Culinary Queens Of Colorado Springs – Christal Maxwell of Amazing Graze Charcuterie Co.

Charcuterie (pronounced /shar-koo-ta-ree/) is a term that comes from two French words, “chair” which means meat, and “cuit” with means cooked. This basically means the practice of preparing meat products like sausage, ham, salami, and pate that can preserve the meat without refrigeration. In the 15th century, when the French invented charcuterie they did so to reduce waste. They added salt, seasonings, less desirable cuts of meat, trimmings, and fat to create the delicious artisan products we still enjoy today. In modern times, the charcuterie board has evolved to includes cheese, fruits, nuts, crackers, and dips. With the rise of social media, charcuterie has turned into a bonafide art form. Which is why we pay the experts, food artists, to create beautiful boards, tables, and multileveled spreads for our celebrations, holidays, and events.

Just one of Christal’s
Amazing Spreads

Let me introduce you to Christal Maxell of Amazing Graze Charcuterie Co. She takes charcuterie to a whole new level. I have been following her Instagram page for about 6mo and her charcuterie boards/tables blow me away. Her talent and creativity are limitless. I was lucky enough to score an interview with her and to feature her as my October Culinary Queen. I wanted to share her incredible talent as the holidays approach because she has just what you need to make the season even brighter! Read on learn all about her.

Christal Maxwell

1. Tell us about your background.

I am a single mom of two kids.  I have a 20yr old boy named Kaiden and a 5yr old girl named Addie.  I have been in the restaurant industry my entire working life.  I was a hostess, server, and bartender.  I was always cooking behind the scenes.  When Covid hit in 2020, I struggled to get on my feet.  I decided to make and sell “Date Night” charcuterie boxes and meals for families.  In 2 short years, I went from needing government assistance to feed my children, to a successful culinary business.  I feel very blessed and owe it all to my amazing community.  I have worked solo until recently when my sister-in-law joined my business.

Christal and her Daughter Addie

2. Do you make custom/themed boards or holiday specific boards?

I make custom boards to suit my client’s needs.  This can range from vegan, vegetarian, keto, and I also create boards/tables of all sizes.  I also do special holiday themed boards.

Spooky Themed Board
Dessert Board
4th of July
Christmas Board
Valentine’s Board

3. Do you focus specifically on charcuterie, or do you provide other goods?

My business also includes full-service catering.  The sky is the limit!

I love the different levels and layers

4. What is the most rewarding part of your business?

The most rewarding part of my business is the community and gathering with amazing individuals.  I love all things food because it brings people together and makes them happy. 

Perfect for a Gathering!

5. What is the most challenging aspect of your business?

The most challenging aspect is keeping with up with my business and having a social life…or lack thereof. 

Perfect for those who DO
have time for a social life!

6. What has been your biggest job to date?

My biggest job to date was just last month.  I did an 18’ table spread for Pikes Peak Realtor Association, a nonprofit.  This event served 400 people. 

View 1 of that epic 18″ table
View 2 of the epic 18′ table

7. How do you formulate the amount needed per person?

That is a hard question because I always end up with more food than I need. 

I would definitely take
home some of these leftovers!!

8. What are your future plans/goals for Amazing Graze?

My 5year plan for my business is to have a storefront for a full catering business and to hire employees. 

I wonder if her employees would earn
one of these for their lunch break?

9. Tell us how we can order one of your beautiful boards or book you for catering. 

You can place orders through my website/email.  I can work up proposals and payment options to fit each client’s need. I also display my work and advertise charcuterie events/workshops via Facebook and Instagram.

10. What advice would you give to a woman thinking about starting a culinary business?

I say, “Go for it!  What do you have to lose?”  Just make sure you all the required licensing, insurance, and kitchen space.

Almost too pretty to eat!

11.  Do you have a culinary hero? 

My mom has taught me everything I need to know about the kitchen and cooking.  She is definitely my hero!

Christal and Her Mom Candy

As you can see, Christal is truly a food artist. These are just a handful of the creations she has made. Her social media is full of various boards, tables, and spreads that she has artfully arranged. I am amazed at her level of creativity. No two boards are the same and she adds beautiful details like flowers, pearls, greenery, as well as supports local products/vendors. As Christal stated above, she can and will customize every order to suit the client. If you can dream it, I would bet she can make it!

Typically, when I feature a culinary queen, I like to include a recipe of my own to promote their product. Christal’s products are her amazing charcuterie boards and I wouldn’t know how to improve upon that perfection. But I will suggest that you keep her in mind for all of your upcoming holiday celebrations as well as future celebrations!

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