We Got The Scoop On Those Grammy Charcuterie Boards—Here's How You Can Make Your Own
Charcuterie boards are essentially upscale Lunchables for adults — so no wonder millennials are so obsessed with them. They make for some of the best finger foods around and fit just about any occasion, whether you're planning the ultimate Galentine's Day bash or you're hosting a more rowdy Super Bowl party. If you tuned into the 65th Annual Grammy Awards on February 5, you might have noticed the colorful, next-level charcuterie boards decorating your favorite celebs' tables. We had to know more, so we connected with the creative behind the stunning boards: Lauren Delp of Silverlake Socialite. She gave us her pro tips for how you can master your own charcuterie board and personalize it to spotlight your favorite flavors and ingredients.
Before we get into the ins and outs of making your own board, we had to ask about the Grammys. As we expected, prepping for the event ended up being a huge undertaking. "I will say the reason I think that we could do it is because we've done it before," Delp says. "I have a vendor who made the custom boards (Iler Woods Woodworking), and I literally called him and said, 'We have a huge order. Can you do it in three days?' I mean, he literally hand carved 125 of those boards, like, with three days' notice. So yeah, it was wild, it took a lot of very fast planning."
Needless to say, Delp understands anyone who finds themselves in need of a last-minute appetizer. Even if you have to wait to grab fruits and veggies (this ensures they're fresh the day of), you can start prepping your cheeses, meats, and crackers a few days in advance. "Any pieces or elements of it that you feel like you can prepare in advance, do that so then when it's time to actually build the board, you have most of your ingredients ready to go."
We've seen many forms of appetizer boards, from butter boards to brunch boards, but Delp is pretty sure that charcuterie boards are here to stay. "I've been making some form of a cheese board for the last 20 years, and my mom made cheese boards for 20 years before that," she says. Even if they continue to evolve, wine and cheese will always be a classic pairing, especially when you're ordering something like a Classic Cheese + Charcuterie Board.
"It's something for everybody," Delp adds. "If you're vegetarian, there's great cheeses and fruits and veggies. If you're vegan, we always have great hummuses, veggies, fruits, nuts, and dried fruits. So I think it provides a really nice selection for people."
If you're looking to change it up, consider adding caviar to your board. "I feel like caviar is really having a moment," Delp says. "Caviar with all of the accompaniments. You know, the capers, and the chives, and chopped hard boiled eggs, crème fraîche, blini, Carr's Crackers, caper berries, etc."
But looking to the future, Delp is excited to try things she's never done before. "I'm always thinking of new ideas, because I feel like you have to continue to evolve and push yourself and come up with new ideas to keep your your company relevant.
"I've actually been thinking about the idea of a pickled board. So like a whole variety of really nice olives and cornichons," she says. "I have a company I work with, it makes the most incredible pickled veggies. So pickled purple cauliflower, pickled green beans, carrots, you can go on and on."
How To Take Your Charcuterie Board To The Next Level
Every charcuterie board needs a solid foundation so that you end the event with a full stomach. Meats, cheeses, and crackers are a classic trio that pair perfectly on any kind of board you're looking to make.
"Some cured meat, like classic salami, is great," Delp says. "People love that, we do prosciutto as well as a hard salami." Our favorite thing to do to take the board to the next level is to fold salami or prosciutto into flowers. It's so easy and looks so good!
"It's good to have a nice combination of soft cheeses, hard cheeses, and then goat's milk cheeses and sheep's milk cheeses," Delp says. Mixing Brie, Manchego, and cheddar is a nice way to add some creamy texture while providing different flavors. "We use tons of different cheeses when we do our boards, but you definitely could get away with just doing a couple of those and people would be happy."
"A simple way for people at home to make a board that feels elevated is also to think about cutting the cheeses in different ways." Try cutting a jagged chunk of cheddar paired with neat slices of Manchego. "You also can stand up larger slices in alternate directions," Delp says. "So then that creates a totally different look and then also creates height and dimension in the middle of the board."
Since you want the cheese, meats, and garnishes to take center stage on your board, Delp recommends finding crackers with a barely-there flavor. "I feel like it's worth going the extra mile or paying a few extra dollars for the nicer Italian crackers like the Carr's Water Cracker...So then the cheese is kind of the main character."
Garnishes are a great way to take your charcuterie boards to the next level by adding the perfect finishing touch because it really is all in the details. The way you organize the embellishments is also a great way to help people know what will taste good together.
"You could arrange it where you have the brie with the honeycomb and the fig and the cracker all in one section or a ramekin of honey so people understand, 'Oh, okay, I can slice this cheese, put it on this cracker with the honey, and this flavor goes together,'" Delp says. "This also helps people know what goes well together."
"If you have a little section where it's crackers and Brie," Delp says, "throw in a bright strawberry or a pile of raspberries with pomegranate seeds to generate a big pop of color amidst a section that doesn't have as much color."
Stick to a color palette, like pomegranate seeds for Valentine's Day, or have fun picking fruits and veggies in all your favorite colors.
You don't have to stick to tried-and-true classics like rosemary or sunflowers seeds (even though we love those). "We like to sprinkle dried mandarins on top," Delp says. "It gives it that extra oomph."
While making your own charcuterie board can get pricey, there is one easy way to keep things budget-friendly: scaling it back. "You can do it well for less," Delp says. Be selective about what goes on your board. Choose one or two of your favorite cheeses and one or two of your favorite garnishes. "Sure, people will eat pretzels if you put them on there, but does that really elevate your board? Does that really take it to the next level? So do it with a little more of a discerning eye."
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All images used with permission, via Silverlake Socialite.
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B+C Assistant Editor, Swiftie | If she's not writing, Chloe's probably watching a Marvel movie with a cherry coke or texting her sister about the latest celebrity news. Say hi at @thechloewilliams on Insta and @afangirlfirst on Twitter!