Style Expert

Inventive Cheese Plate

As a prop stylist, I have to come up with all sorts of inventive ways to display food. As a matter of fact, I’m writing a book about it, due out in the fall of 2013, that will be published by Rizzoli.

One of the things that really can get my creative juices flowing is going to the hardware store. Yes indeed, you read that right … the hardware store.

I was styling a story about summer entertaining – a DIY pizza night – for Better Homes and Gardens magazine last year. I had to come up with a great way to display all the various, fresh ingredients and label them. I stumbled upon the tile department at Home Depot. Home Depot carries these really great slate tiles and I thought, wow, I could put as many together as I like, instantly making it a custom surface for food, and I could write on them in chalk. Perfect! So I bought a bunch and started experimenting (the feature turned out great by the way).

I have been using slate tiles ever since to display my cheese platters at gatherings here at the house. It’s so simple. Buy a nice selection of cheeses, unwrap them, place them in a pleasing composition, add a little fruit, like grapes and berries, and spread some crackers all around. Add cheese spreaders and label the cheese wedges by writing directly on the slate tile with chalk. And voila! Gorgeousness!

The effect is artful, clever, and oh so easy. Pour your guests glasses of wine and let them go to town on your beautiful cheese display. Cheers!

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