Our Cheese Platters are much more cheese intensive than our classic Crostini Stations, and so to keep our kitchen excited, we have moved to changing our in-house cheeses each month. We’re including different textures and milk types, and ensuring that all of them are fairly local. As much as we love French cheeses, we are working to stick to west coast cheeses, and as always, looking to support small farms exclusively, which means that these cheeses will vary in their tastes as the feed and seasonal habits for the milking livestock changes. This is the glory and surprise of eating outside of conventional farming.
Pulsing with concord grapes, figs, citrus, and persimmons (see how to make a quick persimmon “jam” here), the platter above is representative of a cheese platter created for a full service event in December. So pretty, right? We go over some tips for making your own here and here.
Let’s go over some of the December cheeses that we will be putting out:
First up is a “Glacier” Brie from one of our favorite farmers Drake Family Farms in Ontario. Remember when we visited here? This is a cheese we all love and so it will likely make the cut to stay on as we change the monthly cheese menu. It’s a bloomy rind cheese, similar to a Brie that is formulated to be really mild by Farmer Dan, however it gets noticeably stronger in the winter due to temperatures and feed.
Next up is a sheep cheese called Pepato from Bellwether Farms in Ontario. It’s a raw, semi-soft cheese that is aged for 60 days and dotted with whole black peppercorns throughout for an added punch.
Two cheeses are featured in this photo, the speckled on is a “Firehouse” Pepperjack from Spring Hill Farm in Sonoma Valley. I encountered this dairy farm at the Atwater Farmer’s Market and we have been keeping a steady supply of there cheeses in house ever since. Their dairy is 100% grass-fed so we stock their European-style butter in our walk-in. It’s other worldly and their cheese are as well.
The second cheese in this photo is a Dry, Salted Monterey Jack from Vella Cheese Company in Sonoma. This cow cheese was created accidentally in 1915 when a San Francisco wholesaler was attempting to preserve it in salt. The pleasing result is a fruit, rich, hard cheese that is similar to a fine Italian Parmesan. It’s pretty red rind makes for a lovely presentation.
And now we move to Oregon with this award winning firm and buttery Blue Cheese from Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon. Aged for 90 days in Roquefort modeled caves, the flavor is clean, mellow and earthy making it an approachable blue cheese for a range of palates.