Blog

August 25, 2020

August Recipe of the Month: The perfect summer steak

By

It is grilling season! This recipe is for people who love steak, who love to grill, and want to splurge on something truly special. And once you’ve grilled this special treat, make sure the wine and sides are equally indulgent! The perfect summer steak recipe has very few ingredients - it’s really about letting the beef shine. It also has very few steps - just rub, grill, rest, serve. Nonetheless, this recipe requires practice, attention, and finesse. Please read all the extra notes as they serve to clarify the goal and how to reach it.

Ingredients:

Dry-aged (42-63 days is a typical crowd favorite) Prime or Wagyu Ribeye Steaks, min 20 oz* Fresh minced garlic Chocolate, Chili, Cayenne, and Cardamom dry rub** Extra virgin olive oil Large flake sea salt  

Instructions:

Approximately 8-12 hours prior to service, rub all sides of the steak with a healthy amount of minced garlic. Loosely cover and keep in the cooler until ready for firing and service.

When the service time approaches, lightly pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Rub all sides of the steak with a healthy amount of the dry rub.

Cook the steaks to your desired temperature***. Allow to rest. Carve into slices. Lightly top with extra virgin olive oil and flake sea salt. Serve and enjoy!  

*Notes on the steak selection. Dry-aged is best. However, if you cannot acquire dry-aged steaks, this recipe can be done with wet-aged beef. In which case, I recommend dry brining the steaks as an advance step.

Simply pack the steaks well with extra coarse salt on all sides and leave uncovered in the cooler. After 2-3 hours, return, drain, rinse well, pat dry, and continue with the recipe. This will remove some of the excess water from the steak, enriching the beef flavor and preparing it for a better sear and more even cook.

**Notes on the dry rub. This dry rub is equal parts brown sugar and dark cocoa powder, with cardamom, cayenne, and fresh ground black pepper as desired. Note there is deliberately no salt. You can use any steak rub you prefer, but look for one with very little or no salt. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. When ready to use, prep your steak (read here on our tips for preparing steak) apply to steak and grill. You can also see more tips on grilling from our grill master Ryan Crafts here. In general, I avoid introducing salt to the dry-aged steak until a finishing salt is used immediately prior to service. This will maintain an ideal texture, allow the rich dry-aged beef flavors to take center stage, and unique salts can also be selected for a precise pairing. For the perfect summer steak remember, when using salt as a finishing accouterment, you’re not looking for salty meat. Rather, you want seemingly competing peaks and valleys in the waves of the beef and salt flavor.

***Notes on cooking the tomahawks. The steak can be wonderfully cooked using various methods and techniques. Most important for a successful outcome worthy of this deserving cut, is to start with a clear understanding of the goal and the challenges this cut poses to the goal.

When grilling large steaks, I always completely separate the processes of searing and cooking. I treat these individually as very distinct elements. When searing, you want a very very high heat (practically as high as you can achieve), preferably from a nice hardwood fire. The goal is to create a wonderfully browned crust as quickly and directly as possible so as not to overcook the inside of the steak. When cooking, you want a nice low heat to gently cook while you slowly approach the target temperature.

The order of the searing and cooking can be interchanged. Sometimes we will cook the steak sous vide first, then sear them on an extremely high temp grill. Sometimes we will sear the raw steaks over a roaring fire, and then move them to a low temp zone to finish. Sometimes we’ll start with the steaks on the highest grate over our Santa Maria grill, and once their nicely warmed, drop them straight into the hot coals for a reverse sear (guests love to see searing right in the coals, btw!).

Again, the method and the order of the steps can be manipulated. Most important is to sear and cook separately, so you end up with a very rich sear and crust while still being a medium-rare-plus edge to edge.   Savor and enjoy these last days of summer with the perfect summer steak! Eat well

August 19, 2020

Tips on how to stay safe and still host events: Culinary Crafts safety measures

By

2020 has been a rollercoaster for all of us. As the community begins to recover, the hospitality industry hopes to begin to start celebrating again. Our primary responsibility as we begin to host events again is to ensure the safety of our team and your guests. Here are some tips on how to stay safe and still host events to help you stay safe and make your guests comfortable so they can join the festivities.

Choose a venue that has an outdoor space:

Many of your guests will feel more comfortable if they are able to be outside with fresh air. If your space doesn't have an outdoor option or weather doesn't permit an outdoor reception, consider investing in some air purifiers. Consult your venue and vendors as many may already have these for you to rent and use.

Have help to enforce social distancing:

One of the best tips on how to stay safe and still host events we recommend hiring a Social Coordinator. Many of our event planners and day of coordinators are perfect to help with this. This professional will be able to assist all guests in reminding them to social distance and throughout the event prevent congregating. They can also oversee all other protocols are being followed by supporting staff and vendors. Here are some of our recommendations for professionals to ask.

Proper signage:

Have signage to designate distancing, social procedures, and directions. This is a piece of events that often gets overlooked but signage can be a great place to create something fun for your event, from floor stickers to lawn signs, there are so many options on how to embrace this new social norm and make it beautiful!


Masks: 

This is another opportunity to embrace this new normal. Custom masks are the new thing! Add your logo or monogram. Make them something special people will keep and reuse. Also, this is a great place for signage reminding people to be kind and mask up.  

Washing and Sanitation Stations: 

Help your guests stay healthy by setting up sanitation stations to clean their hands. These ones are for rent from our friends Utah Live Bands.


Wellness check for your guests:

have a check-in station for your guests. Where they are reminded of the health concerns and have their temperatures taken. This is a great place to hand out masks and have some great signage or sanitation station.


Consider hosting micro-parties!

Forget the 300 person event host small events by department or family! You can create an incredible experience for a smaller group and reuse rentals and florals and decor for each seating.


Use Eventbrite to create tickets for specific times to have guests join the party!

This can also be a great place to have your guests sign a contract to agree to abide by health guidelines and not join if feeling ill. You can also include a Contact Tracing form for your guests to download. Such as this one.


Have an arrival plan.

Guests tend to mingle at any entrance. Speak with your planner or social coordinator about an arrival plan. How to funnel people in safely and get them checked in. This can even go as far as staggering start times for groups of guests. If you are transporting your guests on buses or vans ask your transportation company to stagger the leaving and arrival of vans and buses to allow time for everyone to maintain proper distancing.


Use vendors that will be supportive in keeping everyone healthy.

Salt Lake Chamber started the program Stay Safe, Stay Open , statewide campaign to meet the critical imperatives of helping Utah address the health-related objectives to prevent and recover from the coronavirus while at the same time assisting the business community in an effort to appropriately strengthen our state’s economy. Businesses participating in this campaign are clearly identified their participation by colorful signage displayed in their windows and throughout their establishments, demonstrating that they have taken a pledge to follow the state’s guidelines. You can also find a list of these companies on their website. 


Your vendors: It takes a team to put together a great event. make sure your vendors on their teams are being safe.

    • Ensure they are strictly observing all state guidelines and protocols from the Governor’s Office as well as the local health department.
    • Ask all vendors and their teams to complete a wellness check prior to arriving at your venue. It should include logging their temperatures and filling out a basic health questionnaire.
    • Confirm that teams will strictly adhere to all health department guidelines for frequent hand washing and proper glove use.
    • Request to see their contact tracing protocol for their team.
    • Assign one of your vendors to be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing high-frequency touch surfaces (door handles, elevator buttons, etc.) every 30 minutes during use. Your caterers are usually the largest team onsite and should be equipped to do this. They probably already have this on their radar but confirm with them.
    • Explore a variety of service styles. Many can be implemented to service the unique needs of your event while maintaining health and safety for all in attendance.
Thanks for reading these tips on how to stay safe and still host events. Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!
Eat well!

July 30, 2020

8 tips on how to make your next event more LGBTQ+ inclusive

By

When people think of the state of Utah, they often think of our world-famous snow or our iconic arches and red rocks. One of the highlights of Utah that often gets overlooked is our LGBTQ+ inclusivity!  Salt Lake City, is one of the most densely LGBTQ+ populated cities in the country, identified by Gallup as the 7th “gayest city in America.” Per capita, we are “gayer” than both Manhattan and Los Angeles. The Boston Globe calls Salt Lake City “America’s super gay, super cool hipster haven.”

At Culinary Crafts, language precision is something we take great pride in. The acknowledgment that words have poignant power to distract or enhance our guest's experience drives us to constantly be learning how to include and dial in our language use. In this vein, we worked with Equality Utah, who has been working for two decades to shatter stereotypes and foster dynamic change in the Beehive State, to create an inclusive language for events. Check out what we learned!

8 tips for making your events more LGBTQ+ friendly with inclusive language:

  1. Offer LGBTQ+ inclusivity training to your team in advance of any events. Seek guidance from local LGBTQ+ organizations or consult with the LGBTQ+ community to ensure you are centering on those most impacted. This will help ensure you are offering accurate information.
  2. Confer with your vendors in advance of the event to make sure their frontline employees have been trained to use inclusive language. If not, you can offer a quick training onsite the day of your event. However, this is better done in advance, so you don't miss anything.
  3. As the host, be cognizant of common gender-biased words when speaking to groups.  So many of these are unwittingly included in our everyday language. Some great gender-neutral examples of greeting a group of people could be "folks" instead of "guys" or "everyone" instead of "ladies and gentlemen" or as it is Utah, an appropriately timed "ya'll" is always welcome!
  4. Where possible — collect legal & preferred names. Give your guests an opportunity to self-identify and use that name wherever possible.
  5. Where possible, use gender-neutral signs. One of the prime examples of this is bathrooms. Instead of "men's" and "women's" indicate what can be found in each restroom (e.g., a toilet, a urinal, a changing station).
  6. Offer places for your guests to self-identify their gender pronouns.  Name tags are a great way to include this in your event. This will help ensure your guests are not misgendered and signal to transgender people that they are in a safe place.
  7. Update your event pages and other listings to indicate you are LGBTQ+friendly. (Yelp even has a badge for this.)
  8. Seek continued guidance from the LGBTQ+ community through trusted organizational partners. Also, get feedback from your LGBTQ+ members or other allies on how to make everyone feel included and loved.

Another resource to make your events more inclusive is Equality Utah. Recently, they launched a new Business Equality Leader certification program to offer Utah’s growing corporate sector the tools and training needed to create inclusive corporate cultures. They provide interactive diversity and inclusion training, which builds bridges between shared values. They also certify companies so you can make a public statement of support for an inclusive workplace and events.

With inequality and discrimination in the LGBTQ+ community being such a daunting problem, it can be discouraging not knowing how you can help and support. Including these tips above is a great start! You can also take the lead by thoughtfully and courageously engaging in equality efforts such as:

  • Become an ally through Equality Utah and other LGBTQ+ foundations.
  • Educate yourself about LGBTQ+ lives and uplift those who have been pushed to the margins of our culture.
  • You can always join Equality Utah's celebratory events.
Here are a few photos from their most recent gala we were honored to be a part of at the stunning Eccles Theater!

 We are proud to partner in this work with Equality Utah and the LGBTQ+ community. Together, we are working to ensure that every American can be included and celebrated in our state and country. While ignorance and fear still divides communities. we choose to approach each other with open hearts and a listening ear, we can begin to find solutions together.

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

June 30, 2020

June Recipe of the Month: Mixed berry cobbler

By

This patriotic colored recipe is always a slam dunk during the Utah summer months. This works wonderfully in your kitchen in a cast-iron skillet, or at your campsite in a Dutch oven. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Fruit Filling

  • approximately 2 - 2 1/4 pounds of mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1  1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • splash of lemon juice
  • dash of salt

Biscuit Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat your oven, with your 8-10" oven-safe skillet (we prefer cast iron for this recipe) inside, to 400 F.

While the oven is heating, prepare the fruit filling. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add the berries and toss lightly until the sugar is evenly coating all the berries. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, prepare the biscuit topping. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter (or a fork, or your fingertips), cut in the butter until the mix is coarse and mealy. Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir gently, just until combined. Take care not to over mix.

Remove hot skillet from the oven. Add the berry mixture. Stir gently. Using a spoon or a portion scoop, drop 1-2" round pieces of the biscuit dough onto the fruit, spacing them as evenly as possible.

Transfer the skillet back to the oven and bake until biscuits are golden brown and baked through (a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean) - approximately 30 minutes (perhaps slightly more or less depending on the heat flow in your oven).

When finished baking, remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm, topped with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.  

Variations

Consider adding baking spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, etc.) to the fruit filling.

Consider playing with different fruits. Peaches of course work wonderfully. Cherries too.

For an even more buttery biscuit, brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter after scooping and just before placing in the oven.

For an extra crunch, sprinkle the tops of the biscuits with turbinado sugar after scooping and just before placing in the oven.

June 6, 2020

5 things we miss most

By

We miss our jobs! Working in special events is always a challenge, but we love what we do. We enjoyed connecting with our industry partners on this post to discuss what we all miss the most. Read on to see the 5 things we miss most and why we're all so excited to get back to work!

1. The people.

Every single person we interviewed mentioned how much they miss all the people! Event professionals make a lot of sacrifices as they put in long hours and work nights and weekends. Through it all, the staff, the clients, the guests, the partner vendors become some of our closest friends.

Joseph Parkes from Offsite Utah

"It is the people! I miss our great clients, our amazing vendors (Like Culinary Crafts), and working closely with the Offsite Utah team! We look forward to getting back into the office and kick-starting our industry when it is safe for everyone."

Janica Horner from Riverbottoms Ranch

"One of the things that I miss the most is the loud chatter.  I love seeing large groups family and friends gathering and listening to the sound of that constant chatter.  It’s a unique language of its own where there is not a single word that can be identified but a constant rumble of people laughing and talking in a tone of happiness and excitement.  River Bottoms is ready to once again fill our walls with some noise, it’s been quiet way too long. "

Josh Knight from Five Penny Floral

"I think the thing that I miss the most is rubbing shoulders with other professional vendors. I miss seen my crew and designing. And the laughter I miss the laughter."

Donna Urban from 4U Ranch

"I miss the camaraderie of a group of people working together as a team to create events.  Watching the creativity, hearing the banter, seeing the beautiful result of all the months of planning come to fruition....I so look forward to seeing it all again! "

Kasey Plourde from Harvest Moon Events

Familiar faces. Not only our awesome Harvest Moon part-time employees, but also the dozens of vendors that have become friends over the years."

Dawn Borchardt from Memorial House

"I miss getting to work with my amazing staff and our vendors! We have such good relationships with some many people behind the scenes and have fun working together to make clients' days go as perfectly as possible. Can't wait to bring back that good energy into Memorial House again! "

Michael Tobian from Utah Live Bands

"I'd say the thing I miss the most is regularly seeing all the great friends in the industry.  In this local economy, it is so fun to see who the vendors are at an event, give them a hug and work together to make the event go as smoothly as possible.  I will so look forward to doing that again in a safe manner as things open up."

Michelle Cousins from Michelle Leo Events

"I miss my friends! I adore the vendors in our community. They’re part of what makes working in this industry so enjoyable and events so special. I always look forward to event day when I get to give each of them a big hug and thank them for all of their amazing efforts. I miss that right now, even more so because I know how much our industry is hurting at the moment. I look forward to when I get to see each of them again and can actually give them a big hug."

Jillian Burnham from Eclectic Hive

"I miss pretty much everything about events, but mostly I miss seeing my fellow members of our community! From vendors to venues, planners, etc. I adore our local event community and miss everyone quite a bit."

Kristin Spear from Soirée Productions

"I miss my vendor friends the most and getting out of the house."

Meg Orsini from SceneMakers

“I miss seeing my creative partners. The lighting team, the caterers, the DJs, the planners, the officiants...I miss our people. We are a small but talented market place, but we are a tight nit family.”

Kellie Jackstien from Artisan Bloom

"I mostly miss connecting with clients and the general joyful aspect of everything that goes into designing wedding flowers."

Pepper Nix from Pepper Nix Wedding Photographer

"The thing I miss the most is the people. I miss the energy on the dance floor, the large group photos, the quiet prayers before a ceremony. I really miss people. Happy people, crying people, drunk people, sweaty people, and that one crazy uncle who is gunning for my job as a wedding photographer - I miss them all so much!!!"

2: Showing off Utah.

4 true seasons. The Mighty 5. Cocktail parties after a day of skiing. Summer BBQs in the mountains. And did you know Utah is the first and only US State to receive 3 stars as a tourist destination from the prestigious Michelin Guide?!

Ryan Hanley from PRA Mountain West

"I miss helping people enjoy our great destination the most- we have so much to offer and I’ve seen so many people with both surprise and delight after coming to Utah"

Cliff Harris from This is the Place Heritage Park

"We miss being able to welcome people for the first time to the beauty of This Is The Place Heritage Park. We love even more welcoming home many returning visitors. We count them as family."

3: The adrenaline.

Special events bring a lot of pressure. And even though we need our R&R to relieve stress just like anyone else, event professionals thrive under pressure. We love the rush of hard work. We miss having to lean on our grit.

Kasey Plourde from Harvest Moon Events

"The feeling on Sunday after a successful big event the day prior. The sore feet and pure exhaustion paired with happy clients makes for the most rewarding feeling ever."

Alexandria Jaramillo from Over the Top Events

“I think for me the thing I miss about events is the joyful anticipation for both vendors and bride. Months of hard work finally coming to fruition and nothing more satisfying than seeing the smile on my couples face as they see everything come to life."

Shelly Huynh from Orchid Dynasty

"I miss the adrenaline, the pace of event day setup, you hate it, you love it but then that magical moment at the end where somehow it all comes together at the same time. Every emotion gets dragged out, as a florist I’m worried about the flowers surviving in the heat, wind, and all of Mother Nature. However, she feels at the time. The safe transportation of these beautiful centerpieces that you have been working on, the timeline to get the setup,
the physical and mental stress. You worry, then you panic, you scream, then the couple comes in and they’re happy and then you’re happy and then you cry because you did it. I guess being an event florist has prepared me for the Pandemic. I know that I cannot control everything, we can not predict what will happen. We prep, plan and do everything that is possible to prevent issues beforehand but we are at the mercy of life. So if something goes wrong during setup, we still have to get up, fix it and do whatever it takes. "

4: The production.

Most special events spend several months or weeks in planning. It's so exciting to see all that work come to fruition in a matter of days or hours. It's almost magical. It's very fulfilling.

Heather Weinstock from Abravanel Hall

"I think I’d have to choose that moment right before guests start arriving and when everything is set—rentals and décor are beautifully staged and untouched, and the air is buzzing with excitement and anticipation. I always make sure to pause and take it all in. It’s such a rewarding feeling to see how everything comes together after months and months of hard work and careful planning."

Tonya Hoopes from Hoopes Weddings and Events 

"I miss seeing the bride's reaction when she enters the room for the first time and sees the vision come to life.  I miss the hard work the day of the wedding and then the reactions of all the guests knowing the hard work paid off."

LeAnne Brandburg from Riverbottoms Ranch

 "I would have to say I miss seeing our amazing events perspire from a vision to an experience… Being there in person and feeling all of the love, happiness, hard work, details, and celebration! I greatly miss seeing all of the vendors as well as I consider them my dear friends and love seeing their faces!"

Cassidy Budge Harrison from Flour and Flourish

I miss seeing all the puzzle pieces come together to make the perfect day for our brides."

Joslyn Poole from Metro Music Club

"I miss singing and playing MUSIC!!! I never thought I would ever actually miss playing 24K Magic, but here we are, ha!I miss seeing all our amazing industry friends every weekend and walking into the beautiful event spaces. I miss it all!"

Nick Peters with Diamond Event and Tent

"I miss seeing the final result and fulfillment when working on events. I also miss the teamwork and day-to-day interactions with clients. "

Rachel Nassee from In the Event

"The one thing I really miss is that very first meeting with a client.  When we sit together, get to know one another, and learn from each other.  I become incredibly inspired after those initial meetings!  I’m inspired by the thought of making someone’s dreams come to life.  Every time, no matter how many times I have that first meeting, I get an excited, nervous little flutter in my belly at the prospect of making this person’s life a little better and a little easier by offering my assistance."

Guy Jordan from RMC DMC

“Is the excitement on both the planners and guests faces when they arrive at an event”

Kati Price from Events Rising

"What I love most about being an event planner is seeing the finished product coming to fruition and seeing the look on my clients' faces when the event has been seamless from start to finish.  Creating memorable experiences with my clients is what I love.  I miss adding value to my clients so that they can focus on their guests and attendees.  I also miss collaborating with my amazing vendors and partners on how to take our event to the next level. Maybe it's a themed event or a special surprise in the middle of the event to finish out the experience, leaving the guests with a lasting memory of your event. The exchange of energy at an event starts with setting the stage prepared and calm."

Alessandra Wortmann from Carrie's Cakes

"I think the biggest is when I am able to catch the bride and groom see their cake for the first time. I also miss seeing and interacting with the other vendors."

Kasey Plourde from Harvest Moon Events

"That magical moment right before an event comes together. No matter how much extra time we allow for setup, we use every last minute to perfect until go-time. During those last 30 minutes before the event starts something special happens and (with a lot of hard work by many people) it all comes together." Ann Elizabeth from Ann Elizabeth Print Studio "What we miss about events is handing off the finished product to the client. The excitement from them seeing what our digital drafts become to something physical that they can actually touch and feel is priceless."

5: The groove.

Event professionals have spent years honing their skills and perfecting their craft. Before this crisis, there was a bold confidence in our collective expertise. We had all the right answers and could tackle projects of any scope and size. Now, we're faced with unprecedented challenges. Suddenly, we don't have all the answers. Needs and protocols are changing on a near daily basis. We miss the familiar. We miss the known. We miss our groove.

Alexandria Jaramillo from Over the Top Events

"I miss the good old days when we as vendors are confidently going into events knowing what to expect. Not to say we aren’t learning and adapting to new protocols...but hoping one day we will be back to our normal.”

Donna Urban from 4U Ranch

"Can I say what I miss most is NOT being on all of these Zoom calls and Webinars? "

Rob Bennion from Echo Talent

"I miss the excitement and variety of working 4 events every week in unique environments, traveling for events on the west coast and internationally!  Sometimes when we as creatives are put into a small box we do our best work, and I am constantly thrilled to see what professionals are doing when placed under such tight restrictions!
Small side-hustles have become primary sources of income, local clients, relationships, and businesses have become even more essential where before perhaps before we were focused on destination clients or travel gigs.   Last year I worked in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris, Seattle, San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Jackson, Vail, this year will be much more local!"

Rob Ferre from Life of the Party

"I miss human interaction. Nothing is better than seeing your fellow wedding and event professionals at an event where we collaborate hustle and create lasting memories. Most of all I miss the energy of a full dance floor with people singing and dancing to the grooves of the night. Let's bring that back! "

Elizabeth King from Salt Lake Public Library 

“Sometimes you will never know the value of something until it becomes a memory.” We miss the graduations, proms, weddings, and all the major milestones we’ve been fortunate to host at the library. We look forward to the day we can reopen our doors and welcome patrons in person. Virtual cheers from the City Library.

Kati Price from Events Rising

"I miss hugging.... I am a hugger and I love a good hug.  I look forward to the day we can gather together safely, comfortably, happily for a fabulous bash."
1 2 3 4 5 213

20x winner Utah’s Best of State

16x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year