“We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink."

- Epicurus

Crave Culinary Arts:
Blog

Three Little Pigs Fresh Foods

Bucolic scenes of happy cows and chickens named Colin come to mind when we hear “farm fresh;” animals that enjoy fulfilling lives before their finale as your dinner entrée. Are the creatures on family farms more content with their existence than those in factory-like conditions?...

Three Little Pigs Fresh Foods

Bucolic scenes of happy cows and chickens named Colin come to mind when we hear “farm fresh;” animals that enjoy fulfilling lives before their finale as your dinner entrée. Are the creatures on family farms more content with their existence than those in factory-like conditions? We may never know, but we are certain that they do taste better, are healthier for our bodies and the planet, and support families and traditions that have existed long before the mechanization of agriculture. And fortunately for those of us in Washington State there is Three Little Pigs Fresh Foods, a family-run business that connects farmers and consumers with a variety of raw milks, cheeses, and meats.

Photo credit: Three Little Pigs Fresh Foods


Founded in 2013 by Ricky and Cindy Umipig, Three Little Pigs Fresh Foods (3LPFF) offers online ordering and convenient pick-up locations for grass-fed, non-GMO, no soy, no antibiotics, sustainable agriculture products such as raw goat and cow milks and cheeses, A2 grass-fed meat, and free range eggs. They cultivate relationships and research farming practices to bring us healthy choices for the delicious protein-packed foods we love. And they continue to look for farmers and products that meet the standard: Would we feed this to our own three little pigs?

Photo credit: Three Little Pigs Fresh Foods


You might be wondering, what’s up with raw milk? Well, it’s not pasteurized, a heating process that kills the bad and good bacteria and destroys the beneficial minerals, enzymes, and amino acids found in animal milk. Here at Crave we performed a milk taste test to see how the raw milks available through 3LPFF stacked up to store-bought, pasteurized, organic brands. There was no comparison in flavor and texture; the grass-fed raw milk won hands down. Dungeness Valley Creamery explains here why raw milk they supply to 3LPFF is superior to the processed stuff on grocery shelves. Much of what 3LPFF sells is not certified organic due to the cost and massive amounts of paperwork required by farmers to meet the USDA regulations. But we think that knowing the farmers and supporting their sustainable agriculture efforts is a better bet than a logo on a box.

Photo credit: Three Little Pigs Fresh Foods


Do yourself a favor and look up the 3LPFF drop-off location near you and start enjoying the beauty and bounty of some terrific Washington farms!


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

The Ties (on a Ham) that Bind

Tattered books and wooden boxes hold the keys to family recipes that do more than fill our belly. Culture flows through us with time spent across generations in the kitchen. The pitter-patter of little feet around grandma as she stirs or kneads was the foray for many into the magic of the kitchen...

The Ties (on a Ham) that Bind

Tattered books and wooden boxes hold the keys to family recipes that do more than fill our belly. Culture flows through us with time spent across generations in the kitchen. The pitter-patter of little feet around grandma as she stirs or kneads was the foray for many into the magic of the kitchen. We believe that food is a vital force in bringing people together and keeping traditions alive. Whether for celebration, religion, or sheer love, cooking, serving, and eating food with other humans is basic and beautiful.

The most revered aunties and abuelas labor over their cuisine with nary a measuring device in sight. Their craft is primal, using their senses to achieve the defining conditions of recreating a recipe – scent, flavor, and texture. They seem to charm simple ingredients into mouthwatering dishes that often come with a dose of memories.

Still, cookbooks serve as the written record of a group’s food culture or an individual chef’s style; our favorites provide insight into the stories behind the meals. Families, churches, and social groups have long curated their own recipe books to preserve cherished dishes, such as the small collection pictured below that spans more than a century of cooking.

A world of recipes can now be found at the touch of a screen, offering seasoned cooks inspiration and giving guidance to those less confident with their kitchen tools. We applaud those who abandon fear of the unknown to try new things; the kitchen is a refuge and a lab. Future generations will delve into their family recipes and build their own cache of treasured flavors to share with their loved ones.


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

Crushing It Like Saint Valentine

Grocery shelves are filled with Valentine’s Day gifts mere days after the New Year begins. True romantics might scoff at artificially flavored love, preferring a more natural and sensual approach to their sweet treats. Saint Valentine is thought to be a Roman saint from the third century, but very little is known of him...

Crushing It Like Saint Valentine

Grocery shelves are filled with Valentine’s Day gifts mere days after the New Year begins. True romantics might scoff at artificially flavored love, preferring a more natural and sensual approach to their sweet treats. Saint Valentine is thought to be a Roman saint from the third century, but very little is known of him. We could invoke many cliché on Roman excess for the holiday but will instead turn to another culture venerated for indulgence of the senses. For Valentine’s or any other day, may we suggest these French desserts for a culinary celebration of love?

Photo credit: Nutella via Frenchalacarteblog.com

For a group celebration one might consider a demure vat of melted chocolate of the finest origin with an eclectic array of dipping foods. Although fondue originated in Switzerland, the borders of culture are blurred in continental Europe and the dish was embraced in France, as well. The typical pound cake, strawberries, and brownie will do. Or you could put an American spin on it and use pretzels, caramel corn, or bacon as the vehicles for melted chocolate to your mouth. Your mate might be surprised at just how sensual you can make the dipping action and the drizzling of chocolate.

If your fantasy includes being deserted on an island with your lover, perhaps this “floating island” dessert will intrigue your senses. Essentially, it is meringue floating on crème anglaise – or whipped egg whites, sugar, and vanilla atop pourable custard of egg yolks, sugar, and hot milk. The juxtaposition of airy meringue with the rich depth of custard reminds us that opposites do attract. There are, of course, many varieties of this delicacy; this version sporting fresh cherries looks absolutely to die for. Like, literally, we might go into a love coma.

Photo credit: Linsfood.com

What could be more romantic than heart-shaped food? Coeur a’la Crème or “heart of cream” is a fabulous choice for those who want to celebrate their sweet side despite their lack of a sweet tooth. The creamy heart can be made from any soft cheese such as mascarpone or ricotta and served with a berry coulis, the French name for pureed and strained fruit sauces. The tender white heart surrounded by the bold berry colors evokes a sense of balance that is surely borne out by the flavors and textures of this beautiful dessert.

The heart-shaped box of chocolates may now seem plebeian. And while we want to celebrate love every day, doesn’t your crush, the love of your life, deserve something decadent at least one day of the year? Avec amour, Chef Monique!


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

A Year of Crave/The Force

Happy New Year’s Day! We successfully hurdled through space-time for another year and now welcome 2018 with open arms. While we bathe in optimism for our well-intentioned resolutions, let’s also celebrate the amazing human force that made 2017 the best year yet for Crave Culinary Arts...

A Year of Crave/The Force

Happy New Year’s Day! We successfully hurdled through space-time for another year and now welcome 2018 with open arms. While we bathe in optimism for our well-intentioned resolutions, let’s also celebrate the amazing human force that made 2017 the best year yet for Crave Culinary Arts.

Teamwork makes the dream work!

While Chef de Cuisine Monique orchestrates every detail of the Crave experience, the force that brings those culinary dreams to reality is a group of wonderfully talented and beautiful people who pull off feats of food and drink with balance, poise, and grace. Very special thanks goes to Sous Chef Leah for her precise execution and immeasurable flexibility to adapt at a moment’s notice. Along with our excellent back-of-house, bartending and service staff, our team delivers on Crave’s promise for an unforgettable culinary adventure. Let’s scroll on for a look at our behind-the-scenes fun in 2017. Cheers to many more memories in 2018!


Kitchen selfie!

Can I get you a drink?

When life gives you sombreros…

When life gives you sombreros…

Just say yes to the Tokyo Deviled Eggs.

We don’t do autographs.

Friends and family day at Crave.

The menfolk get put to work.

You’re killin’ me, smalls.

Two chefs, one hairstyle.


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

A Whole Bunch of Thanks for the Giving

Thanksgiving Day is a celebration of unity that brings family members together – whether they like it or not. We don’t always get along, but once a year we can fake it enough to overstuff ourselves like a 1980’s white leather sofa. Somehow...

A Whole Bunch of Thanks for the Giving

Thanksgiving Day is a celebration of unity that brings family members together – whether they like it or not. We don’t always get along, but once a year we can fake it enough to overstuff ourselves like a 1980’s white leather sofa. Somehow, we find a way to be in the same room together.


Okay, so beside Adele’s universal appeal, we at Crave can think of a few other things to bring families together. Food is an important part of expressing one’s culture as well as a way to explore others. Thanksgiving favorites and family recipes abound, but trying something new and unexpected can be another way to connect and make new traditions. PopSugar.com has an inviting list of side dishes to consider for mixing it up this Thanksgiving, like this Caramelized Celery Root Puree with Toasted Hazelnuts.


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Susannah Chen

Music sets the mood of your event. Curate a playlist or find one to suit the crowd. We like this one from Spotify that encompasses genres and generations to bring everyone together.
And when all else fails, booze softens the edges and makes even the most tedious relative more tolerable. Consider making a batch beverage to delight guests as they arrive; it also makes short work of refilling glasses. This Cider Punch boasts holiday flavors of apple, cloves, cinnamon and orange, all in a handy-dandy pitcher!

Whether you are the commensurate hostess or a gracious guest, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the bounty of life, the goodness of humanity and the gift of kindness. May your holiday table be blessed with joy, love and laughter.


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

River Farm

Washington State abounds with farmers and ranchers, foragers and fishers whom bring exceptional products to the tables of food lovers near and far. Not far from our own dining table is River Farm Organic Produce, a third-generation farm rooted in soil that fronts the Yakima River...

River Farm

Washington State abounds with farmers and ranchers, foragers and fishers whom bring exceptional products to the tables of food lovers near and far. Not far from our own dining table is River Farm Organic Produce, a third-generation farm rooted in soil that fronts the Yakima River.



River Farm produces many varieties of peppers, tomatoes, melons, squash and zucchini, corn, herbs, greens and more, all certified organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Crop rotation is utilized along with the farm’s hens and hogs to control weeds and pests.



And speaking of hogs and hens, River Farm also raises these animals for pastured non-GMO eggs and pork that are available most of the year through the farm stand on Highway 10 near Ellensburg. Here is Bruni, one of the farm’s sows. Don’t worry, she won’t be found on your dinner plate, although one of her juicy piglets will grow a tender pork chop someday.

You can also find farm-made specialties like pickles, kimchee, sauerkraut and relishes year-round at Seattle’s University District Market and seasonally at Kittitas County Farmers Market. Next time you are at the market or traveling by the farm, make sure to treat your palate to the fresh taste of River Farm Organic Produce.

All photos courtesy River Farm Organic Produce


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

Cabin Creek Lodge

Tucked away from Interstate 90 and the constant flow of people and goods is Cabin Creek Lodge, the quintessential rustic retreat set in the Wenatchee National Forest and graced with the modern conveniences and comforts of home. The Yakima River flows nearby, wildflowers...

Cabin Creek Lodge

Tucked away from Interstate 90 and the constant flow of people and goods is Cabin Creek Lodge, the quintessential rustic retreat set in the Wenatchee National Forest and graced with the modern conveniences and comforts of home. The Yakima River flows nearby, wildflowers and wild critters abound, and the serenity of nature settles over the landscape.

We have had the pleasure of cooking in their fabulous kitchen for our own clients and would gladly recommend Cabin Creek Lodge to any group looking for an outdoor experience to complement their next gathering. The lodge is available year-round and offers flexibility to meet their guests’ needs, whether it’s a family reunion, corporate retreat, conference, or wedding. With sleeping accommodations for 40-plus guests and dining space for up to 140 guests in the warm months, Cabin Creek has space galore. Every bedroom has it’s own full bathroom, and the family room boasts a Jacuzzi tub.

And when it’s time to kick back and have fun, this awesome game room is just the place.

We certainly look forward to our next event at the gracious space that is Cabin Creek Lodge.

Cheers & Bon Appetit,
Chef Monique


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

A Night With Crave

Whether you choose to hire Crave Culinary Arts for an intimate dinner party, corporate retreat, food and wine tasting or a larger affair, we will create a food experience to be remembered. Here is a look at one of our signature events; an appetizer and wine pairing evening that leaves all guests satiated and smiling...

A Night With Crave

Whether you choose to hire Crave Culinary Arts for an intimate dinner party, corporate retreat, food and wine tasting or a larger affair, we will create a food experience to be remembered. Here is a look at one of our signature events; an appetizer and wine pairing evening that leaves all guests satiated and smiling. Come take a look at what we do!

Cheers & Bon Appetit,
Chef Monique


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

Spring is in the Air & the Ground!

The wild weather of spring is in full swing with rainy days of the week punctuated by sunny ones that have us in flip flops and shorts. As the world above ground buzzes with the changing seasons so too does the web of life below. Generous precipitation coupled with warming soil breeds...

Spring is in the Air & the Ground!

The wild weather of spring is in full swing with rainy days of the week punctuated by sunny ones that have us in flip flops and shorts. As the world above ground buzzes with the changing seasons so too does the web of life below. Generous precipitation coupled with warming soil breeds the necessary conditions for a wild delicacy of the forest to emerge – the morel mushroom.



Each spring brings a frenzy of reproduction in plants and animals alike. A mushroom is the fruiting body of some such procreation, the aboveground love child of fungi lurking below. We will spare you the lurid scientific details about fungal reproduction, but you can go here if you want to get technical. The morel is estimated to be approximately 129 million years old, clearly an organism with adaptive qualities. And like so many generations before us, we wander the forest floor looking for these wild edibles. The courtship phase of mushroom hunting turns into a full romance when we are lucky enough to discover our prize. And we consummate the relationship by giving the morel a proper preparation.



Like the best things in life, it is the beauty of simplicity that makes morels an easy companion to common ingredients like butter, salt and fresh herbs. A light sauté brings out the flavor and texture of the morel and there the mushroom can stand on its own. Morels pair well with other springtime ingredients like asparagus and peas and also elevate many pasta dishes. We adore the combination of spring flavors in the morel recipes at Honest-Food.net. Now to collect our bounty!

Editor’s Note: If you choose to forage for mushrooms or any wild edible, always make sure you can 100% positively identify your food before consuming it. Some edible mushrooms have similar appearance to toxic species. If you aren’t sure, don’t eat it.

Cheers & Bon Appetit,
Chef Monique


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

Contact

(206) 353-3772

chefmonique@craveculinaryarts.com

© 2017 Crave Culinary Arts
All Rights Reserved.