Elevate Your Event with Catering Charcuterie Boards

By Jason McIntosh

Picture this: you're working with an event client and want to wow their guests with something special. Enter catering charcuterie boards. These stunning displays of cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and carefully curated accompaniments are taking the event world by storm. And for good reason!

Charcuterie boards offer a delicious and visually appealing way to elevate any gathering. But with so many options out there, how do you incorporate this trend into your client's event seamlessly? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

 

Table of Contents:


What Is a Charcuterie Board?

Charcuterie boards are all the rage these days. You've probably seen them popping up at parties, weddings, and even in your Instagram feed. But what exactly is a charcuterie board? In a nutshell, it's a beautifully arranged platter featuring a variety of cured meats, gourmet cheeses, fresh fruits, nuts, and other tasty tidbits. It's like a fancy, grown-up version of a Lunchable. The beauty of charcuterie boards is that they can be customized to suit any taste or special event. Want to impress your foodie friends? Go for a gourmet spread with artisan cheeses and cured meats. Hosting a casual get-together or date night? Keep it simple with crowd-pleasing favorites like salami, cheddar, and crackers. You can even create themed boards, like brunch boards or a Mediterranean-inspired platter with hummus, feta, and olives.

 

Elements of a Charcuterie Board

A well-rounded charcuterie board should have a balance of food items, flavors and textures. Start with a variety of meats, like prosciutto, sopressata, and chorizo. Add some cheeses, ranging from soft and creamy to hard and crumbly. Don't forget the accoutrements. Crackers, bread, fruit, nuts, and spreads like honey or mustard all add depth and interest to your board. And of course, a few sprigs of fresh herbs make everything look extra fancy.

 

History of Charcuterie Boards

Charcuterie boards may seem like a trendy new thing, but they actually have a long and storied history. The term "charcuterie" comes from the French words for "flesh" and "cooked," and refers to the art of preparing and presenting cured meats. This tradition dates back to ancient Rome, where people would preserve meats to enjoy during the winter months. Over time, charcuterie evolved into a culinary art form, with skilled artisans creating all sorts of delicious cured meats and pâtés. Today, charcuterie boards have become a popular way to showcase these delicacies, along with a variety of other tasty treats. Whether you're a meat lover, cheese board connoisseur, or just appreciate a good snack spread, there's a charcuterie board out there for you.


Benefits of Catering Charcuterie Boards for Events

If you're working with your next client, whether it's a wedding, corporate events, or birthday bash, you might want to consider having a charcuterie board on the menu. Not only are they delicious and visually stunning, but there are also plenty of practical benefits to having a grazing table at your shindig. Let's face it, the work to put on an event can be stressful. There's so much to plan and coordinate. That's where charcuterie board catering comes in. No more rushing around your next event trying to assemble appetizers or worrying if there is enough of the best cheese to go around.


Variety and Customization

Another great thing about charcuterie boards is the sheer variety of options available. You can mix and match meats, cheeses, fruits, and spreads to create a spread that's perfectly tailored to your client's tastes and event's theme. Want to go all out with a gourmet spread? No problem. Prefer to keep things simple and kid-friendly? Easy peasy. With a charcuterie board, there's something for everyone. Let's be real, we eat with our eyes first. And there's nothing quite as impressive as a beautifully arranged charcuterie board. With its artful mix of colors, textures, and shapes, a well-designed grazing table is sure to be a conversation starter. Plus, it makes for great Instagram fodder for your catering business. #cheesegoals


Suitable for Various Dietary Preferences

These days, it seems like everyone has a dietary restriction or preference. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, keto...the list goes on. Trying to accommodate all those specific needs can be a nightmare for a host. But with a charcuterie board, you can easily offer a range of charcuterie board options to suit different diets. Just make sure to label everything clearly and keep things separate to avoid cross-contamination. Your client's guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness and inclusivity.

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Popular Charcuterie Board Catering Options

Now let's dive into some popular options to consider. You can't go wrong with a classic charcuterie board. Picture a rustic wooden board loaded with an array of cured meats, artisanal cheeses, crackers, seasonal fruit, and nuts. It's a timeless combination that's sure to please any crowd. For a traditional spread, look for meats like prosciutto, salami, and chorizo, paired with cheeses like aged cheddar, brie, and gouda. Add some sliced baguette, grapes, and maybe a few dollops of bacon jam, and you've got a classic charcuterie board that's both elegant and satisfying.


Themed Charcuterie Boards

Want to take your charcuterie game to the next level? Consider a themed board that ties into the event's overall aesthetic or cuisine. For example, a Mediterranean-inspired board might feature hummus, feta cheese, olives, and pita chips, while a French-themed board could include pâté, cornichons, and cheese selections that are both hard and soft.

Mediterranean charcuterie board with olives, hummus and pita chips

The possibilities are endless, so get creative and have fun with it. Just because you're not a meat eater doesn't mean you can't enjoy a delicious charcuterie board. Many caterers now offer plant-based options that are just as tasty and visually appealing as their meaty counterparts. Think marinated olives, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and a variety of vegan cheeses and spreads. You can even include some crunchy veggies like carrots and celery for a fresh and healthy twist. Why not even consider dessert boards? Excuse me while I salivate.


Breakfast and Brunch Charcuterie Boards

Who says charcuterie is just for happy hour? A breakfast or brunch-themed board can be a perfect addition if the event is in the morning. Imagine a spread of mini quiches, bagels with lox and cream cheese, fresh fruit, and maybe even a few sweet treats like scones or muffins. Pair it with some mimosas or bloody marys, and you've got a brunch spread that's sure to impress.


Tips for Incorporating Charcuterie Boards into Your Event

Alright, you've got your charcuterie board lined up and you're ready to wow your guests. But how do you make sure it's a hit? Here are a few tips to keep in mind for the best results. First, think about where you want to set up the charcuterie board. You'll want a spot that's easily accessible to guests, but not in the way of foot traffic or other activities. Consider setting up a separate table or station just for the charcuterie, so people can graze at their leisure without feeling rushed or crowded. You'll also want to make sure you have the right equipment, like serving utensils, napkins, and plates. And don't forget to label everything clearly, so guests know what they're getting.


Pair with Complementary Beverages

A good charcuterie board is all about balance, and that includes the drinks to serve alongside it. Consider offering a selection of wines that pair well with the meats and cheeses on your board, like a bold red for the salami or a crisp white for the goat cheese. You could also offer some craft beers or even a signature cocktail that ties into your event's theme. Just make sure to have some non-alcoholic options available as well. One of the best things about a charcuterie board is the way it encourages people to mingle and share. Make sure to set up your board in a way that promotes interaction, like placing it in the center of a table or creating multiple smaller boards scattered throughout the space. You can even include some interactive elements, like a DIY crostini station or a "guess the cheese" game. The more engaged the guests are, the more memorable your event will be.


Incorporate into the Event Theme

Finally, don't be afraid to get creative and incorporate the charcuterie board into your client's overall theme or aesthetic. For example, if it is a rustic barn wedding, you could serve your charcuterie on a vintage wooden cart or set it up on a hay bale. Or if you're throwing a tropical-themed party, you could include some exotic fruits and spreads on your board, like mango chutney or guava paste. The key is to have fun with it and let your personality shine through. After all, a charcuterie board is more than just a tasty snack - it's a reflection of your style and taste.

Rustic barn venue for your next gathering.

River Bottoms Ranch in Utah - Credit: For You Photography and Video

 
 Key Takeaway:  

Charcuterie boards are a hit for any event, offering customizable options that cater to all tastes and dietary preferences. They're not only delicious but also serve as eye-catching centerpieces. Make sure your catering service consider's the client's scale, theme, and budget while keeping food safety in check.


Conclusion

Imagine transforming any gathering with charcuterie boards - they bring not just a feast for the eyes but also simplicity, diversity in taste, and memories made around stunning spreads. Add some jaw-dropping setups to your catering options and make sure the client's event is one for the books— the guests will be buzzing about it way after dessert's done.


So go ahead, explore the world of catering charcuterie boards and level up your client's next party. The guests (and your taste buds) will thank you.

Tags: catering, charcuterie

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