Buy the best cheeses you can afford; the ideal rule is about 25g of each cheese per person, for real cheese lovers you may want to go a little more.
Avoid having too many cheeses as they may clash in flavours; make a selection of your favourites
Garnish your soft cheese with slices of blood orange, tangerine, fresh figs grapes combined with herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage and honey. Fresh grapes, apples and pears not only compliment the cheese but also offer a palate cleanse between different cheese types.
Consider the textures and flavours of the cheese you are adding to your cheese board. Look at the sizes, shapes, and colours of cheese and what you are putting on the board as this makes the layout both appealing to the eye and the palate. Instead of one type of cracker, have different textured crackers, breads, crisp breads, seeded, fruit and rye breads. These can be displayed on the platters or in baskets on the side. Large sheets of lavosh breads are ideal as they create height with platters and can look quite dramatic.
If you are packing a cheese platter to take on a picnic or transporting it somewhere, taking cheese, fruits and crackers in smaller containers to assemble the platter on site is ideal. Dried fruits, muscatels, figs and apricots are ideal as they can be pre-sliced and eaten in small portions with the cheeses. Pre-cutting some of the cheese is handy to then serve with toothpicks or combined with a grape or piece of fruit. This is easier than having to cut cheese on an uneven surface.
Toothpicks, decorative sticks and individual smaller plates or personal cheese plates are an idea for parties, crackers spread with a brie for example and topped with fig paste is perfect for canapés or platters.
A few general things to remember, keep them simple, accompany platters with fresh fruits, nuts and other ingredients for people who don’t eat cheese and use tropical fruits for colour and vibrancy, berries, strawberries, pear, apricots, peaches, nectarines are ideal, avoid fruits that are high in acid like pineapples and kiwi.
Platters are important as well, use large platters, timber, china or plastic are great depending on the occasion, the important aspect is that you enjoy all of the ingredients you are using and have fun while doing it.