Traditionally, Americans serve cheese at the start of a meal, the French before dessert, and the English as the grand finale. I took a European approach to this decadent cheese board (below) I created for the fall issue of Martha Stewart Weddings—using it as a dessert rather than as an appetizer. I wanted to create a fabulously stylish setting that readers may not have seen, and loved the idea of using round raw wood pedestals to be used as multi-layered cheese platters. We then worked layering textures and richness into the concept, thinking of what you would pair with cheese to bring out flavors, such as honeycombs, whole pomegranates, orange sections that are sweet with the creamy cheeses.
This was my first editorial shoot wearing my official Contributing Editor hat.
I’ve created cheese boards for other events from extravagant tables to simple, classic individually-served plates. My clients love the concept for their classic wedding dinners, so much so, that I actually own a fleet of cheese carts. We can roll an entire parade of carts into a party tent or ballroom to simultaneously serve many dinner tables at one time. Traditional, elegant cheese carts aren’t rentable items so we purchased our own carts and then added thick slabs of Carrera marble to the tops for an elegant service presentation.
Another very stylish and more cost-effective way to serve cheese is to have one cart per 100 guests available right after dinner. One of our clients, a French father of the bride, paired the cheese with a delicious red wine he had personally selected. The bottle of wine was on the cart and small wine tasting glasses were stored on the lower shelf for those who wanted to pair a sip with a small plate of cheese.