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The Perfect Bajan Cheese Board

Photo by Julie-Ann Maughan

WE FOOD

Chef Dane's Perfect Cheese Board
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By Julie-Ann Maughan

21/02/2021                               10 min read

Creating a cheese board may seem simple but it requires a balance of flavours to ensure it cuts the mustard. I sat down with Executive Chef Dane Saddler of Caribbean Villa Chefs for his professional take on creating a cheese board that everyone is sure to love. This Bajan chef has been making a name for himself with his impressive dishes and he gave me some no-fail tips that I used to make a winning cheese board.

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Chef Dane Saddler

Photo courtesy of

Caribbean Villa Chefs

Julie-Ann: So tell me a little about yourself. How long have you been in the industry?

Chef Dane: I’ve been a chef for about twenty plus years. I studied at the island’s hotel school and while I was there I entered competitions such as the World Food Day Competition. I also entered the local NIFCA competition and was the youngest winner of ‘The Enid Maxwell Award’. Winning these competitions motivated me to continue in the industry. I continued my culinary education in Miami, after which I worked at various hotels locally, regionally and internationally. Eventually I decided I wanted to branch out on my own and started Caribbean Villas Chefs in 2012, which has opened a number of doors for me and has allowed me to travel to Australia, Fuji and many other destinations. 

Julie-Ann: How would you describe your style of cooking?

Chef Dane:  I would say it is Caribbean fusion. Caribbean foods being the base and I try to incorporate other cuisines. 

Try the Perfect Bajan Cheese Board

Photo by Julie-Ann Maughn

Julie-Ann: So what is a cheese board and how should I go about creating one?

Chef Dane: A cheese board is a complement for a meal, usually given after lunch or dinner. It usually has three cheeses: a soft cheese like a brie or goat cheese, a medium cheese like a cheddar and a firm cheese such as parmesan. If you are creating a board for a general audience, variety is key. Note: cheese is high in fat, and fatty foods tend to absorb a lot of scents. So placement of the cheese on the board is important so as not to absorb the flavours of other foods on the board. 

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Julie-Ann: Besides cheese, what are three things that every cheese board should have?

Chef Dane: Fruits such as grapes, strawberries are good to include on a board, also jams and nuts. Jams should not be too sweet and unsalted nuts are best as the salt would take away from the flavour of the cheeses. 

Julie-Ann: So where can we find out more about what Chef Dane is up to?

Chef Dane: You can find me on Facebook or Instagram as I prepare meals, if anyone is looking to get a little relief from cooking. 

After my insightful tips from Chef Dane, I was off to create a beautiful cheese board. 

So what do you think? Do I deserve an A+?

Try the Perfect Bajan Cheese Board

Photo by Julie-Ann Maughn

The Perfect Bajan Cheese Board

Ingredients

8 slices Hatchman’s Scotch Bonnet Cheddar

8 slices Hatchman’s Drunken Cheddar 

4 oz Hatchman’s Plain Goat Cheese

¼ cup grapes 

3 strawberries 

¼ cup unsalted cashews

¼ cup unsalted almonds 

Stewed guavas

Wibisico Eclipse Dippers crackers

Wibisco Eclipse Oats and Bran crackers 

Instructions

  1. Arrange all the ingredients on a platter or wooden board. 

  2. Enjoy. 

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