Denyse Gervasoni is the head cheesemonger of South Florida-based artisan cheese retailer The Cheese Course. Gervasoni has been with the company for more than ten years and became a Certified Cheese Professional through the American Cheese Society this year, joining an elite group of national cheese educators and service providers. With holiday hosting festivities in full swing, we asked Gervasoni to curate the perfect cheese board.
What is the standard serving size for a cheese platter?
DENYSE GERVASONI: If you are serving a cheese plate as an appetizer, allow one ounce of cheese per person. If it is to be served as the focus of a meal, allow two ounces of cheese per person.
How many varieties of cheese should be on the board, and what are the best accoutrement?
DG: It's most important to have flavors you enjoy because every palate is different, but if you are looking for balance, have one from each category: fresh, soft with washed rind and bloomy rind, hard, and blue. Then complement with items that are savory, sweet, spicy, etc. Honeycomb with Bonne Bouche or Rogue River Blue is great for a classic salty and sweet combination.
At The Cheese Course, which items are prime for holiday entertaining?
DG: The pesto and walnuts are prepared in-house and sold fresh by the pound or in small, medium, and large quantities. The olives can be bought in the same quantities. The boards and biscuits are also available. We are also serving this year's American Cheese Society Best in Show winner, Beecher's Handmade Cheese Flagsheep. Only 25 wheels were made and we're lucky to have one.
The Cheese Course has locations in Midtown Miami, Pinecrest, Aventura Mall, Downtown Miami (opening in 2013), Weston, Coral Springs, Plantation, and Mizner Park.