Dinner Party Tip #6 - Serve A Cheese Platter As Soon As Your Guests Arrive
Serving a cheese or charcuterie platter right away gives you more time to focus on cooking or socializing, it has diverse ingredients so appeals to everyone regardless of dietary requirements, and will keep guests chatting about the exotic and delicious ingredients you have included on it! Charcuterie platters also look chic, and your artistic side can shine through in the way the food is styled on the cheeseboard or charcuterie platter.
There are a million options for cheeseboard or charcuterie serving platters and tools. Try to find a set of tools (usually with a couple of cheese knives, a spear, and a shaver) that is small enough to set on the platter without tipping off or taking up valuable food space. You can buy a matching set that includes a board and the tools, or you can just buy a set of nice tools that will work with any of your serving dishes.
I am a fan of using these gold serving tools with a dark wooden platter that I have at home. I love the elegance and uniqueness of the gold paired with the contrasting rustic dark wood. And of course, these are my fave sets from our store (shameless plug!!) so wanted to link them here in case you like them as much as I do.
Buy Yourself Time For Cooking & Socializing
The main idea behind serving a platter is that it will keep your guests busy while you put the finishing touches on dinner. Or, if you are ahead of the game, you can enjoy a nice glass of wine and catch up over the cheeseboard with your guests, as it requires zero attention from you once it is made (which you can do ahead of time). Instead of having a labor intensive appetizer, a cheeseboard allows guests to nibble to their hearts content while you just get on with socializing and perfecting your main course.
As guests are usually a few minutes late and not all at the same time, it’s difficult to have dinner ready when you think they will be there. Inevitably, if your cooking time is spot on, guests will be late. And vice versa. Who hasn’t suffered through a midnight turkey dinner?!?! If you have a platter ready to serve, you don’t need to worry about dinner being ready exactly on time. You have just bought yourself another thirty to forty-five minutes that ensures even your most time challenged friends will have arrived by the time you serve the main course.
Another great reason for serving a cheese and charcuterie platter is that they can be designed to appeal to everyone. The list of ingredients you can use is endless, and guests just mix and match what they like. Almost any dietary can be catered to as each item is separate from the others, and including specialty items such as gluten free crackers, vegan cheese, and deli meats is simple. You can even put some of the nice cheese or meat wrappers out too, or try some little reusable product tags so that it is clear to guests what each item is. Another interesting way of labeling food is to write directly on a slate or glass platter with a washable marker or chalk.
Icebreaker For Guests
A delicious platter is also a good icebreaker to keep guests chatting. If guests haven't met before, they will take any opportunity to find common ground, and a good lookin' platter will pique curiosity and encourage guests to strike up some chit chat. You could try putting some interesting garnishes and exotic ingredients on it for guests to try something new! Platters are naturally interactive and by harnessing this, you can be sure the conversation won't slow down when you are in the kitchen or answering the door.