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The Perfect Cheese Plate

An Interview with Ahmad Nourzad

There are literally thousands of combinations of cheese that can be found on a cheese plate.  The key is not only knowing how to pick the right three cheeses to use but, what to put with them to create the perfect nosh.  Affairs to Remember, one of Atlanta's premier catering companies, is known for their amazing cheese plates and clever combinations.  Ahmad Nourzad, Executive Chef of Affairs to Remember, and I recently had a chance to chat cheese;  here are some of his fun insights on what to include to create the perfect cheese plate!

SOK:  What are your three favorite cheeses and why?

AN:   I love triple cream camembert, how can you go wrong with 75% butterfat.  I would also always include Valdeon, it is a super mild and extremely favorable blue cheese that is not so strong and pairs with everything.  I also love a good creamy feta, I prefer goat's milk feta because of the super creamy texture it has compared to regular feta.

SOK:   Besides cheese, what are three things that every cheese plate should have?

AN:     In my mind every cheese plate needs to have either fresh or dried fruit as well as perfectly seasoned nuts, and fresh crusty bread.  The perfect cheese plate has a room temperature cheese selection, some quince paste and an assortment of artisan breads and crackers.  

SOE:  What wines are perfect to serve with cheese?

AN:    Big, sharp, nutty cheeses paired with big, bold wines or mild, fresh cheeses paired with delicate, light bodied wines are both examples of complementary choices.  Think mild with mild and wild with wild.