Why Antonia Lofaso Still Loves Butter Boards (And Her Brunch Take On The Trend)

Butter boards may have followed the classic arc of TikTok trends by exploding in popularity, then facing backlash in less than a year, but one person who still loves the trend is Antonia Lofaso. The owner and chef behind restaurants like Black Market Liquor Bar and Scopa Italian Roots, Lofaso is a Los Angeles culinary star and an enthusiastic presence on Food Network shows like "Top Chef: All-Stars". Tasting Table recently caught up with Lofaso and fellow L.A. chef Brooke Williamson at the 2023 New York Wine and Food Fest, where the conversation ranged from air fryers to their favorite meals of the year. One point of disagreement between them popped up when we asked about food trends, with Williamson calling butter boards one of her least favorite while Lofaso defended them as a nice treat.

When asked by a surprised Williamson why she still likes butter boards, Lofaso said that she makes a brunchy cream cheese board, saying, "It's basically like a smoked salmon bagel, but you can dip." With Lofaso, there isn't too much of a need for overly complicated defenses, she just likes them. She specifically enjoys the pleasing aesthetics of a butter board, saying, "It's pretty! When you do the little things sectioned off." Despite disagreeing, Williamson couldn't argue too much, conceding that Lofaso is "pro everything! She has such a great attitude."

Antonia Lofaso sees butter boards as a fun way to make an enticing spread

Lofaso's smoked salmon-inspired cream cheese take on the butter board shows just how versatile and creative the trend can be. Since the dish sprang up from social media just last year, there aren't really any rules for butter boards. The only thing they need is some kind of buttery base softened to a spreadable consistency and combined with anything that would taste good smeared over a slice of quality bread. The original viral snack was topped with salt, lemon zest, herbs, honey, and sliced red onions.

If you want to follow in Lofaso's footsteps and create your own butter board, there are only a few things to take note of. Salt is essential, and items that add brightness (like the lemon zest in the original recipe) really elevate the fatty butter. You should also be looking to add texture, whether it's the crunch of radish or some toasted nuts. From there, you can go wild. You could make another breakfast-inspired spread with everything bagel seasoning, you could go sweet with fruit or jam, or you could go spicy with chili paste and garlic. And of course, like Lofaso's cream cheese version, there are plenty of non-butter riffs on the board. If you embrace the fun of the butter board, there isn't much you can't do.