A Passion for Cheese

Love cheese? Us too. Browsing through my photo library I came across cheese photographs from various restaurants where we dined over the last couple years. The photos bring back memories of excellent meals. I thought I would compile them, thinking the presentations and accompaniments could provide inspiration for serving a cheese course or cheeseboard at the next dinner party.
Morels French Steakhouse, Las Vegas
Guy Savoy, Las Vegas

Custom House, Chicago

AOC, Los Angeles

David Burke Fromagerie, Rumson, New Jersey
Daniel, New York City

Guy Savoy

Alex, Las Vegas
Balthazar, New York City
The Girl and The Fig, Sonoma, California
Carneros Wine Bar, Sonoma, California
With holiday entertaining right around the corner, I’m definitely looking forward to serving cheese. And I’ll be borrowing ideas on presentation and accompaniments from some of these restaurants where we thoroughly enjoyed the cheese course. I like variety, balance of strength and character of the cheese, paired with interesting flavorful accompaniments.
Cheeses:
  • Milk: Cow, Sheep, Goat
  • Textures: Soft to Hard
  • Taste: Mild to Strong
  • Various Origins
  • A Variety of Shapes and Colors
Accompaniments:
  • Bread: Baguette, Fruit & Nut Bread, Herbed Bread, Lavosh
  • Fruitcake: Dried Fig Cake, Dried Date Cake
  • Nuts: Almond, Walnut, Hazelnut, Pecan
  • Candied Nuts
  • Fresh Fruits: Fig, Grape, Apple, Pear, Melon
  • Dried Fruits: Fig, Date, Raisin, Plum, Apricot
  • Honey, Honeycomb
  • Chutney
  • Fruit Compote
  • Fruit Paste: Quince, Apricot, Plum, Pear, Fig
  • Cured Meats: Thinly-sliced, Room-temperature
  • Olives
  • Drizzled Olive Oil
  • Duck Confit
  • Micro-thin Sliced Onions
  • Caperberries
  • Roasted Peppers and Tomatoes 
  • And, of course, Wine!

Classic Combinations:

  • Manchego & Quince Paste & Serrano Ham & Green Olives
  • Cheddar & Chutney & Apple
  • Stilton & Pear & Walnut
  • Gorgonzola & Fig & Honey
  • Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella & Tomato, Basil and Olive Oil

Do you have a special cheese or an interesting flavor pairing to share?

34 thoughts on “A Passion for Cheese”

  1. Someday, I will try all those cheese plates too. Thanks for the inspiration. As for the pairing- fig jam and La Tur goat, sheep and cow cheese. Sigh

  2. We love Balthazar in NYC. Havent had their cheese plate yet.

    We love to buy cheeses in Paris.
    I buy ones I have never heard of and a fresh baguette and a bottle of red wine.
    What could be better?

  3. I love the understated elegance of a cheese presentation. Plated so simply, but packed with outstanding flavor. Love the different pairings!

  4. All the cheeses look delightful. It is an art to picking the right cheeses and making sure they work well on the plate. I heard that when tasting cheeses, start with the most mild and eat your way to the most pungent. Otherwise you blow out your palette and you can’t taste the subtleties of the more mild cheeses.

  5. FABULOUS. I have eaten a cheese course for dinner twice in the last week…which is embarrassing from a health perspective, but such is life. I’m also incredibly jealous because not only do your cheese plates look SPECTACULAR, but that looked a hella like Burrata from Balthazar, which I have not been able to find in my home town for the life of me.

  6. I am mad about cheese.In fact I use a lot of cheese on almost anything edible ..;)
    Wonderful photos (extremely good taste all) and thanks for share the best combinations, as well, I learn a little bit more here. Thanks again.

  7. One of the (many) reasons a true vegetarian diet elludes me…love the stuff. Yours are typically gorgeous images, Lori Lynn!

    My favourite combination, right now, would be crabapple jelly and a soft, creamy, slightly tart goat’s cheese by an Australian company called Meredith. Glorious combination.

  8. Ooh, I’m not the best person to ask that, but I will say that all the spreads look marvelous. I am especially loving the cheese-shaving thing. My friend Rob at The Curious Blogquat is one of the founders of a cheese club in his town in NM; he holds parties occasionally. You guys might like to compare notes 🙂

  9. What a great post! This will be my “go-to” spot as I prepare for the holidays. I love having an assortment of cheeses…. served with great wine, of course.

    xoxox Amy

  10. What a fantastic post! And look at all the great restaurants you’ve frequented! Lucky girl. I will definitely keep this post handy for the future.

  11. I love sweet things with cheese! Honey, chutney, apple slices.

    And of course, good old crackers when the occasion serves right.

  12. You know… I would almost drive anywhere to go to a cheese party with a collection like this! How nostalgic to have gone to such fabulous restaurants with all this yummy cheese!

  13. I'm WAY late to this lovely cheese party, but I LOVE it when a reply to an older post I've written signals that someone is enjoying it anew and comments to say so.

    These are just beautiful and beautifully photographed in the golden light—what a wonderful collection, and what nice memories they must evoke. Pray what is that exquisite ruffle on the third plate?

    I can't wait to show these to daughter Caro, who chooses and composes all our cheese plates.

    rachel

  14. Hi Rachel – thanks for commenting. Here is an answer to your "ruffle" question from wikipedia: The Girolle is an utensil, which was conceived to simplify the scratching of the Tête de Moine Swiss Cheese in form of beautiful "rosettes", hence also called "Girolles". Since its invention in 1982 by Nicolas Crevoisier of Swiss Jura, more than 2 million users in households and restaurants have been enjoying the authentic unique savour of the cheese invented and produced by the monks of the then abbey of Bellelay.
    LL

  15. That is absolutely fascinating!! I'd seen them, of course, but had some vague idea that the blade simply came DOWN to cut a wedge or slice.

    How lovely! I love learning all these new things from so many different places. Thank you.

    rachel

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