1. Take inventory

Making a board does take some planning. Starting with the size, how many guests are you expecting? You have the option of making more than one board or refilling a board as needed. Next is what to include in your board, whether it’s cured meats, cheeses or asian rolls, the idea is to have items that complement each other. Great flavor combinations are salty-sweet-spicy, sweet-sour-spicy or choose any combination from the flavor chart below.

After flavor but just as important is the color. We eat with our eyes and then our mouth. Having some red will really make your boards pop. Think red chili, red bell pepper, salami, the red wax that wraps certain gouda cheeses. So now that you have your menu of items, gather them all together and go to the next step.

2.Containers first

Some boards will have small edibles like nuts or olives and others will have sauces, spreads or dips. All these items need to be in a container like a bowl, a jar or ramekin. Place these items on your board first. Avoid placing too close to the edge and try to space them out as you want your guest to travel across your board to explore all the items.

3.Work your way around

Next, place the items that accompany the containers. If you have a sauce, place items that will be eaten with that sauce next to each other. Pair salty prosciutto with sweet slices of apples, pears or fig.

4.Fill it up

Your board should be pretty full at this point and there might be some small gaps in certain areas. Leaving unfilled space on your board is unacceptable, it will make your guest sad and they will post bad things about you online, just kidding but really, don’t leave any empty spaces. Use garnish, nuts, fruit to fill out any open areas. A finished board should feel abundant and full challenging your guest to take the first bite.