can enjoy. Arugula, in contrast, has that wonderful bite that is always a surprise to the pallet. It is one of those hearty greens that are a fantastic addition to any Fall and Winter recipe.

Autumn Quinoa Salad - Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Quinoa - cooked and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups Arugula
  • 1 Cup Butternut squash - roasted and cut into 1" cubes
  • ⅔ Cup Dried Cherries
  • ⅓ Cup Roasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds
  • To taste: Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Combine everything in a bowl
  2. Gently toss to mix evenly
  3. Drizzle with vinaigrette
  4. add some fresh minced parsley to the top for a beautiful garnish

Apple Cider Vinaigrette - Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Slide Ridge Honey (Slide Ridge Honey is our favorite local honey. In the Beehive state though honey comes in abundance. So if you have another favorite you can always substitute.)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ Cup Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • To taste: Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Combine everything but the oil in a blender (or in a bowl if you are using an immersion blender)
  2. With the blender running, slowly add the oil until emulsified
  3. Adjust seasonings as needed
  4. Can be kept in your fridge for up to 3 months
  5. Whisk well before serving
Now that you know how simple this recipe is, prepare it for your fall get together! Remember that the vinaigrette can be kept in your fridge for up to 3 months but the Autumn Quinoa Salad is best served the day of. Enjoy!  

September 25, 2019

Charming summer wedding at the River Bottoms Ranch

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There's nothing like being able to help make a picturesque summer wedding possible for Alex and Kim on their special day at the River Bottoms Ranch in Midway, Utah!

The Venue

The River Bottoms Ranch has a newly-built white gambrel barn giving your wedding day experience modern touch. This venue is a great choice any time of the year and seats 200 guests or 300 guests for flowing reception. You can take advantage of River Bottom Ranch's spacious lawn and fields around it during the warmer times of the year by expanding your wedding activities to the outside of the barn.
Your photo opportunities are endless thanks to River Bottom Ranch's views of the surrounding valley, river, and Mount Timpanogos. This means you'll be able to capture every moment of your special day in natural light complete with the elegance of the barn's modern design.

The Menu

 What wedding would be complete without a spectacular spread? Alex and Kim's beautiful vision for their wedding of a hybrid family-style meal combines the formal with family.  Lots of laughing and sharing plates created such a fun environment.
 
This stunning tablescape was breathtaking. Every item from the wine glasses to the floral arrangements were set with attention to detail. The bride and groom aspired to show their guests true hospitality as they designed this beautiful wedding.
   
We began the evening with a family-style charcuterie board. Featuring our favorite Creminelli salamis. Creminelli is a local artisan that is producing some of the finest salamis. This night we featured their Sopressata, Wild Boar and Tartufo. These pair perfectly with Culinary Crafts signature housemade cheeses- black truffle and sea salt, apricot habanero and chocolate chili. These are served with beautiful fruits, tapenades, honeycomb, and olives.
Our housemade artisan breads and lavosh crackers added an exciting piece to this family-style course.
This beautiful communal dinner continued with a plated salad made with Snuck Farms greens, figs, blackberries, goat cheese, candied local pistachios, and Slide Ridge honey cider vinaigrette.
The courses continued with garlic herb cedar plank salmon and grass-fed Utah beef flank steak with housemade chimichurri. The star of the show though was a cherry tomato gnocchi with freshly shaved parmesan.
To end the meal, a summer favorite made an appearance: peach cobbler with housemade honey lavender gelato.
As the party continued and dancing broke out. A cookie bar complete with lemon meltaways, raspberry squares, and oatmeal fudge bars broke out as well. This sweet ending is a fantastic way to send your guests off full and happy.
Of course, no wedding is complete without a cake which was made by Flour and Flourish! The bride and groom loved it!

The Details

The details make the event and Alex and Kim didn't miss a step with the other details of the day! The beautiful touches added to this special day.
Guests got to capture happy memories at the photo booth! The kids had a great time posing in their cute outfits for the day!
Nathan Spenser and his band provided the perfect audio ambiance on the spacious lawn. Later that night, DJ Rob Bennion got everyone moving on the dance floor.
Kim and Alex shared their first dance as newlyweds on the beautiful, wooden dance floor. Isn't her dress to die for?!
Of course, Kim couldn't let Alex go unadorned! Look at these suits and ties!!
Only these florals from Fox and Fern could show up that lining. These sweet and romantic florals were their own statement piece.
Alex and Kim couldn't let the little ones in attendance this evening be left out of the fun! They had their own special buffet, games, and fun all to themselves! Culinary Crafts was honored to be able to assist the bride and groom and their guests have a stress free evening by creating an entertaining space for these kids!
As the night cooled down, the outdoor lights turned on creating a more intimate feeling on the lawn. Stepping outside into the cool, mountain air was a great way to take a break before dancing the rest of the night away!
Of course, no wedding party is complete with a sparkler send-off and getaway car! Thank you to Kim and Alex for choosing Culinary Crafts to be a part of your special day!
Do you have the perfect event in mind that you need to bring to life? Let's discuss your vision! Give us a call at (801) 225-6575!

The Vendors for this event

Bar: Bacchus
Lighting: Moonlight
Planner: Emily Wilson of Wildflower Weddings and Events
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