The Perfect Cheese Plate for Any Occasion

Love cheese, but never quite sure what to pair it with or how to serve it? HC&G asks Lucy Kazickas, of Lucy’s Whey cheese shop in East Hampton, to come up with five cheese plates that are perfect for entertaining—no matter what the occasion
Lucy Kazickas, of Lucy's Whey cheese shop in East Hampton

 

Bold & Beautiful

Bold & Beautiful Cheese Plate

WHAT’S ON IT (clockwise from far left)
Coupole, a creamy, tart goat’s milk cheese from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery
Grayson, a Taleggio-style, washed-rind raw cow’s milk cheese from Meadow Creek Dairy, Virginia
Marieke Aged Gouda, a sharp, sweet, raw cow’s milk cheese from Wisconsin
Served with Rustic Bakery’s Sea Salt and Olive Oil Sourdough Flatbreads and Virginia Chutney Company’s Hot Peach Chutney. Large black slate from the Brooklyn Slate Company.

WHY IT WORKS
Cheese plates typically go from mild to strong, but none of these are shy cheeses, from the tart Coupole to the washed-rind Grayson—a so-called stinky cheese—to the sharp aged Gouda, which has nice crystals to it. This platter goes from creamy soft to creamy semi-soft to hard. When you talk about cheese, you talk about intensity of flavor as well as textures.”

 

Classic

WHAT’S ON IT (clockwise from top)
Green Hill, a Brie-style, soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy in Georgia
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, an earthy, grassy, sharp, traditional English-style bandaged cow’s milk cheddar from Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont
Dante, a nutty, sweet and dry Manchego-style sheep’s milk cheese from the Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Cooperative
Served with Anjou Bakery’s Fruit and Nut Crostini and Girl & the Fig’s Nana Mae Gravenstein Apple, Raisin & Fig Mostarda.

Classic Chees Plate

WHY IT WORKS
“These three artisanal cheeses are American versions of European classics. This is a wonderful progression, starting with a quite mild, semi-soft Brie-style cheese, then a classic, just slightly creamy cheddar, and finally a dry, nutty sheep’s milk cheese that’s similar to Manchego or Pecorino.”

 

 

Picnic

Picnic Cheese Plate  

WHAT’S ON IT (top to bottom)
Pawlet, a semi-soft, Toma-style raw cow’s milk cheese from Vermont’s Consider Bardwell Farm
Bijou, a button-size, creamy, soft goat’s milk cheese from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery
Bayley Hazen Blue, a buttery, earthy, Stilton-style blue cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont
Served with Freddy Guy’s Hazelnuts, Castleton Crackers’ Rutland Rye and baguette slices.

WHY IT WORKS
“For a picnic, you don’t want messy cheeses that are going to run all over. These three cheeses, all from Vermont, are easy to transport and interesting. The Pawlet is almost like a sandwich cheese, great with bread and butter; the goat is more delicate but still strong enough to handle a trip to the beach; and the blue is a true picnic classic.”

 

Salad

WHAT’S ON IT (top to bottom)

Hayride, a semi-soft, rich, earthy raw cow’s milk cheese from Mt. Mansfield Creamery in Vermont
Herbed Chèvre, a tangy goat’s milk cheese from Catapano Dairy on Long Island’s North Fork
Point Reyes Original Blue, a crisp, creamy cow’s milk blue cheese from northern California
Served with Anke’s Fit Bakery Rosemary Black Olive Flatbreads and dried strawberries.

Salad Cheese Plate

WHY IT WORKS
“One of my favorite ways to eat cheese is with salad. If you have a salad with a strong dressing and strong greens, the Hayride makes a wonderful complement. And you can’t ever go wrong with salad and a fresh, tangy chèvre. Finally, it’s always nice to have a blue cheese; this one has a certain tartness and crispness to it, and really almost becomes part of the dressing.”

 

 

Dessert

Dessert Cheese Plate

WHAT’S ON IT (top to bottom)

Tarentaise, a hard, Alpine-style nutty raw cow’s milk cheese from Spring Brook Farm, Vermont
Piper’s Pyramide, a paprika-dusted, creamy goat’s milk cheese from Capriole, Indiana
Ewe’s Blue, a sharp sheep’s milk blue cheese from New York’s Old Chatham Sheepherding Company
Evalon, a hard, sweet aged goat’s milk cheese from Saxon Homestead Creamery and LeClair Farms in Wisconsin
Served with local honey from the Bees’ Needs, NutC’s caramelized spiced nuts and dried strawberries.

WHY IT WORKS
“It’s nice for people to decide how they want to finish their meal, and there’s something for everyone here: soft, hard, salty, sweet. The Piper’s Pyramide gets a little runniness around the edges and is creamier than a chèvre, but still has a tartness that cleanses the palate. The Tarentaise has a nutty taste, with a slightly stronger bite as it stays in your mouth. The Evalon, one of my favorites, starts off in your mouth quite dry but gets much creamier and sweeter. And the Ewe’s Blue is sharp but has a lovely sweetness to it and is great with a little honey.”