For some, a serving platter or charcuterie board is a quick-and-easy thing to throw together for guests. For others, it’s an anxiety-inducing foray into a multitude of choices and artistic presentation that can make even the best home cook sweat. Fear not, Savour Calgary’s got you!

Using this gorgeous mezze platter by Bernice Hill, we’ve broken down the elements that will help you make your board beautiful.

Mezze Board

  1. Colour: Going with a colour theme can be fun. Try complementary colour pairings like reds and greens or oranges and purples. Creating a mix of neutral shades with pops of colour here and there really creates interest. Here you see the neutral whites and browns with the lavash and dips with brilliant pops of red with the tomatoes and green with the tabouleh and veg.
  2. Texture: Try to present a mix of creamy, crispy, crunchy, crumbly and other textures to keep the eye popping from place to place on the board. Here we have creamy dips with crispy lavash (what a beautiful texture here!), crumbly falafel, juicy tomatoes and more.
  3. Shape: A good design will draw the eye from one place to the next using lines and shapes. The strong vertical line of labneh and falafel balls draws your eye from top left to bottom right with some really fun things to see on the way. Also, mix your shapes. This board has a wonderful variety of square, round, cylindrical and angular shapes.
  4. Balance: Did you know that they eye loves threes? When composing your board, divide it visually into three columns and three rows. Put your major points of interest at the intersections of the lines. Make sure you intersperse colours and textures to avoid large “clumps” of one colour, tone or texutre.
  5. Contrast: While you want to use complementary colours on your boards, you also want a good mix of light and dark. This is fun to play with. You can put your darkest darks and lightest lights at points of high interest (see the rule of thirds above), or create like the old masters with darker colours at the outside corners moving towards a lighter centre.
  6.  Proportion: You don’t want tiny olives on a giant board, or a huge wheel of cheese with no room for crackers. Choosing items with a variety of sizes will allow you to preserve balance and create an interesting “landscape.” Start with the larger items and work your way down, filling in spaces with garnish the way Bernice did here with the dried black olives and parsley