Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse, Portland, OR
How to make a PNW-inspired cheese plate for your holiday gatherings
Cheese plates — a platter of our favorite food category (cheese) displayed in a artistic fashion laid out for consumption. Perfect for any holiday gathering this season, a high-quality cheese plate is sure to make your spread stand out. Here at Urban Farmer, we wanted to give you tips from our fromagers to help you create the perfect PNW-inspired spread. It will win the best party host of the year guaranteed.
What you need:
- a cool platter of sorts such as a wood board
- the cheese itself; we like to say at least four cheeses, a blue, something fresh such as a chèvre, something aged/firm such as a gouda, and something ripened like a bree
- local honey; such as BeeLocal
- preserves; jams or jellies
- something pickled; olives (Castelvetrano) or pickled veggies
- fresh fruit ; pears (currently in season)
- nuts and/or dried fruit
- baguette or sea salt crackers
Above and beyond extras:
- foliage for show (fern or eucalyptus )
- cheese knives
- ramekins to separate liquidy items
- roasted garlic still in casing
- bee pollen
- fresh herbs (rosemary)
- creamy mustards
Where to get it:
- Some of our favorite local PNW creameries are Mt. Townsend – SW Washington, Cowgirl – Northern California, Rouge – Southern Oregon, Rivers Edge – Oregon Coast, Portland Creamery and Cypress Grove – Northern California, Tillamook Oregon – NW Oregon.
- New Seasons and Whole Foods are great places to look out for any of the above listed items that you might need from the platter and foliage to local cheeses and accoutrements.
Pro-tips from the professionals:
- Take cheese out of fridge an hour before serving it to allow it to come to room temperature, this will allow the cheese to soften and be more spreadable.
- Wrapping cheese in cheese paper during storage especially if you build in large quantities (this can be found at New Seasons or even on Amazon).
- Put the honey down first.
- Don’t be afraid to let your creative side go!