Autumn and winter are seasons that are simply made for entertaining, from Thanksgiving and Christmas to Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve (and so much more). To avoid the inevitable party-planning stress, now is the perfect time to start prepping for visitors.
We asked the fabulously-talented Barrett Prendergast for her top tips for creating every guest’s favorite first-stop: the perfect cheese board. Barrett owns Valleybrink Road with her husband, a boutique catering, gifting, and floral design company based in Los Angeles, California. She’s also a master on Instagram, where her drool-worthy photos have us double-tapping time and time again.
Take a look at Barrett’s genius tips for creating a simple, elegant, and stress-free cheese board below, and you’ll be sure to enter the holiday season in a gouda mood. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist including at least one cheese pun.)
Tip 1: Don’t Ignore the Board.
A simple surface will really let the ingredients shine. I love this Marble and Copper Serve Tray, or something wooden with a smooth finish, like this Natural Wood Large Oval Cheese Board. Both options pair beautiful with these Wood and Copper Cheese Knives, as well.
Tip 2: Think About Color.
I don’t start with the cheese. Instead, I think about color when I am putting together a cheeseboard. You want to make sure you have some nice bright colors that will really stand out. Get inspired by what is in season and what is at your local farmers market.
Tip 3: It’s All About Textures.
It’s all about variation. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Cheese, fruit, nuts… some things left whole, some cut up. You don’t want everything to be the same shape and size or it will just get lost on the board.
Tip 4: Know the Cheese.
Rather than thinking about the cheese in a strict way, that you must have one soft, one hard, etc., I like to pick cheeses that I have really enjoyed. And, I like to include a few different shapes of cheese: For example, maybe one triangle, one round, and one cut up into cubes. If you aren’t sure, go to your local cheese shop and try some cheeses before you decide what to include. Be sure to serve a variety of crackers to accompany your cheese board, as well, and don’t forget about presentation! I used this Raw Edge Marble Cheese Board for a clean and classic look.
5. Bigger is Better.
It’s the cheeseboard! Make it full and plentiful. It’s the first thing people are seeing and enjoying so put that extra little effort into it. I promise, everyone loves a cheeseboard!