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Food Theory Thursday - Culinary Crafts

UV Magazine Restaurant Review | Food Theory Thursday

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As some of you may know, our very own Mary Crafts-Homer writes fabulous restaurant reviews for each issue of UV Magazine!  From high end eateries to down home comfort classics, she reviews them all.  And you know you can count on Mary to let you know exactly which are the best bites!  In the current issue, she reviewed The Old Towne Grill, which is part of the historic Center Street area in Provo.  I don’t know about you, but if the cheesecake photo (above) is any indication, this place is AMAZING!  If you want to read more about what she thought, pick up a copy of UV Magazine today.  Not only is Mary’s awesome review inside, but lots of other great stuff!  Happy reading everyone!

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

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Caterer | Food Theory Thursday

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Even though we are almost into the full swing of wedding season, some of you still may be searching for stellar vendors to make your event AMAZING!  With that in mind, I thought this ever-so-helpful advice from our very own Mary Crafts-Homer would be perfect for anyone looking for a top-notch caterer.  These “Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Caterer” are a good way to find out which caterer will fit your taste, style, and budget – so you can sit back and relax, knowing that you’ve picked the best fit for you and your wedding!  Check it out!

1.  Let your caterer know your budget up front and ask what would be the best fit for your event based on that budget.  You may want a 7 course plated dinner for all your guests but that definitely adds major cost to your bottom line – so unless your budget allows for it, let the caterer suggest other options – such as a gorgeous dinner buffet with similar food options to cut your cost.  If the caterer won’t work with your budget or tries to upsell you an event you aren’t sure you can afford – be wary.  Also make sure that you trust your caterer enough to give you ideas you wouldn’t have thought of yourself, but also make sure that they keep your vision at the forefront.  It’s your day, after all!

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2.  Ask if there are any additional costs for labor, alcohol service, gratuity, etc. that will be added into your final total.  This is especially important if you have a tight budget and do not want to be surprised with the final bill the week before your wedding.  Most caterers will outline any additional labor costs, extra staff costs, alcohol provider’s costs, and also suggest a gratuity based on your cost.  Make sure you are aware of the costs involved and plan for your budget and there will be no surprises at the end.  Also, remember the gratuity is based on the service provided.  So your gratuity should reflect your overall happiness with the event and service.

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3.  Ask if the food is prepared on-site or in a kitchen off-site.  Culinary Crafts prides itself on preparing their food at the event site (which is one of the reasons it is SO delicious and fresh).  This allows you to plan for how much space the caterer will need to prepare the food and plan a layout where they will have their “back of house” or prep area.  You don’t want to be figuring this out on the day of – you’ll have more important things to focus on!

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4.  Ask if they are a full service caterer or not.  Meaning, are they just going to show up and make sure the food is taken care of?  Or are they going to make sure that the layout is the way that you (the client) have envisioned?  And that the cake shows up?  Or that the rental company has delivered the chairs and linens you ordered?  Culinary Crafts will make sure all facets of the event are taken care of from layout to set up to execution.  Of course, a wedding planner would do this as well – so if you have hired one, Culinary Crafts will work closely with the planner to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.  One less thing to worry about on your wedding day!

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5.  Ask other wedding vendors and past client about their experience with the caterer you are considering hiring.  No matter what the reputation is of the caterer, you should ask vendors and clients you know and trust about their experience with the caterer to find out if they would recommend them or had any problems with them.  It’s always important to know who you are doing business with.  It’ll make sure you are happy in the long run!

Happy planning everyone!

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

Photo by Logan Walker, A Pepper Nix Photographer

Bon Appetit’s Food Trends for 2013 | Food Theory Thursday

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Recently, Bon Appetit honed their culinary prowess to predict the top 25 emerging food trends for 2013 – which as you may guess is totally up my alley!  While I am truly loving the diversity on the list, I gotta say my fav one was #23: Blond(ie) is the new Brown(ie)!  Now, please understand that I am a die-hard choco-phile and I will never let my brownie love go, but I am truly excited to see blondies make a resurgence.  Especially since I know Culinary Crafts’s pastry chef, Jocelyn Ball, has a kick butt recipe for Salted Caramel Blondies – yes I said salted caramel blondies – that are heavenly!  I am thrilled to see blondies make a comeback – and will happily indulge in them throughout their rise in 2013!  Happy eating everyone!

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

Photo via Logan Walker, A Pepper Nix Photographer

Check Us Out! | Food Theory Thursday

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Have you checked out the Culinary Crafts website lately?  You definitely should because we are constantly updating, adding, and posting new events, photos, and all around good stuff!!!  You can sign up to receive the recipe of the month and newsletters from Miss Mary Crafts-Homer, check out the best of the best events, find out more about our venue The Tasting Room, meet our super talented staff, and just take in all of the glorious food and decor that we have to offer!  Not to mention we have stunning photo tours for all of the best venues in the valley and we’ve even added new event videos to our wedding and corporate galleries to boot!  If you haven’t gone to www.culinarycrafts.com in awhile, you are missing out!  Happy surfing everyone!

Check out more on our website www.culinarycrafts.com!

Culinary Crafts on 100 Magnificent Sites for Chefs! | Food Theory Thursday

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Well, we are just tickled pink this week.  Not only are we nominated for the ACE award, but Culinary Crafts’s website has been added to the “100 Magnificent Sites for Chefs” list!  This list compiles sites that they deem all “aspiring chefs would do well to follow, since they’re at the top of the culinary heap or moving fast in that direction.”  From celebrity chefs, to regional cuisine, tofood stylists, and even culinary organizations and magazines, this is a list we feel just thrilled to be a part of!  Take a look – and thank you so much for the accolades!!!

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

 

Rustic Ranch Wedding Part 3 | Food Theory Thursday

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Today, we have Part 3 of our Rustic Ranch beauty of a wedding and I just know you are going to love it!  Today, we are focusing on the food and drink, which I must say, is ALWAYS my favorite part of the day!  I warn you, viewing these images might leave you hungry!  Check it out!

This canoe of vintage style soda bottles was one of my favorite details of the year.  Whimsical and functional, guests DEFINITELY loved this special touch.

We also appreciated their nod to Utah’s very own High West Distillery!  The couple chose to make their signature High West Lemonade their signature cocktail – which is DELCIOUS, I must say!

The couple chose so many appetizers to really get their guests appetites going!  Sweet Potato Fries with Utah Fry Sauce, Mini Cordon Bleus, Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Corn Salsa, Utah Smoked Trout Crostini, and Chipotle Shrimp with Cumin Spiced Cream were some of the offerings.  So delicious!

The bride chose to create a family style menu for her guests which is always a great idea with these long tables which allow people to pass and share the dishes easily!  Definitely one of our favorite dining style for sure!

Candy buffets are always a fun addition, especially when the couple picks their favorites to share!

Not only did the couple create a fun candy station, but they had a s’mores station, and bundt cakes instead of traditional wedding cake for their guests to enjoy!

This event was so much fun and we just LOVED all of the BEAUTIFUL details, the GORGEOUS venue, and FANTASTIC food that came together to make this wedding one of a kind – definitely not one to be forgotten any time soon!  Thank you so much to Nikki and Mike for letting us share in this extraordinary day!  Happy planning everyone!

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

Photos by Logan Walker, A Pepper Nix Photographer

Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom – Food Forward Feature | Food Theory Thursday

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Today, we are taking a little detour from the fantastic weddings we are thrilled to share from our local bridal magazines to showcase a food trend article featuring many leaders of Utah’s culinary scene – including our very own Mary Crafts-Homer!  This beautiful layout from Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom is more than just a pretty face – its full of food for thought.  Many brides are looking for ways to wow their guests while satiating their appetites, which is exactly what this article aims to do.  From side dishes to hors d’oeuvres – and everything in between – we get the new and upcoming deliciousness that is sure to delight wedding guests in the year ahead!  Definitely check out the newest issue of Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom, for this and SO many other AWESOME articles!  (Plus for all of you digiphiles – they have an e-issue available too!)  Thank you for allowing us to share these new an exciting food trend with your readers, SLPC Bride & Groom, you are AMAZING!  Remember to stay tuned for more DELICIOUS weddings from this and the other BEAUTIFUL local magazines coming up soon!

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

Magazine Photographer by Lara Ferroni

80s Party Extravaganza! | Food Theory Thursday

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It’s almost time to hit the fantastic New Year’s Eve parties that are bound to be about in this coming week, and with that in mind, I thought this over-the-top 80s party was a PERFECT inspiration for any of you still looking for party ideas!  We at Culinary Crafts love any excuse to have a party and if you are going to throw one at all, why not do it to the nines?  Well, this party TOTALLY did just that.  A DeLorean, Mr. T (yes, the REAL Mr. T), an 80s dance party, and massive amounts of DELICIOUS food?  Well, that, my friends, is how you throw the ultimate 80s bash!  Check it out!

Not only did the band keep everyone dancin’ on the ceiling, but a comedy routine from Mr. T was the ultimate 80s surprise.  I pity the fool who wasn’t at this party!  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

Two of the eight (yes, eight!) action stations for the hungry dudes and dudettes – featuring the Asian Short Ribs Station and the Southwest Grill Station!  Yum!

Love that the guests went all out!  It really takes the party to the next level when everyone gets into the spirit of the theme.

Another one of our fantastic action stations – this one, the Chinese Sizzling Wok Station – was a DEFINITE crowd favorite.

Love that the butler-passed popcorn and treats were in the radical 80s colors seen throughout the space!  So fun!

We also brought in 2 ring of fire stations with our signature Flaming Donuts topped off with house made Eggnog gelato!  Seriously, my favorite station EVER.

As you can tell, this party was completely rad!  But, you don’t have to go this over the top to have a fun and festive party of your own!  Remember to mix food stations throughout your space to keep people mingling and play upbeat music that will put everyone in a party mood.  Also, if you are working with a themed party, its all in the details!  Little things like keeping treats in a color palette or creating signage that harkens back to the theme will have a big impact – but above all, remember to have fun!  It’s a party after all!  Happy celebrating, everyone!

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

 

Christmas Goodie Basket | Food Theory Thursday

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It is now officially the holiday season and gift giving ideas are a hot commodity!  Many of us want to give something new and different (or at least something that will delight), which may not always be the easiest thing to find.  Well, we here at Culinary Crafts are BIG believers in handcrafted, thoughtfully collected gifts of some of the yummiest food and treats anywhere.  Lucky for us, we know where you can get some (our staff is super talented at creating some yummy stuff, you may say!) and we know the very best artisans in Utah to really incorporate the delicious flavors of this great state!

This year, we created this gourmet picnic basket with some casual, comfort food classics, sure to please anyone!  Handcrafted, artisan cheeses made by Mary, Ryan, and Kaleb at Beehive Cheese Co., Culinary Crafts’ signature Bacon Bourbon Popcorn, and Mason Jar Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes were just a few of the delectable offerings!  Many of these items are also AWESOME ideas for the at-home DIY gift giver.  Simple mason jars with the cupcake baked inside and a cute disposable spoon tied to it is a creative way to give a traditional cupcake.  Little paint can buckets are a fabulous DIY way to dress up any snack-type gift whether it be popcorn, candied almonds, handwrapped caramels – well you get the idea!  And lastly, making your own chocolate bark is always festive and simply presenting it in a glassine or plastic bag with a pretty sticker or beautiful ribbon is a great way to make your treat look as good as it tastes.  There are so many DIY ideas for the holidays, but I have to say the gift of food is always a welcome treat, especially when you take the time to select or make the best – and dress it up in your own way!  Happy gifting everyone!

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

Photos by Logan Walker, A Pepper Nix Photographer