On a Sunday afternoon in January, about 30 women and men packed a room at Bellefonte Brewing Co. in north Wilmington.
Though they had been sipping pints of beer, they had been there for greater than the craft brews.
It was one other sold-out class on board making taught by Robbie Jester, proprietor of Pizzeria Mariana and In Jest Occasions.
The attendees had been brushing elbows with a TV star — Jester is the winner of “Stress Cooker,” a Netflix culinary competitors and actuality present.
The Delaware chef gained followers nationwide for his affability and authenticity, and each traits had been displayed throughout his lessons.
His first session final November was on cheese-and-meat boards, which many individuals — and eating places — name “charcuterie.”
However boards aren’t restricted to the normal. This class, for example, was on brunch boards, and the Feb. 8 class is on the Lover Board, an attractive mixture of chocolate and cheeses.
Boards additionally transcend, properly, boards.
For instance, Jester typically covers a whole desk.
Listed here are some ideas and tips for brunch made simple.
Begin with butcher paper
The paper will defend the desk or linens and provides the “board” an outlined area. You can too use deli wrapping paper.
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Collect your serving items
You need not spend a lot.
Jester purchased two silver trays from a thrift store for $1.25 and retailers Goal for inexpensive dishes for catering gigs.
Select strong wooden or strong marble board — however not a combination.
Too typically, the marble comes free from the board.
“They don’t seem to be made properly,” he mentioned.
You will additionally want spreaders and tongs, which Jester buys on Amazon.
Use whipped cream cheese for spreads
A bath of cream cheese prices extra, Jester acknowledged.
“However it should make your life simpler, and you are going to whip it anyway,” he mentioned.
The cream cheese needs to be at room temperature earlier than you add seasoning.
Use seasoning blends
For quick taste, attain for a spice mix.
Jester likes Spiceology merchandise and used Actually Ranch and Every little thing Bagel for the demonstration. Nonetheless, use no matter mix you want, he mentioned.
Earlier than including the seasoning, flip the container the wrong way up and shake properly. Blends comprise particles of various sizes, the chef defined, and shaking them ensures they’re properly combined.
Add solely slightly at a time—you’ll be able to at all times add extra.
Jester used a stand mixer for the duty.
When carried out, unfold the combination on a reducing board. To make a chef’s “swoosh,” put a dollop down and drag a spoon by way of it.
Embrace comfortable bread
Crackers and crisp bread aren’t required.
Jester, for one, served comfortable baguettes.
“I like the feel — that is simply me,” he mentioned. However if you wish to toast them, by all means, toast them. Put them within the oven with Actually Ranch seasoning or Every little thing Bagel.”
Leverage premade dough
Whereas Jester made the cream cheese unfold, his assistant positioned Pillsbury cinnamon bun dough on a waffle maker and skewered the completed product like a kebab.
“You do not have to make every part from scratch,” Jester famous.
Certainly, he held up a roll of mini piecrusts with precut dough.
To make mini quiches, I pressed the dough into muffin tins.
Press the dough evenly into the corners so it does not pop up and change into a mini pizza, he mentioned. Fill empty cups with water to advertise even baking and forestall the pan from warping.
Jester additionally used premade biscuit dough, which he jazzed up with cinnamon and sugar.
After making use of an egg wash on the others, he sprinkled Every little thing Bagel combine on them.
When making biscuits from scratch, freeze the butter and use a cheese grater to include it into the combo for “increased, fluffier and extra scrumptious” biscuits, he mentioned.
Both method, do not grease the pan; it should burn the underside of the biscuits.
Add a pinch of salt
When the cooks made whipped mascarpone cheese with maple syrup, they added salt.
“It accents the candy flavors,” Jester defined.
Think about candied bacon
The standard American breakfast contains bacon or sausage, which does not work properly on a board.
That is as a result of bacon is greatest consumed when sizzling—until it is candied.
Cook dinner bacon till it is about 90% carried out and let it cool, Jester instructed.
Then warmth honey in a pot and, utilizing tongs, dip the bacon within the honey and transfer it to a rack to empty. Add seasoning and cook dinner the bacon in a 450-degree oven for about six minutes.
As for the sausage, select the onerous selection, Jester mentioned. Think about a kielbasa or summer season sausage, which is okay served at room temp.
Make breakfast sandwiches
For a savory contact, Jester made ham-and-cheese on mini croissants.
Different choices embrace smoked turkey, honey mustard and bacon on mini bagels and biscuits.
All about fruit
How have you learnt if a pineapple is ripe? Should you can scent a pineapple scent on the underside, it is going to be scrumptious, Jester mentioned.
For a melon, search for a deep indentation on the stem facet.
Slice off the highest and backside massive fruits to create a secure platform, and slice the peel or rind.
Since scooping the seeds can result in a ragged look, use a knife.
He additionally served strawberries. Maintain the stem intact, he mentioned. Company can use it as a deal with.
A board of any form normally contains cheese.
All the time put them out about an hour earlier than serving in order that they slice simpler.
For good brie slices, freeze the wheel simply lengthy sufficient to simply slice it, and put the sections on wax paper.
Carry it to room temperature earlier than inserting it on the board.
For a tough cheese, use a knife to interrupt off what Jester referred to as summary items.
“I do not like every part uniform,” he mentioned. “A salami rose, to me, signifies that somebody has dealt with the ever-loving crap out of it.”
Meeting is the ultimate step. In contrast to a small meat-and-cheese board, a table-wide board wants various heights to create curiosity.
Jester turned a wine rack on its facet to function a dais for a reducing board. (He positioned flowers and foliage in any empty holes. He additionally stacked biscuits and croissant sandwiches into pyramids.
With the ultimate touches in place, Jester stepped again. “And there we’ve it — our brunch board!” he mentioned to applause.
The hungry viewers swarmed the desk, and in below quarter-hour, little was left.
Throughout the board, the occasion was a hit.