Alex Guarnaschelli Gives Us The Hallmarks Of A Truly Great Charcuterie Board - Exclusive

Alex Guarnaschelli geeks out over charcuterie boards, which you know already if you follow the Iron Chef on The Gram. This year, she'll bring her enthusiasm for the appetizer to Fare, her restaurant that's on-site at The US Open. The celeb chef told Tasting Table in an exclusive interview, it's there that she'll prepare a charcuterie board with a classic soppressata (a spicy salami) and prosciutto.

But your charcuterie board need not follow her exact recipe to be supreme. Specific components aside, the chef looks for three hallmarks for a truly great assembly.  Guarnaschelli's expert advice when putting together the classic app is to create "variety in the experience," she shares. It should be kind of like a carnival ride, you know? One part makes your stomach dip, one part is fun, one part makes you glad when it's over, [and also] I'm so excited to do it all again."

The ingredients Guarnaschelli prefers on her charcuterie boards

To create an Alex Guarnaschelli-approved carnival ride of a board, she advised us to seek out something spicy, along with a "barnyard" component — like some salty olives and jam. And whether it's crudo or cheese, follow her advice on Twitter and avoid lining your board with cheap ingredients, as (like the cubed offerings themselves), she says they're "dicey."

As for your charcuterie cheeses? On Food Network's Youtube channel, the culinary icon once made an impressive board with a soft-ripened La Tur, Gruyere, Parmigiano Reggiano (in Guarnaschelli's lexicon, "god's nectar"), and gorgonzola. On that occasion, the celebrity chef paired her cheeses with fennel salami, soppressata, prosciutto, mortadella, grapes, black olives, honey, and bread. Don't stress out if you can't find Guarnaschelli's preferred charcuterie components — she certainly won't. As she advised her Insta followers, "Choose whatever fruits, nuts, vegetables, cheese, pickles you like. Have fun with it."