I adore hosting parties. Last weekend I threw a birthday party for my friend Luis, and spent the better part of a day cooking for it. But the pièce de résistance no doubt was the cheese plate. OK, so my friends expect a lot from me when it comes to incorporating cheese in my entertaining. But seriously, why don’t more people think of it as standard? It was the easiest, most stunning and arguably tastiest treat I had to offer.
The first step was making a trip to the Essex Market to visit my friend Anne Saxelby. I planned on buying an impressive amount and knew I wanted three cheeses (an odd number looks better on the board). I picked out one stinky, one smoked, and one blue, all happened to be from Vermont (Twig Farm Wheel, Maple Smoked Gouda, and Bartlett Blue, respectively). I went by cheese-making style and appearance, so that each cheese brought with it a whole new experience.
Once home all I had to do was remember to take them out of the fridge 1.5 hours before serving, arrange them on a board, and stick a label in them (I love the ceramic labels that you can use over and over). And just like that I had a stunning addition to the dessert offering (check out the spread in the photo). The cheese got a lot of attention, and it was great to have something salty and fatty to snack on as we ploughed through the wine. Anyone can entertain with cheese, and maybe you’ll give it some thought too. And if you need help, I’m here for you fellow my cheesaholic, so drop me a line.