4 Hints to Master Charcuterie - The Art of Serving

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Kate Moynihan | 1 comment

Earlier I raved about the newest craze in entertaining: charcuterie.  To be successful at this French serving style, charcuterie, I learned there are four tricks of the trade to consider: texture, colors, shapes, and flavors. Hey, I thought to myself, this seems a lot like how I paint! I gave my latest composition a quick critique.

1.Texture: In the French presentation, it is encouraged to use a variety of textures from firm sausages to smooth pates. Crusty breads to whole grain crackers. The same is true in painting. Notice in my composition below the texture of the craggy wood grain of the barn adds interest to the composition. Subtle foreground textures add depth without competing with the focal point of the barn. A thumb’s up for texture.

2.Color: Pale yellow and golden cheeses pair well against the dark umber of sausages. Add the green of olives/pickles and this makes the presentation an analogous color scheme – three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel – a successful painterly tip.

3.Shapes: Slice cheese into triangles and rectangles. Roll meats into cylinders. Stack square and oval crackers. Yes, all these interesting shapes are in the art, too!

4.Flavor: Smoky, salty, and spicy cured meats tease your palette and blend deliciously with mild to strong cheeses and briny pickles and olives. I’m not sure my painting will please your palette, but I pulled the analogy of contrast from this tip. Charcuterie has flavor contrasts, whereas successful artwork. has value contrast. Notice how the light against dark value contrasts in the barn painting adds interest.

Maybe the tips of charcuterie will inspire you, too. I find it stimulating to discover new ways to critique, improve and grow. Bon appetite!

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  • Renee

    I love the way you express artistic design in food. This has inspired me to be creative for the next party I have. Thanks!


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