The Big Lesson Ina Garten Learned From Her First Cheese Board

Beloved by millions of fans, Ina Garten is known for her legendary entertaining skills and recipes. But even the most seasoned hosts and hostesses make mistakes, and Ina Garten is no exception. Sometimes it's a misstep when making key lime pie; sometimes it's an error with roast chicken, but today we're talking about cheese boards. Though Garten is a seasoned curator of cheese boards by now, that wasn't always the case for the Barefoot Contessa. In fact, her first attempt at a cheese board was less than perfect.

While no one would expect anything but carefully selected cheeses, crackers, and fruits arranged beautifully on a wooden board, Garten's first attempt was met with less than positive feedback from her friends. They actually took one look at the board and told her to take everything off and start over, according to a Barefoot Contessa video. They showed her how to place the grapes in the middle of the board and spread the cheeses out around the edges. 

Garten took their advice to heart and tried again resulting in a beautiful and elegant cheese board that her friends raved about. But you might wonder why exactly her friends' advice allowed her to become better at styling cheese boards.

Simple is best when it comes to cheese boards

The most important lesson that day was that cheese boards look best when they are simple. Garten's friends advised her to keep the board simple and not overcrowd it with too many items.

Garten says, "Do it really simply and beautifully, and then stop!"

Instead, by focusing on choosing a few high-quality cheeses and arranging them in an attractive way, you can create a stunning centerpiece for any party or gathering. It's also important to include a variety of textures and flavors, such as hard and soft cheeses, sweet and savory crackers, and fresh and dried fruits.

While Garten's first attempt at a cheese board may not have been her best, she certainly learned from her mistakes and went on to become a master entertainer. Her friends' advice to keep things simple and focus on high-quality ingredients is a lesson that we can all take to heart. So the next time you're putting together a cheese board, remember to do just that. Your guests will certainly thank you for it.