Providence Cicero at The Seattle Times spotlights how area chefs are sprucing up cheese plates with unique pairings. Some great ideas for you to try at home- what are your favorite pairings?
FOR THE cheese plate at Meadowbrook Lodge’s Copperleaf Restaurant, chef Mark Bodinet pickles grapes and Yakima strawberries, grills figs and candies rhubarb. He makes apple-pepper chutney, and marmalades, mostardas and preserves from berries, dates, citrus and stone fruits.
Once slices of crisp apple or a bunch of fresh grapes routinely adorned a cheese plate — and certainly when those fresh fruits are at their peak they are still ideal companions. But chefs devoted to using seasonal, local ingredients are putting more effort into how they accessorize cheese.
What’s on hand often inspires Restaurant Zoë’s James Sherrill. “If I have a lot of lavender and it’s sitting next to a jar of honey, the next thing you know I’m making lavender honey gelée.” He likes to gelée the honey because a little gelatin sets it up and makes it easier to scoop up with the cheese.