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REPOST: ICAEF Scholarship Recipient Spotlight

By | Vendor Spotlight | No Comments
Heather Carr: Driven to Perfection

For seven months, the team at Footers Catering in Denver introduced their Executive Sous Chef, Heather Carr, to clients as a contestant on an upcoming episode of Chopped, the popular Food Network show, not knowing if she had won or not. Even on the day of the viewing party that Footers threw for friends, family and clients, no one, except Carr, knew what the outcome would be.

That wasn’t really a surprise to anyone as we all know somewhat how reality TV works these days with their iron-clad non-disclosure agreements and months between the final shows and when they air. Footers owners, Anthony and April Lambatos and the team were happily surprised when Carr won. But there were also some unexpected elements in store for Carr.

“I was surprised watching it how much I didn’t remember doing,” she said the day after the show aired. “The camera lights were hot and I was in the zone.”

She might not remember the ingredients or her techniques, but her focus during the cooking was laser sharp. “I focused on my own work, not on the competition,” she recalled. “I was hard on myself each round.” That’s the attitude it takes to win. However, at the end of the day, it’s about winning the long game for Carr.

“Winning Chopped is a career highlight for sure, but it was a cooking competition,” she said. “It’s just one day in many, and it’s about the luck of what you are given. It’s not everything about who I am. To me, speaking at Catersource, being an ICAEF scholarship winner – twice now – and mentoring other chefs is of more value.”

And that’s what it is about the 25-year-old that has made her a winner in the catering industry.

Carr is someone who takes advantage of every opportunity that comes her way, and is sure enough to be herself in every situation – her shaved hairstyle and tattoo sleeve of vegetables — tells you that even before you talk to her.

She began cooking in college. As a lacrosse player at University of New Hampshire (where she is from) her practice schedule kept her from working. So she made a deal with her roommates that if they bought the groceries, she’d cook. Laughing, she recalled, “I was pretty bad at first. I got better and never stopped. I’ve been cooking professionally for the entire six years since.”

After attending Johnson & Wales in Denver, she moved to Los Angeles for a year. While there she worked for a boutique catering firm and won her first ICAEF Scholarship. This enabled her to attend Catersource where she heard great things about Footers. Wanting to return to Denver, she set her sights on working for them, which of course she did. Once again, she won the ICAEF Scholarship (applicants are allowed to enter and win a maximum of two times).

This time around she was mentored by Keith Lord, Executive Chef of Wild Thyme in San Diego, and this year’s winner of ICA’s Chef of the Year Award at the ICA CATIE Awards during Catersource. “He really opened doors for me,” Carr said. “We clicked on how we approach food.”

Eight months later they presented together at the Art of Catering Food in Washington, D.C. on upcycling, the art of reusing discarded food product to create a dish or sauce of the same, if not better, quality than the original.

This year at Catersource, they presented together yet again. Next time around, Carr is ready to go it alone. As someone who learned cooking to pay her rent, Carr wants others who enter the field to understand the foundation of the cooking process and how something as simple as emulsification of a vinaigrette, for instance, translates to many other cooking techniques. “I want to mentor others and teach them all the things I wished I had learned when I began,” she said.

Her philosophy is to make something work, rather than make excuses of why it can’t. “I try to find success and meaning in what I’m doing now instead of thinking if it will be bad or good for my career. I won’t let anything stop me.” Obviously, this Carr is revved up and going places.

International Caterers Association Educational Foundation (ICAEF) www.icaef.org

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, Food, Instagram of the Week, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Sharing the Love -Vendor and Client Relationships, Vendor Love!, Wedding Trends | No Comments

Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from St George Weddings and is a repost of our BREATHTAKING Beauty and Her Feast Editorial in Utah Valley Bride magazine!  We LOVED this shoot and are so happy it’s inspiring our wedding community whether it be locally or beyond!  Thank you again for the share, St George Weddings!  Remember, for your chance to be next week’s pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post and check back next week to see who we choose next!  Happy weekend, everyone!

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

VENDORS:

Photographer Heather Nan Photography
Videographer Kale Fitch Films
Catering Culinary Crafts
Wedding Dress Harlow Brides

Setting the Perfect Table

By | Event Tips and Planning, How To, Parties, Top 5 Tips | No Comments

By Kaleb Crafts

Whether you are planning a corporate function, your big wedding day or just entertaining your closest friends for an intimate dinner party, the table setting sets the tone for the event more than almost anything else. Here are a few tips to help you think through this important piece to your event.

The Linen

The right tablecloth or linen is the first thing down on the table. A clean, crisp, white, linen that hangs just to the floor can be a great fit for any event, but get creative. Bring some colors in, use some unique patterns or fabrics. Don’t hesitate to get out the sewing machine and quickly hem or surge an edge on your favorite fabric. Add a pop of color with a runner or additional cloth overlay. Be mindful of textures and how they go together.

The Centerpiece

Get creative with your arrangements. Fresh florals can be used in almost any situation and tailored to fit the feel of the party. However, don’t be tied down to florals alone, add in votive candles, tiles, mirrors, beads, etc. For themed parties, use anything from sports caps to wood boxes to tiki torches. One thing to keep in mind is that while a tall and wide centerpiece will certainly be breathtaking at first glance, it can detract from table conversation once guests are seated. If it blocks the view of guests who are opposite one another, it can be bothersome.  

The Serviceware

Pick a china pattern that fits the event. If you have space and budget, add a charger or service plate to the place setting. The flatware should look cohesive with the china and be set according to common etiquette. An entire book could be written about place setting etiquette, so I won’t go into too much detail. But keep the flatware half an inch from the edge of the table and work outside in, meaning that the flatware should be placed in the order it will be used throughout dinner service working from the outside towards the plate. I love this picture from rootedinfoods.com that shows a traditional formal setting. In most circumstances, you won’t have all of these pieces set and you won’t set more than 3 pieces of flatware to left and right of the plate at a time, but this shows where the appropriate location for pretty much anything you could think of would go.  

The Accouterments

It is always helpful to think through the evening and plan the additional needs on the table accordingly. Salt and pepper shakers, water pitchers, place cards, table numbers, etc. Keep in mind that the additional items placed on the table may clutter the clutter and detract from the rest of the table.  

I hope these quick tips help you at your next big event and remember, life is too short to eat bad food.  

Lavender, Lemonade and Honey Editorial from Utah Valley Bride Magazine!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Sharing the Love -Vendor and Client Relationships, Tips, Vendor Love!, Venues We Love, Wedding Trends | No Comments

Today, in honor of the first day of spring yesterday, Culinary Crafts is so thrilled to share this dreamy Lavender, Love and Honey editorial with a gorgeous spring palette that should get all of you excited for the upcoming season!  (Side note, you may recognize this shoot from the glossy pages of Utah Valley Bride magazine!!!)  The vendor team was truly extraordinary including Kristina Curtis Photography who’s photos were STUNNING!  Check it out!

Isn’t this setting GORGEOUS?!  And the design by Leslie Dawn Events was seriously breathtaking!  It was truly our pleasure to spend the day at Young Living Lavender Farm!

Calie Rose is a floral magician!  The flowers totally tied in with the lavender fields without overwhelming the surroundings or fading into the background.  Such a beautiful addition!

Our Lavender Lemonade with a Candied Ginger Lemon Wheel is always hit and was the perfect beverage to serve for this shoot!

We chose to serve a light lunch/brunch type foods to keep with the light feel of the shoot.  Our House-Made Whole Wheat Bread with Clove Honey Spread was the perfect light, yet delicious, comfort food!

How cute are these Limoncello favors?  We loved the calligraphy favor tags from Karli Noel Calligraphy and the little hand stoppered bottles.  SO fun!

This bike was SOOOO cool!  We loved the whimsical element it added to the shoot – and isn’t a perfect shade of spring yellow?  Love it!  Plus, our bride was such a natural beauty!

I love this photo and couldn’t help but share it!  I think it definitely encapsulated the fun, beautiful and spring-like vibes the team was trying to create!

Another shot of our signature Lavender Lemonade.  We love it, plus isn’t the bride’s amethyst ring from designer By Angeline amazing?  Love the organic feel of it!

This cake by our friends at Flour and Flourish was beautiful as well as delicious!  We loved the use of candied lemon and lavender as the minimal decoration.  And, I have to say, it paired with our Lavender Lemonade amazingly!

The simple and elegant menu with more calligraphy by Karli Noel Calligraphy and the eclectic place settings were such a dream.  Plus, we love the soft pink of the glassware.  All around, this table was stunning!

Wasn’t this a perfect way to welcome spring?  We thought so!  Thank you again to the entire vendor team for putting together an AMAZING day and thank you to Utah Valley Bride for featuring it in their 2017 issue!  Happy spring, everyone!

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

VENDORS: Photo Kristina Curtis Photography | Catering Culinary Crafts | Planning Leslie Dawn Events | Floral Calie Rose | HMUA Brynn Thomas Makeup | Venue Young Living Lavender Farm Mona Utah | Gown Leanne Marhsall | Veil Avenia Bridal | Rentals Diamond Rental | Beverage Cart Alpine Event Rentals | Cake Flour and Flourish | Signage & Limoncello Tags Karli Noel Calligraphy | Jewelry By Angeline | Paper Inkspiration | Model Paris Tews

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Client Feedback, Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Instagram of the Week, Sharing the Love -Vendor and Client Relationships, The Craft(s) | No Comments

Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from our very own Mary Crafts-Homer who posted this to announce that the second episode of The Craft(s) debuted this week!  And, I love it because it’s all about COMFORT FOOD.  I think it’s going to be right up everyone’s alley, so check it out!  Here is the direct link so you can watch it right now!  Thanks for the awesome share, Mary!  And, remember, for you chance to be next week’s pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post and see who’s selected next!  Happy weekend watching, everyone!

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

🍪 Double the Fun! 🍪

By | Ask Mary, Recipe of the Month, Recipes | No Comments

Cookies served with a milk “shooter” —
what could be better?!

Two is better than one!

What’s better than one chocolate chip cookie recipe? Two chocolate chip cookie recipes! Our original recipe (the first recipe below) makes a devastatingly delicious chocolate chip cookie that is at it’s best if you eat it warm right out of the oven or within about 4 hours of baking. It has been our go to recipe for decades because we make our desserts fresh the day of our events.

But we’ve had requests and occasionally need to make a cookie that will keep longer. That’s when we came up with the second recipe. You can freeze the dough and put the frozen cookies right on the cookie sheet and bake them. AND these cookies even freeze well once they’ve been baked! Simply seal them in an airtight container. Note – this freezer friendly recipe is really loaded with chocolate chips – the chocolate lovers in your family will love them!!

Enjoy! Mary
Mary Crafts-Homer

and our next episode
will be launching in
APRIL

MARCH RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Original Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 60 average size cookies

Ingredients
2 cups (4 sticks) Butter
2 cups + 4 T Granulated sugar
2 cups Brown sugar
3 large eggs
1T Vanilla
1/3 cup Corn syrup
3 1/3 cup All purpose flour
4 1/2 cup Cake flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
3/4 tsp Salt
2 bags (11oz each) Milk chocolate chips

Method

Cream butter and sugars
Add eggs 1 at a time
Add vanilla and corn syrup
Add chocolate chips
Scoop about 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough per cookie
Bake at 325 F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown

 

New Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 12 ginormous cookies

Ingredients
8 oz butter, cold (we use unsalted, but if you use salted, cut back on the salt amount)
1 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
2 large eggs
1 T Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Cake flour
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp Corn starch
3/4 tsp Baking soda
3/4 tsp Sea salt (less if you use salted butter)
2 cups Milk chocolate chips
2 cups Walnuts (optional) we usually don’t use them

Method

Cream the butter and sugar
Add eggs one at a time, add the vanilla
Add dry ingredients until 80% mixed, stir in choc chips and walnuts if using.
Portion out cookies and freeze the dough. We find it if you freeze the dough a bit before you bake them it helps them keep their shape. A half a cup of dough equals one cookie. So measure out the dough and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Yes, these are jumbo cookies!

Bake at 400 F for 12 to 15 minutes. Be sure and watch closely as every oven will vary. They should be slightly brown around the edges and still appear soft and the center.

The Best Part About My Job

By | Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts | No Comments

By Meagan Crafts

The best part about my job is the people I get work with everyday. The staff here at Culinary Crafts are a key part to our culture. We all share the weight and stress of pulling off what we do here everyday. What we accomplish here is incredible. When we can build the dreams of our clients in 2 hours it  is remarkable and inspiring.

It’s more than just getting to work with my amazing family; Mary, Ryan and Kaleb and spectacularly talented husband Clayton Price. Its that our whole team feels like family.

Ryan and Kaleb Crafts in our last staff meeting quoted Michael Caine from Batman Begins  

Bruce Wayne: Why do you give a damn, Alfred? It’s not your family.

Alfred: I give a damn, because a good man once made me responsible for what was most precious to him in the whole world.

Even as our team all sat around and laughed at this comparison, there was so much truth and excitement from our team as the realization that we are responsible for memories and dreams people have spent their lives planning, whether that is their wedding or a brand launch, our clients trust us with one of the most precious things in their world. It’s a large responsibility that our team is anxious to step up and take upon ourselves. That mental space we share is what makes Culinary Crafts one of the most exciting, and highly rewarding places to work.

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Instagram of the Week | No Comments

Today’s Instagram of the Week is one Culinary Crafts is so happy to share!  It’s a post from UVU’s Foundation Ambassadors who we hosted at our Pleasant Grove headquarters this past week.  We took them on a tour of the Culinary Crafts facility, treated them to tasty bites (of course), and our very own Mary Crafts-Homer got to share her success story and answer their questions!  Such a fun day and we are always happy to educate and inspire in our community, so we were excited to see that the Foundation Ambassadors had such a great time too!  Thank you again for sharing!  Remember, for your chance to be next week’s Instagram of the Week, tag us @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts and check back next wek to see who gets picked next!  Happy weekend, everyone!

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

🌽 A Recipe for Comfort Food Bliss 🌽

By | Recipe of the Month, Recipes | No Comments

Comforting Corn Custard

This is one of our most requested recipes. It’s a corn custard, kind of like corn pudding, but even better! You won’t believe how silky smooth it is and how much corn flavor is packed into this modest serving of delicious custard. It’s updated, old-fashioned goodness! And, while your custard is in the oven, check the next episode on our YouTube channel, The Craft(s). It’s all about comfort food!

Enjoy! Mary
Mary Crafts-Homer

We often serve this sweet corn custard with a mushroom sauce, or garnish it with sliced green onion.

and the next episode
“Comfort Food”
will be launching
March 10th

FEBRUARY RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Sweet Corn Custard
Makes 10 – 4 oz. appetizer or small side dish portions

Ingredients
Pan Spray (like “Pam”)
6 Ears of fresh sweet corn (or 3 cups frozen corn, thawed)
4 Cups of heavy cream
8 Large eggs
2 Cups of grated Jack cheese
2 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

Method
1)  Preheat oven to 325-degrees.
2)  Using pan spray, generously coat the inside of 10 3-inch/4-ounce ramekins.  Set aside.
3)  Using a serrated knife, cut the corn kernels off the cobb – you want to get as much of the tender kernel as possible without getting the woody part of the cobb, or thaw 3 cups of the frozen corn.
4)  Put corn in a saucepan, add 4 cups of heavy cream and bring to a low simmer and let it simmer for 5 minutes – you are infusing that cream with sweet corn flavor. After 5 minutes of simmering, cool down the mixture and put in a blender. Run the blender until the mixture is smooth.
5)  Strain the pureed corn and cream through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, discard any solids that are in the strainer.
6)  Grate 2 cups of Jack cheese.
7)  Crack 8 eggs and add to the bowl, along with your grated Jack cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper, stir well to break up the eggs, but don’t whisk in any air into the eggs – they shouldn’t be foamy.
8)  Now add your heavy cream that has been infused with the corn and stir it through.
9)  Fill the ramekins ¾ full of the mixture.  Set the filled ramekins in a 9 X 13 pan.  Put hot water from the tap in a pitcher, and gently pour the hot water around the ramekins, without letting it splash into the custard cups (this is a water bath).  You should end up with the water coming up ¾ of the way up the sides of the ramekins.
10)  Cover the pan and the ramekins with foil and take a knife and punch a few holes in the foil to allow the steam to escape.
11)  Carefully move the water bath to your preheated oven (325 degrees) and bake the custards for 35 to 40 minutes, until they are set firm, but are still creamy inside (if they are too runny, you won’t be able to unmold them).
12)  Take the custards out of the oven, and hold them in the 9 X 13 pan, still covered with the foil, staying warm in the hot water until you are ready to serve.

For Serving
You can leave the custard in the ramekins and serve that way, or, to unmold them run a small paring knife between the custard and the ramekin to help release the edges of the custard. Turn out and unmold them onto your plate or bowl.  Serve forth!

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Featured: Culinary Crafts in the Press, Instagram of the Week, Modern Wedding Style, Hot Tips for Cool Brides, Sharing the Love -Vendor and Client Relationships, Vendor Love!, Wedding Trends | No Comments

culinary crafts lavender lemonade

Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from the fabulous Calie Rose Wedding Flowers!  This beautiful photo was part of a dreamy inspiration shoot you can see in the newest issue of Utah Valley Bride’s magazine!  We LOVE this cocktail and it makes us so excited for the upcoming spring season.  Thank you so much for sharing, Calie Rose!  Remember, for your chance to be next week’s Instagram of the Week, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts and check back to see who we pick next week!  Happy weekend, friends!

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

VENDORS: Photo Kristina Curtis Photography | Catering Culinary Crafts | Planning Leslie Dawn Events | Floral Calie Rose | HMUA Brynn Thomas Makeup | Venue Young Living Lavender Farm Mona Utah