How to create the ultimate antipasto platter


Creating a cheese and charcuterie board is easy and quick.  While there isn’t necessarily such a thing as “wrong” when it comes to the choice of ingredients, there are a few pairing guidelines that will ensure flavours complement rather than compete with each other.

The golden rule to follow is SIMPLICITY.  Select and showcase a few, high quality items and let your guests savour them without too many choices competing for their attention.



  • Select no more than 3 cheeses: e.g., blue, bloomy, aged, spreadable, semi-soft
  • Another option is to arrange the cheese around a particular theme: e.g., by country or by type of milk (cow, sheep, goat)
  • Pair cheese with slices of pear, apples, melon, jam, honey, pickled vegetables



(pre-cooked or cured cold meats)

  • For charcuterie boards, use cured meats
  • Include salumi such as: salamis, sopressata, lonza, prosciutto; pates offer a texture variation or foie gras
  • 2 oz. per person if served as an appetizer, the same with cheese
  • If it is the bulk of the food for the evening, double it up with plenty of bread



  • CHEESE: fruit, honey, jam

fruit such as grapes, figs, pears, melon, cherry tomatoes (savoury and crunchy)

  • MEAT:   olives, pickles, marinated artichokes, pickled onions, pickled peppers, marinated olives

(savoury and briny)

  • Choose 1 or 2 savoury/crunchy items and 1 or 2 fruits and nuts (almonds or walnuts)

Accompaniments serve several functions:

  • Provide sweet and bring contrasts to the cheese and meats
  • Heighten flavours of cheese and meats
  • Add variety of texture as well as add colour
  • Serve as a palate cleanser between bites



Choose 2, one savoury and 1 sweet.  Fig is a one-size-fits-all condiment for cheeses.  Brighter, fruitier jams are great with soft cheeses like chevre.  Honey pairs well with aged cheeses like Gruyere, Parmigiano Reggiano and cheddars.



French baguette or another good crusty bread, grissini or crackers



  • If using chunks of cheese, provide separate knives for each cheese
  • Stick to small wedges and strips that can be eaten in 1 or 2 bites
  • Have elements of savoury, smoky, sweet, soft and crunchy; and you want colour
  • Serve at room temperature:  cheese – set board out 30-60 minutes before, meats about 15 minutes before



  • Plain, white platter will work
  • A nice wooden board ( bamboo, acacia, olive etc.) is at least half of the presentation and will make everything look gorgeous
  • Slate for a more modern, contemporary look
  • Handmade ceramic condiment dishes
  • Cheese knives



-Willie Gregorini