In fashion, photography, and design, it is often said that the backdrop or setting can make or break a masterpiece. This thought can be applied to a beautiful selection of cheeses awaiting display. How, and on what they appear, can truly influence the outcome.
Wood is both classic and up-to-the-moment. It has been said to have the magic to impart strong emotions and memories. Ultimately, people also gravitate towards that which reflects nature and the fundamental harmony it represents.
As such, artisanal cheese, of ancient roots, by age-old tradition, of pureness and simplicity, seems perfect with wood. But of the thousands of tree species in our world, only a handful are well suited to be used for this purpose. They should be hardwood, and of tight grain. Maple, walnut, and cherry are a few that fit this bill. But along with the proper wood, it also takes the eye and the hand of a wood artist to first envision the aesthetic promise, and then to bring out the hidden glory. At La Jolie we have been very lucky to have joined with Rick Collins of Gormley, Ontario… a true artisan whose works have become the most desired, readily recognized, and synonymous with excellence.
As the holiday season approaches, I hope you find great satisfaction in preparing for your guests. I know that as I arrange cheese on boards, I am drawn by the beauty of what lies right in front of me… the works of the artisan both of cheese and of wood.