Find out how to build a perfect cheese plate from baker & olive’s (bakerandolive.com) Corona del Mar store manager/chef/fromager, Ashley Cochrane. Then visit baker & olive’s CDM location to purchase your cheese and charcuterie selections. They also offer pantry goods, specialty foods, tastings and gifts, and even have a chef demo area.
“For my Cheese Platters I love to incorporate cheeses made in different countries, made with different milks, and of differing textures. Depending on the number of people you have, I typically figure about 2.5 ounces of each cheese or charcuterie per person.” — Ashley Cochrane, baker & olive
The perfect cheese platter for 6-12 people would consist of:
- 1 soft, creamy, Brie-style of cheese. I choose Mt. Tam from Northern California, Cow’s milk.
- 1 soft-ripened Goat’s milk cheese. I love Acapella (also made in California), Goat’s milk.
- 1 semi-firm Sheep’s milk cheese. I prefer Zamorano from Spain, Sheep’s milk.
- 1 hard cheese of any milk. I choose Ewephoria Gouda from Holland, Sheep’s milk.
Charcuterie – Optional
- 1 Prosciutto di Parma. I choose Pio Tosini because it is the best Italian Prosciutto you can find!
- 1 Mild, basic Salami. I love Fra’mani Toscano from Berkeley, Calif.
- 1 Salami or cured meat that is different – with spice, herbs, etc. I prefer an air-dried beef named Bresaola because of its saltiness.
- Mixture of olives. I prefer Castlevetrano, but you can use any of your favorite(s).
- Fruit Jam/Marmalade/Compote. I stick to Fig or Berry to complement the cheeses.
- Honeycomb. Perfect with ANY cheese.
- Fresh/Dried Fruit. I love grapes, apples, and dried apricots or cherries.
- Nuts. My favorites are Spanish Marcona Almonds or Pecans.
- Mustard – Optional. I typically only add mustard if there is charcuterie on the plate.
Cheese: Always leave soft cheeses whole. Semi-firm cheeses can be sliced. Whereas harder cheeses can be cubed or cut into chunks
Charcuterie: Nicely roll, fold and lay all meats around the cheeses
Accouterment: Decide on the design you would like and just go for it! This is the best and most fun part. Everybody has different ways of doing it and whatever you choose to do will be wonderful!
- Note: If making your platter more than 30 min before serving, wait to place the honeycomb. It will run all over everything by the time you put the plate out.
- Don’t forget to have fun! This should be a creative and fun activity
- Use whatever cheese, fruit, jams, and olives you enjoy
- Fresh herbs like Parsley and Thyme tie the whole thing together
- Make it look full (the fuller the better). Sometimes this means using a smaller plate or platter to fill all those white spaces in!