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Singing Cricket Café

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

I recently visited a restaurant that made me feel like a world traveler. I felt as if I could have been in the Amazon, underneath a waterfall, or on an African safari watching giraffes, or even in the Arabian Desert, buying an exotic carpet. It was breathtaking and amazing to know that these adventures happened in one place, The Singing Cricket Café.

The Singing Cricket Café is located near 7th East and I-80 inside "Dancing Cranes Imports," an emporium that sells things from all over the world. Café owners Lara Kierstead and her husband, Robert, decorate The Singing Cricket with gold-speckled paint, Chinese lanterns, draped tapestries and carpets, waterfalls and bamboo trees from the emporium. And the food, well it's as good as the decorations. In fact, as The Singing Cricket's tag line says, this food is "Gourmet American Energy Food."

Lara is the head chef and recipe creator of this gourmet food. She tells me she started cooking as a kid, partly because her mother broke her back and put Lara in charge of family meals. When she was in college working on a degree in hotel administration, Lara was chosen as executive chef for a special seven-course meal. The meal went so well that Lara graduated early and decided she would study at the Culinary Institute of America.

Lara's love for skiing and the outdoors made for an easy decision to come to Utah in 1996. As far as I'm concerned, she couldn't have picked a better place! Lara worked for a restaurant in Park City and finally opened her own personal chef service in 1998 called "A Chef in Your Kitchen." Lara designed the menus, did the grocery shopping and prepared the weekly meals for her clients. Sounds heavenly! In 2001, Lara expanded her services by opening a full service, gourmet restaurant, which serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. She also offers a full line of catering services.

Lara was recently awarded the Giant Step Award as Entrepreneur of the Year for 2003.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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