Please give a warm welcome to one of the best cheese board creators around - Natalie from @boards_by_guac. She has the best eye for creating a dreamy event and builds the most beautiful charcuterie boards! Check out her tips for creating the perfect board below:
Hi everyone! My name is Natalie, but those who know me best, call me GUAC. It's a nickname that came about in college, and well – it stuck. So please, do call me Guac. I couldn't be more excited to be collaborating with WREN and share with you some of my best tips for building the best. Charcuterie board possible!
I've always had a passion for two things: hosting people and food. The two go hand in hand almost too well, right? Since I was in high school, I've always had my friends over for different events. We would have big dinners, tailgates, parties - you name it. During and after college, the gatherings continued and became a tradition. My friends and I have made so many wonderful memories during our get-togethers, and I am forever grateful that I have had the opportunity to host them. Throughout the years, I mastered the planning of events and the food that came with it. I always made sure to have an array of bites for my friends to choose from, and always made sure there was a charcuterie board on the table.
Flash forward to now, and no get together is a real get together if a Board by Guac is not present. I started Boards by Guac in 2019 officially. I was motivated by my amazing family & friends to launch my business, and it has brought me so much joy ever since. I have always believed that food is a form of art, and the entire process of cooking, preparing, and plating allows the person behind it all to express their creativity. Creating each of my boards allows me to escape from real life for a bit and create something delicious for people to enjoy.
Each board is a blank canvas, and everything I place on it has a meaning. Boards by Guac has allowed me to combine my two favorite things of entertaining and food. I am so grateful to be able to create custom cheeseboards for all different types of events. It has given me the greatest joy to know that something I've built for an event, a dinner party, a tailgate, a shower, anything, is enjoyed by many and helps contribute to the memories of those events.
From a small board to a 12-foot table spread, each item on a Board by Guac is particularly chosen, placed, and paired next to something that brings out unique flavors. I want people to move around the board, pair meats, cheeses, and spreads together that they normally don't; to expand their palettes as much as they can.
When gathering all my items that go on a Board By Guac, I try to get as much as I can from local markets, shops, and vendors. Lucy's Market in Buckhead is my one-stop-shop for the best meats, cheese, crackers, jams, produce, and even the boards and bowls. The owner, Kim, selects only the best vendors to fill her unique market, so I know that I am getting the best and highest quality. I also go to the Peachtree Road Farmers Market to get fresh flowers, artisan meat, and some super tasty jams and spreads. Catch me there on Saturday morning :) Shopping locally has allowed me to create lasting relationships with these owners and vendors, which I think is so important in running a successful small business. It's essential to support and promote one another; we really are all in this together.
With that being said...
Let's learn how to make a good board, great - shall we?
Step Four: Grab some cured olives and colorful antipasti to brighten up the board and add some tang. (My favorites are olives, cornichons, pickled okra, pickled green beans, and pepper drops)
Step Five: Add a few different jams and types of honey with a variety of crackers, pretzels, chips, popcorn. Honey and jams really can accent the savoriness of those heavy meats and cheeses, so it's important to have that sweetness.
Step Six: Mix in a variety of fresh and dried fruit such as grapes, berries, dried apricots, and figs.
Step Eight: For a finishing touch, add some fresh flowers or herbs
Step Nine: The MOST important. MAKE IT YOUR OWN!
- Grab your WREN board - this is the board I use, but any of their medium to large-sized boards will work (depending on the size of group you are entertaining)
- Set the bowls out you're planning to use foranipasto.L Let those serve as your "guiders" as you build your board
- Artfully arrange your cheeses first - leaving some of them on the block, and others sliced up to add variety
Place meat slices and rolled meats around the cheeses
- Put the jams and honey next to the meat and cheese to offer the sweetness
- Scatter crackers to fill the board
- Add fruits, nuts, and flowers to add brightness and color to the board
Like I said, each board is a piece of art, so treat it as an opportunity to express your creativity and HAVE FUN with it! It's your masterpiece, so enjoy every moment behind making it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my quick guide for the perfect cheeseboard. I'm so excited to be a part of the WREN foodies series and appreciate your reading! For more fun board tips and ideas, check out my Instagram @boards_by_guac.
The Perfect Charcuterie Board in 5 Steps
There are a lot of fantastic charcuterie board guides out there, but over at WREN, we keep it nice and simple. Aka, if it can't be done in 12 minutes or less, it's probably not going to happen. So we threw together a quick n' simple serving option, that will wow even the most critical of cheese-board connoisseurs.