“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf
Crave Culinary Arts provides an array of culinary services with our private chef service as the foundation of our passion. Our boutique private chef service provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations, weddings and more.
We utilize seasonal and local, fresh whole foods to prepare and serve simple or multi-course meals following traditional French culinary techniques. All of our event menus are tailored to suit your needs and can range from savory family heirlooms to haute cuisine in the rustic or refined setting of your choice. We take pride in our cooking and maintain nutritive standards by adhering to artisanal cooking methods free of preservatives, flavor enhancers or other detractors.
Crave Culinary Arts prepared gourmet meal delivery service is ideal for couples and families searching for fine dining at home. We also offer private cooking and menu planning classes for individuals, groups and children as well as food and wine pairing classes. Additionally, there is the opportunity for you to indulge in the truly unique experience of communal cooking for a hands on experience via our Culinary Communion dinner parties. Crave Culinary Arts provides services in the Upper Kittitas County including Roslyn and Ellensburg as well as the greater Seattle and Puget Sound areas
Chef Monique Wendt
Crave Culinary Arts was founded by Chef de Cuisine Monique Wendt, a native of a ranching community in South Eastern Oregon where the family garden was plentiful, each day provided fresh milk and eggs, and the cellars and larder were filled with game meats from the hills nearby. Monique began cooking as a small child with her mother and grandmother, women who impressed upon her the beauty of cooking with fresh, seasonal foods. Her early start in the kitchen inspired Monique as she learned about food and wine through travel and hands-on and educational experiences.
In 2008, Monique departed the greater Puget Sound and a career in the financial world of money management to embark on a new direction for life and explore her creativity through food. She spent the next year on Mexico’s Pacific Coast developing a course of action for her new endeavor. Monique moved to Roslyn and began her culinary career by cooking at The Hoist House at Swiftwater Cellars and then Portals Restaurant at Suncadia Resort. As Chef de Cuisine for Crave, Monique creates thoughtful and unique food experiences with an approach to classical cuisine that is adapted to the flora and fauna of the Northwest. Monique and her team at Crave Culinary Arts believe that sharing an exquisite meal with friends and family elevates any of life’s many celebrations.
Sous Chef, Leah Rae Knight
Crave Culinary Arts is proud to introduce our Sous Chef, Leah Rae Knight. Born and raised in Washington State, Leah relies on her love of food and respect for nature to guide her. Like Chef Monique, Leah credits much of her knowledge and passion for food to the influence of her grandmother. She learned that a hand prepared meal shared with good company could satiate body and mind, and how to honor her Native American heritage by respecting food from land to table. Foraging and maintaining a garden, humane treatment of hunted animals, and never wasting what was provided were paramount lessons that informed Leah’s perspective and now make her essential to the Crave experience.
Before Leah’s culinary profession, she invested her energy into diverse ventures and had a nursing career in Seattle. When home was calling and it was time for Leah to embark on her next journey, she moved back to Kittitas County and began working in restaurants as a self-taught cook. Most recently she worked as a chef at The Roslyn Café. Leah’s position as Sous Chef with Crave was a culmination of the mutual understanding and respect for a well-made meal that she shares with Chef Monique. Leah is an integral part of the Crave team and displays her fierceness in innovative cuisine concepts and culinary execution with a quiet grace.