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From Gina Kirschenheiter's date-night spread to Craig Conover's sewing-themed platter to Melissa Gorga's party food of choice, one thing has been made very clear in recent months: Bravolebs are obsessed with over-the-top charcuterie boards. So when we learned that The Real Housewives of New Jersey's Teresa Giudice and Margaret Josephs and Summer House's Hannah Berner all turn to Plated by D for their charcuterie needs, we knew we had to learn more about the company.
"Plated by D started in the middle of the pandemic in March 2020," Dylan Elias, who owns and operates the company alongside her sister Alexi, explained via email. "I would make small plates for my friends just for fun and quickly realized we didn't really have a business like this in our area. With a leap of faith, I created a couple of boxes, had my sister and her friends post on their social media platforms about it, and before we knew it, I was getting orders."
Here, Dylan details exactly how to create a Bravoleb-approved charcuterie board from the comfort of your own home.
Stock Up on the Staples
"The basic staples everyone needs for a charcuterie board would be meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, and crackers," Dylan wrote. On the company's website, Dylan and Alexi suggest a lengthy list of possibilities, with cheeses ranging from asiago to blueberry goat to Wensleydale, as well as meats including chorizo, duck prosciutto, hard salami, and maple-smoked ham. For nuts, they suggest almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, and pistachios, while their jams and spreads of choice include fig jam, honey, bruschetta, and cherry jam, among others.
Elevate Boards With Gorgeous Garnishes
"To take it to the next level, add garnishes such as edible flowers (adds color and dimension), herbs, honeycomb (I love to put this on top of a brie wheel), tomatoes on the vine, or my personal favorite, sprinkling some pomegranate seeds throughout the board," Dylan wrote. "If you don't have items such as edible flowers or something to sprinkle...give hints of color to create some sort of color scheme. For example, add your meats and cheeses and garnish with green grapes, green olives, pistachios, and maybe even green apple slices up with the skin showing."
Have a Clear Design in Mind
"Design is key to make a charcuterie board make [look] like ...well.. a charcuterie board," Dylan explained. "It all starts [with] how you layer. The cheeses and the jams are always the first items I place when I start creating the board. Next, add the meat (usually around the cheeses), then the crackers, fruits, nuts, and finally your garnishments. This creates texture mixed with layers which not only makes it fun to indulge but also fun to look at."
When working with Hannah, Margaret, and Teresa, "Each had their own charcuterie design," she recalled. "For example, we used pinks and reds for Margaret because she is the queen of color. Making her board was so much and unique to her personality and you definitely see that on her Instagram. It was so much fun creating boards for all of them and seeing their reactions."
Tailor to the Occasion
Plated by D creates incredibly gorgeous charcuterie boards for a variety of holidays and occasions including Valentine's Day. For those looking to put out a similar spread for the upcoming holiday, "It's a good idea to find a fun shaped board or box such as a heart!" Dylan suggested. "If you can't find a fun shaped board/ plate/ box, perhaps stick to a fun color scheme. A top tip of mine would be to find themed cookie cutters, such as a heart shape cookie cutter, press that into your Brie wheel, and fill the heart with jam or even pomegranate seeds. With the actual cut out, you can place that somewhere on the board!"
Don't Be Afraid to Take Risks
"There are not many common mistakes people make when creating a charcuterie board," Dylan insisted. "It's truly based on the individual's creativity. You can be as creative as you want and as long as you have fun doing it and it tastes amazing, you can give yourself a pat on the back!"
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