catering - Culinary Crafts

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | A Kitchen Like No Other, Culinary Crafts Events, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Instagram of the Week, New at Culinary Crafts, News

Today’s Instagram pick is from our friends at Old Town Cellars – who, if you didn’t already know, helped us create our own private label line of wines for our clients!  We are so excited to offer these 4 amazing selections and think our clients will be pretty excited too!  We actually debuted them at our Harvest Pop-Up.  🙂  Thank you for sharing, Old Town Cellars, and thank you for helping us create these beautiful wines!  And remember, for your chance to be next week’s pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your posts and check back 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

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Culinary Crafts Gives Back, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Instagram of the Week

Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from our friend, Angela Howard Photography. Not only do we LOVE this photo she took of Mary, Kaleb, and Ryan, but we are so thankful to her for helping us spread the word about our ‘Showdown for Support’ to help the victims of the recent hurricanes!  And there’s still time for you to join us at the AMAZING event!  Get your tickets here.  Thank you again to Angela Howard for sharing – and 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 to see who is chosen next!  Happy weekend, everyone, and we hope to see you Monday!

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

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Instagram of the Week, Parties, The Tasting Room, Venues We Love

Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from our Mary Crafts-Homer who is in the midst of all of the AWESOME Outdoor Retailers events we have going on right now!  While this is a bittersweet year marking the end of this amazing event happening in our fair city, we are so happy to have been able to be a part of this epic convention and truly grateful for our ability to have done so many fun and over-the-top events in conjunction with the retailers who attend!  Thank you for posting, Mary!  And, 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 to see who’s chosen next!  Happy weekend and Happy Outdoor Retailers too!

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

How Much Alcohol Should You Plan For Your Event?

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Parties, Tips, Top 5 Tips

By Ashley Veenendaal

One of the most common questions we get in the event planning industry is “How much alcohol should I plan for my event?” Running out of alcohol before guests have had a reasonable and fun number of drinks is definitely a joy kill at the party. If you are not using a bar service who specialize in estimating the amount of alcohol needed, then there are a few rules of thumb that will keep the party going.

How long will your party be going on?

Most often guests will imbibe 2 drinks in the first hour and one per hour thereafter. So if you are planning on a 4-hour party you will want to be prepared for guests to drink 4-5 drinks during that time. Of course there will be guests who drink more and those who drink less. This more often than not will even things out.

That being said you will also want to consider who your guests are. This may be a generous amount for a group of light drinkers (always better to have some left over for next time). Or it may be lacking for a group of hard drinkers (consider how drunk you want to see your guests and what the transportation plan is afterward before upping the amount of alcohol.)

How much do you get from a bottle?

There are hundreds of alcohol math calculators online but some standard measurements, (depending on how heavy handed you are with the pour), look like this:

Wine: 5-6 glasses per bottle

Champagne:6-7 glasses per bottle

Beer: You will have to decide if your guests love their beer or prefer something else. This will determine whether you plan on 2 bottles/cans or 5. Keep in mind local & craft breweries also have a higher alcohol content. Here in Utah we don’t have kegs, so for those of you who are having an event were they are legal, ask the purveyor.

Spirits: Vodka, Rum, Whiskey, Gin & Tequila. These are the basics that guests will ask for. 15-20 pours per bottle depending on the cocktail. You will want to look at the amount of each liquor & mixers going into a drink to determine more accurately how many bottles you will need.

What are you serving?

If you are only serving beer and wine generally guests will drink more red wine (unless it’s summer & it’s hot) then consider adding some rose to the mix. Otherwise plan on buying more red than white. This is where you have to gauge whether your guests are bigger wine or beer drinkers.

For a full bar we would suggest 50% wine, 30% beer & 20% spirits, again it’s going to really help if you know your crowd. Another fun suggestion is to serve beer, wine & one or two signature cocktails. It makes the bar memorable if guests are offered a delicious new cocktail as well as minimizing the variety of alcohol you will need to purchase. Often signature cocktails can also be designed to work without alcohol for your non-drinking guests and it’s important not to neglect them. Have fun, be safe & DON’T RUN OUT OF BOOZE.

REPOST: ICAEF Scholarship Recipient Spotlight

By | Vendor Spotlight
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

Setting the Perfect Table

By | Event Tips and Planning, How To, Parties, Top 5 Tips

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.  

🍪 Double the Fun! 🍪

By | Ask Mary, Recipe of the Month, Recipes

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


Original Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 60 average size cookies

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


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

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


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

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.

REPOST: A Modern Asian-Themed Wedding at The Leonardo Museum

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Parties, Vendor Love!, Wedding Trends


We revisit this colorful and contemporary celebration featured in the pages of our magazine.

In celebration of Chinese New Year this weekend, we’re #FBF-ing to Candice Yee & Eric Bender’s Real Utah Wedding featured in our Summer/Fall 2013 issue.

The “Modern Shanghai” and “Upscale Chinatown” themed wedding at The Leonardo Museum in downtown Salt Lake City—planned and designed by FUSE Weddings & Events—was inspired by the couple’s love of travel and Asian street food. Culinary Crafts recreated some of the duo’s favorite eats for the cocktail hour, including skewered shrimp satay, pork pot stickers, and Thai-style fish cakes served with chopsticks in take-out containers lined with Chinese newspaper. The morning of the big day the couple held a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, a nod to the bride’s family’s heritage. During the reception, Yee swapped her Vera Wang gown for a traditional red Chinese dress. The couple later departed among a sea of sparklers and glowing Chinese Kongming paper lanterns.

Read the couple’s love story + wedding details here, and see more photos of their festivities here!


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

Introducing The Craft(s) YouTube Channel Trailer

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Food, Recipes

We are so excited to share with you the trailer for the new YouTube Channel we’re launching in January! This show is all about the food, the ingredients, and the craft! It will not be a how to. You’ll see Mary, Ryan, and Kaleb doing some of the coolest things we do here at Culinary Crafts. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the #foodporn you’re about to see. And remember, do NOT do this at home.

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