Next Level Cheese Boards with Venissimo

Jessica from Venissimo Mission Hills shares her top tips for playing and creating with cheese.

Cheese boards — you think you know, but you have no idea. This crazy beautiful and creative way to play with your food is taking the internet by storm — and it may look difficult to pull off yourself, but have no fear! We teamed up with some of the best cheese artists around to show off their board skills at the Winter Fancy Food Show. Below, Jessica from Venissimo Mission Hills shares her top tips for playing and creating with cheese.

We first eat with our eyes! Get your creative juices flowing — you’re making art with cheese!

  • Most cheeses tend to be around the same color so I love using a board that really lets the cheese POP off the plate.
  • I like to use dried fruit, seasonal fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs to break up the color scheme.
  • Additionally, I like to break up the shapes and cuts of the cheese so everything doesn't look the same and each component has the opportunity to stand out and shine. It's like showing up to a party and everyone is wearing the same outfit as you. Sometimes I'll cut the cheese into wedges, matchsticks, or chunks, but I usually avoid perfectly cut squares.

Things that play well together, place well together.

  • Try to place items that pair nicely together near each other on the board. Some items pair nicely with a variety of things, but if there is a certain charcuterie or accouterments I'm loving with one of the cheeses on the board, I'll be sure to place them near each other as a guide to try them together.

Add texture and flavor variety.

  • I like to offer both bread and crackers for textural and flavor variety. Include something crunchy on the plate like pistachios or marcona almonds. I also usually offer both dried and some fresh fruit.
  • An awesome part about cheese is that it is so versatile — it pairs nicely with sweet and savory. Try olives for a salty, savory option; my favorites are Losada Gordal and Castelvetrano. Or experiment with pickled veggies like cornichons or carrots.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN.


I come across so many stressed out customers worried about doing the wrong thing. It's cheese — it's gonna be tasty no matter what! Ask your monger for tips and describe what the occasion is. Are there any specific foods you're serving or pairing with the cheese? And make sure to have a sample or two (or three!). Your monger can help you and be your spiritual cheese guide.

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