Summer beckons the return of social dining – whether indoors or out – and there’s perhaps no better way to graze than with a perfectly curated board of meats and cheeses. Though traditional French charcuterie refers exclusively to prepared meats, a charcuterie board has evolved to encompass the cheeses and complementary accoutrements often served with cured cold cuts.
You don’t need to be savvy in the kitchen to tap into the art of charcuterie, but thankfully South County has plenty of hobbyists-turned-professionals to cater events or even small get-togethers with boards in all sizes and styles. Kaleigh Bernier, for instance, is a Broadway stage manager when not living in RI who opened Block Island Charcuterie to turn a quick meal into a labor of love.
“With the hustle and bustle of our crazy schedules, we often don’t have much time to run out and grab food between rehearsals and show calls,” says Bernier. “Many times we would send one member of our team to the grocery store to grab what we would call ‘cheese plate dinners.’ Like that, my love for arranging beautiful cheese plate dinners began!” You can find her edible art spreads on sustainable palm leaf platters – always featuring a Brie wheel with a carved out Block Island shape as the centerpiece.
“Rhode Island is a foodie state and has lots of options for finding unique goods. We are constantly bringing new, exciting products,” shares Elyse Pare, owner of Graze on Main, listing Bourbon and Bacon Salami from Martinelli’s Farm in Scituate and unique imports from Italy and Hungary. With a brick-and-mortar shop in East Greenwich, Graze on Main has boards available for preorder or platters to enjoy in their courtyard with a bottle of wine. “We focus on organic, sustainably farmed, and small-production wines and adore making wine recommendations for your palate,” says Pare.
Grapes & Gourmet in Jamestown goes for a maximalist approach in boards of all sizes, along with grazing tables for weddings and events. “I like to naturally let it build and by the end you have this platter piled high with delicious goodies that makes your eye wander around the plate,” says food director Amelia Wilson. “The colors, the textures, the variety – to me it looks like well-orchestrated and beautiful chaos.”
North Kingstown-based Charcuterie by Celeste specializes in custom boards, whether themed holiday spreads or an Italian delicacy – no two are alike. And for enthusiasts looking to assemble their own, The Perfect Parcel pops up across the state with workshops, plus private classes for a bachelorette party or corporate team-building experience. Owner Crystal Papitto also creates gift boxes, all kinds of charcuterie boards, and more for preorder. “I absolutely love the creative outlet of building and assembling charcuterie boards,” says Papitto, “but I find even more joy in teaching people how to do it.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here