A lot of folks picked up new hobbies during the heights of the pandemic lockdowns. For some people, it was learning guitar or piano; for others it was woodworking, gardening, or figuring out sourdough starters. But design-savvy Kara Greenwood of Brevard found a way to satisfy both culinary and artistic urges: Her inspiration manifested in charcuterie and cheese boards. What started as an Instagram account boasting lavish platters overflowing with artisanal meats and cheeses has grown into something of a job with her brand Brevard Cheese. Greenwood hosts in-home classes on how to spruce up one’s own cheese plates, wine-and-cheese pairings, and hors d’oeuvres for small gatherings. She also leads demonstrations at Cedar Mountain Outpost, a high-concept gas station/deli/coffee shop on Greenville Highway. But her “end-all be-all” goal, she says, is a shop of her own — “maybe in about 12 or 18 months.”
So how did charcuterie boards become your thing?
My dad’s dad immigrated from Denmark, and every Sunday we would have a smorgasbord for dinner: leftovers, whatever was in the fridge, just done up neatly on a big board. So I grew up eating cheese boards every Sunday with all of the leftover liverwurst or whatever else was in the fridge. So when the whole charcuterie-board-at-home thing [became popular] during the pandemic, I thought, “I could do that,” and just started doing it for fun and posting the pictures [on social media]. It blew up! It was kind of shocking how fast I got followers, and how much there was a need for cheese in this area.
So how do you take it from Instagram to the real world?
I go to private residences and do wine-and-cheese pairings, where we do an interactive learning session in their home with family members, or I’ve also done bridal showers and bachelorette parties.
Are you a trained chef?
I like to think of myself as a food stylist in a sense, in that I can show you how to get an aged square of cheese from the grocery store, cut it, and place it on a board diagonally in a way that makes it look elevated. There are ways to practice that at home. Whether you’re having a dinner party or Christmas or Thanksgiving, and you want to put a board together, this is a way for people to learn that and do that for themselves. People love the DIY aspect — learning unique ways to cut things, or how to make a rose out of salami, for example.
In the interest of keeping it local, where do you go for unique cheese?
Brevard is so small, and a lot of people don’t have time to find cheese, so that’s what I do. Today I went to Hendersonville, and I went to the Co-op, and Fresh Market, and I was able to get some amazing cheeses, things that you can’t find at the bigger supermarkets in Brevard — lots of local cheeses that [may be hard to find]. I love finding local cheeses, but unfortunately, you have to drive for them. I’m obsessed right now with Three Graces Dairy out of Marshall [sold at the Hendersonville Co-op]. There has not been a single cheese from them that I haven’t liked.
Reach Kara Greenwood through @BrevardCheese on Instagram or e-mail email@example.com. Brevard Cheese will host an event at Cedar Mountain Outpost (8431 Greenville Hwy., Brevard) in January for the new year; see the store’s Facebook page, call 828-884-8120, or visit cedarmountainoutpost.com for updates.