If you’ve been to a party or event in the past year, you’ve probably grazed from a charcuterie board.
Everyone — from those throwing first birthday parties to weddings and even small dinner dates for two — is getting in on the act.
Maybe you’ve made your own charcuterie board. A small cutting board with some cheese, nuts and fruit, maybe a fruit spread and crackers, is pretty doable for a small gathering. But the big boards — say the length of a dining room table — are sometimes better left to the professionals.
One of Tulsa’s amazing grazing table chefs is Kate Atkinson, owner of Kate’s Cheese Shop. Atkinson creations combine food and art for edible tablescapes. Atkinson attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and earned a Cuisine Diplome along with two certifications in French wines. Her latest venture into charcuterie has given her a chance to combine her culinary expertise with artistic flair.
“I like to make my boards with a range of textures, flavors and ingredients — think savory, salty, crunchy, sweet,” Atkinson says.
Meats and cheeses are a staple, but Atkinson adds special touches like flowers, fruit gelees and whole honeycomb for a special presentation.
Another charcuterie business developing a following in Tulsa and beyond is Charcuterie Table Co., owned by Kaitlyn Ward and Kendall Scarsdale. The pair met at work, became friends and then started dreaming up their charcuterie business. Both have recently gone through the wedding planning process and know how important great tasting — and great looking — food is at a wedding.
Charcuterie Table Co. creates nibbles and bites for small gatherings to large events. That’s anywhere from 1 foot to 16 feet of charcuterie.
“We always have customers swooning over watching us create our tables, because it is much more than placing cheese and crackers,” Ward says. “Our goal is to make the end product look effortless and picture perfect, but there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make this happen.”
Ward says one of the most fun tables they’ve created was for the launch party of a downtown clothing store. Charcuterie was spread across a bar top, and guests could order their drinks at the bar while eating charcuterie.
To accommodate concerns over social distancing, Charcuterie Table Co. offers many charcuterie box options. The boxes, filled with all the delicious cheese, nuts, fruit and crackers from a big tablescape, are available in sizes to feed three, six or up to 12 people. They are also doing charcuterie cones, individual servings of charcuterie so people do not have to create their own pairings at events or parties.
Charcuterie is a trend Ward thinks has a long life ahead.
“We don’t see these delicious tables going anywhere,” she says.