Tips from Adam Woolven, Head Chef at Island Grill
There’s no doubt about it, Britain is a nation of cheese lovers. A cheeseboard never disappoints us Brits, but it’s even ‘feta’ when this party favourite looks ‘gouda’ enough for Instagram.
Adam Woolven, Head Chef at the eco-friendly Island Grill, created the 40-Mile Cheeseboard with four cheeses all sourced from within forty miles of the restaurant. Here Adam lends his tips on how to fashion a cheeseboard that looks as good as it tastes.
Mix It Up
Ensure your cheeseboard has a mixture of textures (soft, hard, and crumbly), strengths and sources, such as cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s cheese. Include at least one soft cheese and one blue cheese, but cheddar, stilton and brie are the go-to cheeses for a board. 80g per person should be enough for an after-dinner board and your cheeseboard should always be served at room temperature!
If you are looking to make your cheeseboard appealing to the eye, consider filling the board with a range of colours and shapes. Adding fresh and dried fruit to a cheeseboard is effortless but looks impressive, as well as adding a vibrant touch. In the spring and summer it is best to add cherries and berries; where in the winter you should go for dried apricots, fresh grapes and apples. Cooked apples pair particularly well with cheddar, brie and sheep’s milk cheese!
A solid cheeseboard should include a variety of savoury and salty items such as balsamic onions, olives and roasted nuts – walnuts paired with stilton makes for a classic combination. Other savoury accompaniments could be celery (a great palate cleanser between cheeses!), and of course some crackers, bread and breadsticks.
It goes without saying that condiments should complement the cheese. While a drizzle of honey tends to go well over blue cheeses or goat’s cheese, for something a bit different, pair a strawberry black pepper jam with brie, which is less sweet than a traditional jam. Chutney tastes best with aged cheddar and quince paste can be spread onto crackers and eaten with Manchego cheese. Make sure you don’t forget the butter!
Make it Insta-Friendly
Sprinkle some edible flowers, dried vine leaves or herb sprigs on the cheeseboard. As well as adding a rather elegant touch, they will create a fragrant aroma to the board when you serve it to your guests.