That Cheese Plate is a column by Marissa Mullen—cookbook author, photographer, and Food52's Resident Cheese Plater. With Marissa's expertise all things cheddar, comté, and crudité—plus tips for how to make it all look extra special, using stuff you probably have on hand—we'll be crafting our own cheesy masterpieces without a hitch.
As someone who wholeheartedly believes that cheese plates are self-care, the world of cheese opens up endless possibilities to spread joy. I always love creating a cheese plate for my friends and family. They act as a creative centerpiece, the ultimate conversation starter, and a place for flavor experimentation. There are so many other factors involved on a cheese plate besides the food itself. The table setting, serving utensils, and even the ambiance completes the entire experience.
If you’re like me, you know that cheese is also a lifestyle. Why not rock some funky apparel and proudly display knickknacks to signify your cheese plate love? To that end, I compiled a list of my favorite cheesy gifts for the holiday season: From plates to knives and accoutrements galore, there’s a gift for everyone!
That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life by Marissa Mullen
Before creating a cheesy masterpiece, it’s always good to read up on some tips and tricks! My new book came out this year with 50 step-by-step cheese plate tutorials for every occasion.
The New Rules of Cheese by Anne Saxelby
This book is full of informative cheese tips. Learn how to store and cut your cheese, make your own cheese, and create excellent pairings! It’s the perfect stocking-stuffer size as well.
Stuff Every Cheese Lover Should Know by Alexandra Jones
This is another excellent pocket-sized cheese book with endless helpful tips showcasing the different styles, textures and flavors of cheese of the world.
Need something to hold all of your cheese plate supplies while grocery shopping? This special collaboration with UK-based illustrator, Ryn Frank, is a sturdy yet trendy tote for the occasion.
Food52 has some of my favorite boards, knives, and ramekins for creating a beautiful foundation for your cheese plate. I love the size of this wooden board. It’s great for smaller gatherings in the age of social distancing
This is one of my go-to boards for bigger groups. The edges ensure that items don’t roll off, and the handles make it so easy for transporting!
Marble is always a classy choice, instantly elevating a gathering. I love the aesthetics of a bloomy rind cheese on nice, cool marble. This board is the ideal size to serve 4 to 6 people as an appetizer.
Add some height to your cheese plates! By using a cake stand, your cheesy creation will be the center of attention.
You can’t go wrong with a simple ramekin for the foundation of your cheese plate. I love the clean look of these!
These are some of my favorite bowls to use for jam, honey, or olives. They have a beautiful gold detail to add some dimension to your cheese plate.
Support your local cheese shops and artisan cheesemakers with the Victory Cheese Box. These curated cheese boxes are bringing American artisan cheese to consumers—helping dairy farmers, cheesemakers and purveyors every step of the way.
Trade Street Jam Co. is a female, Black-owned business with the most amazingly flavored products for your cheese plate! Try the blackberry mulled merlot with a soft-ripened goat cheese.
Another favorite Black-owned business! This olive oil is delicious drizzled on fresh mozzarella. Or, try marinating feta or goat cheese with it!
Add some spice to your plates! Mike’s Hot Honey has that perfect amount of heat to elevate your plate to the next level. This gift basket comes with honey, artisan sausage, candied nuts and sea salt crackers.
A collaboration made in gift-and-cheese heaven! This gift box includes a copy of my book, a polymarble cheese board, a custom tote bag and a variety of accoutrements. Just add cheese!
One of my favorite creameries in Northeast, Jasper Hill produces top quality cheese from local Vermont cows. This is a great gift to create the ultimate cheese plate.
To ensure everyone can serve themselves, it’s helpful to have some fun utensils on the table to serve alongside your cheese plate. I love these mini forks to pick up different meats and accoutrements!
This is one of my favorite cheese knives! It’s very versatile and can be used on both soft and hard cheese.
I love using these plates to serve cheese plate to guests! They’re great for small gatherings and individual portions.
I always like to light candles to set the mood for my gatherings, and Otherland has some of my favorite scents. Their winter collection smells like a warm, cozy night by the fire.
These don't even need an explanation. The cheese trio will look fabulous on any tree!
Make a life-sized cheese plate with a cheese puzzle! This is a fun activity to do while you snack on your cheeseboard.
Cheese plates are a lifestyle, so rock this warm and cozy sweatshirt this winter!