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Help: Cheese Platter for 40 guests

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Looking for recommendations on the best way to present a cheese platter for 40 people a) let guests cut & serve themselves or b) have all cheese already cut into serving size slices.

Also, I am thinking of serving a creamy Brie, a sharp Cheddar, sweet aged Manchego, creamy Camembert, and a smoked Gouda along with walnuts and grapes. Crackers/toasts on the side. How much of each cheese to serve for 40 people?

Thanks in advance for your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #2 of 20
How are you buying the cheese? Full rounds?

Also, I don't like letting the guests cut the cheese...they usually leave a mess which ruins the presentation, plus it takes them longer to get through the line.
post #3 of 20
I would suggest having small portions of each cheese precut and on the board next to the wheel or block from which it came.

As for quantity, first a few questions:
1. What kind of event is this, cocktail party, dinner, etc.?
2. What else are you serving?
3. How long is the event, and how long will the cheese board need to last. In other words, is this an appetizer to be followed by a meal or will this be all the food there is?
4. What time does the event start?

I'm sure more questions will occur, but from these I can at least give an estimate of the quantities you'll need
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
It is an hors d'oeuvre party to replace dinner. There will be a total of 9 hors d'oeuvres, 5 to be passed and 4 to be stationary, including the cheese platter. Therefore, I want to make sure that people are not left hungry. I was estimating 2oz of cheese per person, so for 40 people and 5 different cheeses, I was thinking 16oz per cheese.

The event will begin at 7:00 and last 2 hours.

Hors d'oeuvres will be followed by cake and coffee.

I appreciate the help
post #5 of 20
2 oz of cheese per person sounds about right with the other hors d'oeuvres, but I would expect heavy eating of the others particularly the passed. Make certain to have enough cocktail napkins on hand (you can never have too many)
post #6 of 20

Definitely don't let them cut their own slices...

absolutely agree with that one. Besides the mess, the portions that you so carefully planned will go all to H*** in a handbasket...

They don't know what 1 oz translates into. Plus a lot of people just don't have the dexterity to hold a small platter and manuver a cheese knife. (while most of us can use every limb simultaneously doing a different task...:roll: Some of your choices might want to be sliced almost paper thin. If you had time you could roll them decoratively.

There's a nice Danish Blue you might want to look into as well. (Just thinking diverse) It's not the crumbly type and I can't for the life of me remember what it's called but it is fantastic with apple slices. (the old lemon juice trick to not let them brown) So are a variety of the other cheeses you mentioned.

Personally I love cheese so I'm not a good judge as far as portions...:p. I'd guess 2 oz guestimate per each type per person.
(and then there's me..."...scuze me, are you going to finish that?" ROLF)

Sounds like a nice affair...Hey...what about "An affair to Remember"?

What kinds of hor'doeurves are you serving?

April
post #7 of 20
since brie and camembert are similar either
a. cut down the amount to 1/2 pound of each
b. substitute a camenzola - blue brie for the camembert

I would suggest adding some sort of blue cheese like the blue brie or a gorgonzola dolce or english stilton but only about 1/2# of it

also a small goats cheese chevre log with herbs or a goats cheese triangle/pyramid would be a nice addition.

2 oz of cheese is quite a bit per person but since it's only 40 people it might provide a safety net. I would probably do more like 1.5 oz max per guest for an event that size for a larger event maybe only 1 oz per person.

as for presentation, cut the cheese that cuts well and leave stuff like the brie unsliced. Also adding something like a log or pyramid, or topping the brie with pesto or even raspberry jam would add a nice dimension.


there are some artisinal small cheeses that have a very rustic look that make a nice "garnish" really - you could put a whole 4 oz piece on the display for the look and to impress the few people who really are into cheese.


We sometimes use a sundried tomato tapenade and layer it with housemade rondele cream cheese and pesto to make a "tuscan torta", That can be a log, a cake format or even in a small pedistal bowl (about 12 oz of rondele)

this way you have different presentations, a variety of cheeses and forms which leads to a more interesting presentation.

sprinkle some dried cranberries over the presentation for color and garnish. Also olives make a good addition and garnish too (could even put them in a single martini glass)
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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post #8 of 20
recent cheese platters include black seedless and red globe grapes, I buy them by the case for decor.
Aged Manchengo
Drunken Goat
Membrillo cut into cubes or sliced
Marcona Almonds
Spanish crackers/crostini

I buy tubs of fresh local farmstead chevre and smush it into a circle with a large indented center, top with pesto from last summer, sundried marinated tomatoes, kalamatas, toasted pinenuts. Goes over amazingly well.

Last summer when I had a HUGE amount of tomatoes I put up tomato jam and now serve it on the aforementioned chevre.

Brie is cheap, I buy a round leave it whole top it with craisins in a tangerine sauce.

I've noticed several catering websites with different cheese platter offerings ie low end generic, domestic, euro, premium.....etc.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #9 of 20
The Ile de France Cheese website has some great tips about how to make cheese platters. i found it when i was browsing the web to get ideas for a diner party i'm having. they are actually having voting for a recent picture contest they had for cheese platters on the site's blog: iledefrancecheese.com/blog

There are some entries that look pretty good and might give you some good ideas. You could have several small cheese platters that circle around and represent different countries - I think that would be cool, a lot of people don't know how different cheese are depending on the country the come from.
post #10 of 20

Cheese Glorious Cheese

Funny you should mention this, I was thinking about entering this contest, and whilst looking through my cheese photos decided to make a cheese blog post

please help me decide which photo to submit to the contest and feel free to use any ideas for cheese platters and cheese displays - Please pm me with your suggestions as to which photo I should submit

cheese glorious
cuisinEtc - a culinary journey via catering: cheese glorious cheese
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Reply
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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post #11 of 20
[QUOTE=shroomgirl;159799]recent cheese platters include black seedless and red globe grapes, I buy them by the case for decor.
Aged Manchengo
Drunken Goat
Membrillo cut into cubes or sliced
Marcona Almonds
Spanish crackers/crostini

grapes are a natural with cheese and the various colors look great not to mention the small champagne grapes too

I buy tubs of fresh local farmstead chevre and smush it into a circle with a large indented center, top with pesto from last summer, sundried marinated tomatoes, kalamatas, toasted pinenuts. Goes over amazingly well.

we do something similar but use a mixture of goats cheese & cream cheese or housemade rondele which is cream cheese, dried herbs + hot pepper flakes, layered with sundried tomato tapenade + pesto it becomes rondele cheese torta. Recently made a "gaudi's mound - in honor of the spanish artist - goats cheese, cream cheese, orange zest, chopped spanish olives with pimentos, studded the outside with sliced green pimento olives - and surrounded it with fancy cut carrots for a carb free cheese display

my friend Kim, a caterer in Santa Cruz is famous for her gorgonzola cheese cake with pistachio crust and beautifully adorned on top with port poached sliced pears


Brie is cheap, I buy a round leave it whole top it with craisins in a tangerine sauce.

we do all sorts of "frostings" on brie - mango chutney with pistachios is tasty, raspberry with spiced pecans, apple chutney with cran raisons or dried cherries + sultanas.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Reply
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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post #12 of 20
I like to do a mix of slices and blocks, but I cut a wedge in the blocks and cube/crumble the removed portion to create a spill effect.
After that initial portion is consumed they can cut their own, which is usually after everyone has been to the display at least once.

Here's an example:

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
post #13 of 20
Very nice, I like the crumbling effect....
post #14 of 20
Here's one I just did for a friend's catered event up in Portland.
The bride saw the first pic and wanted one just like it.
I made it similar, but did change it up a bit, notably including my honey roasted pcans/walnuts, or Jim's Sweet Nuts as they're referred to here.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
post #15 of 20
2007 was the year of Spainish dinners.....and cheese courses.

Tigerwoman, the grana padna photo is beautiful, the whole wheel of parm with pasta is flashy and unusual.

Apples, pears, nuts,
comb honey, raw honey,truffle honey on parm
dried fruit (figs, cranberries, cherries,apricots all come to mind)
fruit conserve, mustardo, jellies......
olives, tapenade

Assorted crackers, crostini, we make huge sheets of irregular shaped lavosh, raincrackers are $$$$ but gorgeous

40 guests, no mention of budget/customer price.

High end.....farmstead fresh chevre with pesto, toasted pinenuts (the good ones), calamata olives.....crostini

Blue, either maytag or gorgonzola.....fresh figs, fig conserve, & or grapes....toasted pecans, wheat biscuits, lavosh

Parm. Reggiano or Aged Gouda, honey comb, dried fruit
raincrackers/lavosh/pretty nut & fruit crackers

Brie with fruit goo on top....this is for the less adventuresome.....it is what it is. water crackers or some non-discript crostini

Cheddar or something along that line....sharp but not extra sharp.....apples, pears, grapes, almonds, pecans, whatever is in your area.....

The more $$$$ the more fancy shtuff, the more farmstead cheeses, more expensive crackers....in some cases the cracker is more $$$ than the cheese.

This thread was started in 2007....so I'm thinkin' she is not going to respond with what the other aps are.....

Just Jim, thank you for sharing photos.....I'll concentrate on photos soon.....your presentation is "classic"....mine is free form, ummmm not sure if there's a label for cheese presentations?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #16 of 20
Doh!
I usually catch it when these are dug up threads.

I usually do my trays different everytime, the only reason the second tray looked so much like the first is that is what the bride wanted.
What could I do?
It's her day. ;)
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
post #17 of 20
I love the way you made it. I guess I would prefer this one. Look Good to me. At least you manage everything such as mess, control, and presentation.
post #18 of 20
Rise, Zombie Thread! RIIIIZZE!:lol:
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #19 of 20

how many ozs per guest and how many kinds of cheese

post #20 of 20

Wallace, this thread has not had any input in the last 4 years old.

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