You’ve been to the shops and you’re armed with a bench load of deliciousness! Don’t panic.
We know how to make them look gorgeous ‘n gourmet! Here’s how to style like a pro. Amazing Grazers tell us how it’s done…
The difference between a good and great cheese board is actually presentation! As the saying goes ‘we eat with our eyes’ and this is truer than ever with a grazing platter. Here’s the steps to make sure your guests will be wowed with your sophisticated produce choices and your deft execution, just like the experts…
1. Allow yourself ample time
Before you can begin, you need to set aside enough time… and you may be surprised at how long you’ll need. It typically takes me just over an hour to put together one of our large grazers and a minimum of two hours to assemble a grazing table. A really good cheeseboard is not something you can just slap together in fifteen minutes!
2. Have something to serve upon
Next, you’re going to need a board. The great thing about putting together a grazing platter is that ‘anything goes’ to serve it on. Have a look around your house and think outside the square. Trays, chopping boards, flat baskets, paddles and of course the humble, traditional china platter. Consider the number of guests you’re feeding and choose the size accordingly.
3. Know about people’s dietary requirements
Cater to any dietary requirements you know of. With so many different ingredients this is very easy to do. If you’re not sure then I recommend having something for everyone. This means you need to cover off gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and nut-free in your product selections. Of course, allergy-sensitive foods need to be served separately and vegans prefer no cross-contamination, know what your guests need so you’re not caught awkwardly short later.
4. Bring all the goodness together!
Gather all your elements in one spot. Trust me when I say this is an important step!! I have literally put together a whole board before realizing I had forgotten the plate – and there was no room left! #platterproblems! Make sure everything you intend to include is right in front of you so you know how much space you need to leave for each component.
5. Begin with biggest items first
I always start with my biggest items first. So slabs of cheese, bunches of grapes, jars/bowls will be my first step to create the skeleton. Get creative! Then I slowly fill up around those pieces being conscious of color, texture, height and flavor combinations.
6. Don’t be afraid to break the rules – and seek inspiration!
What’s the first rule of Graze Club? There are no rules! Pre-cut some of your hard cheese into bite-size portions. Roll or fold your deli meats. Include sweet treats. Garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs. Combine flavors that will surprise and delight. Look to Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for inspiration. Check out our Amazing Grazers feed for ideas. We’d be delighted to inspire you!
7. Serve, serve and serve some more
Make sure you have enough knives and serving spoons for all your different components. Again, anything goes here. Bring out your best, matching set or mix it up with an eclectic selection. There’s plenty of elevated wooden disposable items now in the ‘dollar shops’ or scour your granny’s drawers for cool vintage finds. Whatever your style more is more and prevents people cross-cutting or dipping!
8. Shoot that thing!
Photograph your creation!! You’re gonna want to capture your brilliance before anyone destroys it. By the laws of social media if you didn’t Facebook it you didn’t even make it, totally share that thing online and let all your friends think you’re a domestic goddess.
9. Make your board take pride of place (and prepare for rubbish!)
Give your cheese board or grazer pride of place on the table as your centerpiece! Make sure it’s easily accessible for your guests and remember to have spare bowls nearby to collect any olive pips, fruit seeds or nut shells. If its substantial they’ll need side plates and maybe even cutlery, have all these items readily available. Don’t forget the napkins too!
10. Bask in the blaze of your graze!
If everyone is singing your praises and gushing over the gouda you’ve nailed it! You’ll totally agree with us I’m sure this is a super-impressive yet super-easy way to entertain! Viva la cheese board your hostess-with-the-mostest status is affirmed!