At age 15, Cortney learned her Godmother’s golden hosting rule : always have fresh mozzarella, grapes and crackers on hand in the case of unexpected guests. Over the years, she elevated her new found love for cheeseboards. Whether it was a party, wedding or shower, Cortney was always the go to friend in the group for all things Cheese Boards. Thus, how Nashville Cheese Gal was born. Just recently passing the one year mark, NCG has grown to be a Well-known name in town. Whether making a grazing table for a celebrity wedding that was published in People Magazine or an intimate dinner party gathering, Nashville Cheese Gal is the go to gal in Nashville for all things Cheeseboards. I love Cortney, she’s amazing and was recently apart of my Favorite Things Show!
What have you been up to during this time?
I’m trying to get into the How To game, when all of this ends – I’ll officially be having my first Cheese Board Class, we’ll sell tickets and make one together. We should totally do an event at the store as well.
Is your dream to have your own place?
At the beginning of the year, YES. I was trying to pursue a place to actually house NCG. I took a step back for a sec and now all of this happened in the world. But yes, my dream would be to open up my own little store. I want to bring a little piece of Paris to Nashville.
Tell us about your family? I know sweet Toddler Cheese Gal is a hit.
I am from Dallas, born and raised and so is my husband. He plays for Dustin Lynch and now he is a producer/songwriter and he has two songs on the Sam Hunt album! He is killing it. Hahah Yes! Toddler Cheese Gal – yes, we make them together and she has them for lunch. She LOVES it and it’s a fun activity for us to do.
My husband and I also started an instagram called Quarantine Quinine – you know my husband is seriously an incredible cook. Now, he thinks he’s an influencer because of this instagram account – hahhaha
Where did the idea for Nashville Cheese Gal come from?
I literally make cheese boards for a living – the fact that I can say that outlaid is so bizarre for me. I always had this love for hosting and entertaining, I learned to make my first one at 15. I was was always the go to girl in my friend group to entertain and of course bring the cheese board. I like to take delicious food and make them really pretty. Right now during this time, I am tapping into a lot of “How To”.
I got into this a lot because of my husbands career. I tried so hard to be a stay at home mom, and my hat goes off to everyone right now who is a stay at home mom full time. I found myself in this place where I knew I had to do something else, I am super creative. Chris, threw out the idea on night at dinner – and I sat on that idea for about 6-8 months. Then one day, I got a phone call, she was Lauren Daigle’s tour manager and she wanted me to do a cheese board for her at the Ryman. That officially kicked it off. Nashville Cheese Gal was born. Instagram was really how I got up and running, it was really a snowball affect – like I don’t even have a website. I’m so grateful for it.
You can make a board out of anything – I am wanting to make a taco board.
CHEESE BOARD DEMO
BOARD: Dinner flat – anything with a flat surface, I also like something that has a lip on it so I can pack everything together
CHEESES: Aged English Cheddar, Triple Cream Brie, Manchego, Boursin, Pepperjack, Goat Cheese,
I love to mix up the cheeses, different flavor profiles and have a variety in textures, etc.
PRODUCE/HERBS: Whatever is in season – that will taste the best and look the best. I love using berries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.
Finding ways to elevate your cheese board is really what kicks it up a notch. For example, slicing a strawberry in half and displaying it that way.
- Candied Pecans
- Fresh Oregano
- Build your foundation – in this case that will be cheese first. I like to precut my hard cheeses. I cut up my cheddar, it makes it easier for your guests to eat. I add my brie, and manchego and start to build from there. I use the shape of the surface I’m working on. I love to fan things around my little bowls.
- Salami Flower- Fold it in half, then fold it again, then when you stack multiple together, it creates a flower like shape.
- Now, just like I fanned the cheddar, I will now fan my crackers and follow the round curves as well.
- Now this is where we will start to fill in the gaps.
- Now, we start to add our fruit- strawberries and black berries. Color wise, I like to be symmetric – if I start with red on one side, then I will go to the opposite side and add the same thing.
- Start filling in your gaps with your fruit, try to keep it balanced
- We add the candied pecans and fill in any little gaps that you may have
- Lastly and my favorite part, decorate with fresh herbs. I am using oregano because that’s what I had. We hid the stems and then let the leaves fan out.
If you’re going to make it in advance, leave off the crackers and leave off the nuts – 2 -3 hours should be your limit though. I would not recommend the day before.
BUILD YOUR OWN
some of my favorite quotes
if I can teach for a second to get out of your head, and forget about your problems – that’s worth it
cheese plates are self care
food brings people together