Fabulous Recipe: The Well Curated Cheese Plate

Fabulous Recipe: The Well Curated Cheese Plate

In France, cheese is typically served before, or sometimes in lieu of, dessert. Across the English Channel, hosts will generally serve it after dessert. Americans most commonly reverse the process by offering cheese as an appetizer during cocktails.

It’s always fun at a large party to offer a big cheese buffet, including a variety of hard, soft, and creamy cheese. Always serve cheese at room temperature to ensure the proper consistency and the full flavor.    

For an added dose of elegance, serve three or four slices of different cheeses on an individual plate as a separate course after the meal. If you’re having a cocktail party, you can tray-pass small plates of cheese to each of your guests along with a few crackers or slices of bread.  

A well-rounded selection should include:

  • A goat cheese like a chèvre
  • A creamy cheese, such as Brie or Camembert
  • A hard cheese like Parmesan or Cheddar
  • A pungent cheese, such as a rich blue (Roquefort, Gorgonzola or Stilton)

If you’re serving a tray full of cheese and fruit, I recommend serving a single fruit instead of an assortment because the plate will look cleaner and present more elegantly. 

My favorite additions to a cheese plate:

  • Crusty chunks of baguette
  • Delicious crackers
  • Fava beans
  • Walnuts
  • Honey
  • Flavored jelly
  • Strawberries
  • Figs
  • Apples
  • Champagne grapes

--Colin Cowie