Our Resident Cheese Plater's Gift Guide for Cheese Lovers Everywhere

Tools for research and prep, for the plate itself, and for your cheese-loving lifestyle.

December  4, 2020

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!

For the Research

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.

For the Prep

That Cheese Tote

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.

Farmhouse Pottery Handcrafted Wood Cheese Board

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

Round 15” Wooden Board

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!

Food52 Marble Board

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.

Teak Cake Stand

Add some height to your cheese plates! By using a cake stand, your cheesy creation will be the center of attention.

Glass Ramekins

You can’t go wrong with a simple ramekin for the foundation of your cheese plate. I love the clean look of these!

Gold-Dipped Pinch Bowls

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.

For the Plate

Victory Cheese Boxes

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.

Any Jam from Trade Street Jam Co.

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.

EXAU Olive Oil

Another favorite Black-owned business! This olive oil is delicious drizzled on fresh mozzarella. Or, try marinating feta or goat cheese with it!

Mike’s Hot Honey Gift Basket

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.

"Just Add Cheese" Gift Box

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!

Jasper Hill Cheese Tasting Box

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.

For the Table

Vintage Cocktail Forks

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!

W&P Cheese Knife

This is one of my favorite cheese knives! It’s very versatile and can be used on both soft and hard cheese.

Bamboo Party Plates

I love using these plates to serve cheese plate to guests! They’re great for small gatherings and individual portions.

Otherland Candles

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.

For the Lifestyle

Vintage Food-Inspired Ornaments

These don't even need an explanation. The cheese trio will look fabulous on any tree!

That Cheese Puzzle

Make a life-sized cheese plate with a cheese puzzle! This is a fun activity to do while you snack on your cheeseboard.

Cheese By Numbers Crew Neck

Cheese plates are a lifestyle, so rock this warm and cozy sweatshirt this winter!

Comment below your favorite cheese related gift! May your holidays be filled with cheese and joy.

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Marissa Mullen is a Brooklyn-based food stylist, recipe developer, photographer and cheese lover. She is the founder of That Cheese Plate and creator of the Cheese By Numbers method. She is also the author of the best-selling cookbook, That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life, a step-by-step styling guide for crafting beautiful and delicious cheese plates as a form of creative expression. Featured on The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Business Insider, Vox among others, Marissa is dedicated to bringing people together through creativity, food and entertainment.

1 Comment

Anonymous May 6, 2021
Love this article! Love these ideas!!!! Cheese and the likes have always been a favorite for me, but its also very “in” right now. My 9 year old grandson just last week informed me that he loves “charcuterie.” I about dropped my jaw!!! You have ideas here for all ages, tastes, creative and simple!