All a-board!

November 2020

Food and entertaining trends come and go, and some even come around again.

All you have to do is look at any magazine cover to see what is the latest and greatest for the season. This year, you will see that charcuterie boards are definitely having their moment.

Charcuterie boards are an expression of the person who is creating them. No stringent rules, simply gathering together the things you like for sharing. Paul Trevisanutto of Brent Park Store and his staff help their customers create boards that will meet every taste. There are a few rules of thumb they use to ensure charcuterie success.

“The key is balance of flavours and textures” says Paul. They suggest 4 different meats, some cured, such as prosciutto and smoked meats, such as pepperoni or smoked beef. Continue building your board with at least 3 different cheeses. Paul recommends a variety of soft, mild cheeses (such as gouda) mixed with harder, stronger cheeses like Emmental Swiss. The way both the meats and cheese are cut not only contributes to the presentation, but also the flavours. A combination of sliced and cubed portions works well. Soft spreadable cheeses, with an assortment of crackers on the board also add another texture. “Of course, with all that salt in the meats and cheeses, you’re going to be thirsty, so I would make sure you have some of our great local beers to go with it”, smiles Paul.

With the focus this year on smaller gatherings, the great thing about these boards is they can be scaled to serve any number of people, from a larger group to an intimate board for two. Paul recommends 2-3 slices/cubes of each meat and each cheese per person. Round out your board with some fruit, pickles or olives. It isn’t uncommon for dark chocolate to make an appearance to provide something sweet to finish with.

Tim Kozak of Kozy’s Woodshop (Facebook/Kozy’s Woodshop) handcrafts quality charcuterie and sushi boards from a variety of exotic and local woods, including black ash, cherry, maple, walnut, purple heart, paduk and jatoba . He will custom make any dimension, and has made boards as long as 6 feet or longer if requested. The boards range from organic free flowing shapes with live edge, or more structured shapes. The boards are treated with butcher block oil that seals the wood so that it doesn’t affect the flavor of the food and makes it easy to clean.

Just like the ingredients on the board, the board itself is an expression of your own taste which Tim will bring to life. The boards themselves are meticulously crafted works of art. The attention to detail that Tim puts into his work is obvious. “I believe in producing a quality handcrafted product that will last a lifetime” says Tim. His customers would agree, and he has shipped items all over the world to locales as far away as Dubai, Germany, England, and all thoughout the US and Canada.

It doesn’t matter how many people you are serving with your board, the most important ingredient is the company you share it with. A charcuterie board makes a great gift for yourself or anyone on your list, while supporting local businesses like Paul and Tim’s, and by extension, our local meat and cheese producers…and don’t forget the previously mentioned local brews.

Kathy Shilliday is a regular contributor and a hawk eye for stories to share. She can be reached at

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