Monday 10 December 2012

Robbie Gleave and Festive Cheeseboards

An eye-catching cheeseboard consisting of a selection of tasty, speciality cheeses and accompaniments is a great way to round off a meal or add appeal to a Christmas buffet.
We’re lucky enough to have development chef Robbie Gleave from event caterer Heritage Portfolio in Edinburgh give us some advice on how to use the latest trends in Christmas menus…

The top trends for speciality cheeses are cheese wedding cakes and cheese boards as replacement desserts. 
Cheese wedding cakes are becoming a standard item on wedding menus in Scotland.  The last one we made was a 10 kilo cake constructed of a strong Mull cheddar, a Strathdon Blue, a crumbly Cairnsmore goats cheese and a Clava (a Scottish cheese, similar to Brie).  We dressed it with figs and dates to fit with the theme of the wedding and it rivalled any traditional wedding cake!
But, cheese vs cake is not just restricted to weddings. There’s been a big demand for cheese as a replacement for desserts across all our event catering, whether its buffets or sit-down meals. 
To create the perfect balance on a cheeseboard, I’d recommend four key staples; a hard cheese such as cheddar or Leerdammer, a soft cheese such as a rustic brie, boursin or Soignon Petit Ste Maure goat’s cheese, a blue such as the delicious Roquefort or gorgonzola and a ‘wild card’ such as the Stinking Bishop to add individuality to the board.   Having said that, the cheese should complement the rest of the meal, so serve heavier cheeses after a light meal and light cheeses after a heavier meal.
When it comes to serving, opt for wooden boards, roof slates and preserving jars or jam jars for home-made chutneys.  Nuts and drizzled honey for some cheeses work well and grapes that have been blast chilled in the freezer, complement the flavour of the cheese as well as adding visual interest to the dish.
Think about the quality of your biscuits…do they do the cheese justice?  We make a lot of our biscuits by hand and use chopped herbs, nori seaweed, sesame and onion seeds to complement the flavours of our selected cheeses.
With such a wide variety of flavours and speciality cheese around, it’s possible to create a show-stopper of a dish. With all this at your fingertips, who needs dessert?
To find out more about Robbie Gleave and his event catering, visit