Sleepless in Starkville has its rewards

mary crafts

Move over Paula Deen. Make room for Mary Crafts – the best thing to happen to television cooking shows in ages.

I discovered Mary quite by accident as I lay sleepless in Starkville a few weeks ago.  It was 4 a.m. and I was wide awake and morning was approaching.  It wasn’t worth the effort to try to fall back asleep so I  channel surfed.

Cover Image W&C Up popped Mary who was constructing a magnificent table scape from stuff she found in the woods. She was making personal panned pizzas for a party for teenagers, and for the first time in my life I learned the proper procedure for putting together a pizza that would make The Hut jealous.

She is Mahvelous and does the most luscious, yet down to earth recipes from beginning to the final presentation which is always spectacular – but not cutsy and way too over done,  like Sandra Lee.

For more than nine years Mary Crafts has been the host of KBYU’s Culinary Creations. The program is about, in Mary’s own words, “what I know best: the art of entertainment.”

More than just a cooking show, Mary gives her advice on how to prepare for occasions of all kinds, from themed birthday parties, to backyard barbeques, to the finest in elegant formal dinners.

After years of participating in public television as a corporate sponsor and fundraising participant, Mary was approached by a KBYU producer. “You know,” he said, “we really should do a cooking show.” “We really should,” Mary replied. And that was that.

Mary is not an academy-trained chef. Everything she knows, she has learned herself through more than twenty years of hosting and professional catering. She creates her dishes using regular ingredients and cooking techniques anyone can master. All of her fabulous recipes are cataloged at the KBYU Culinary Creations website.

I pick her up on my new Direct satellite, and I hope the cable folks might discover her soon.  She’s just so darned likeable – unlike some of the irritating chefs I see on the Food Network (I won’t mention any names for fear of alienating someone, but Paula Deen and Sandra Lee come to mind – and Emeril.  That whole BAM thing is getting tiresome along with Rachel’s giggle, but that’s just me.)

O0ps. Sorry. I wasn’t going to namedrop.  Just wanted you to know about a  fresh face in the cooking world that the Food Network would do well to add to their line-up.

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