Salami Roses and Other Secrets

Kara Greenwood of Brevard Cheese makes up an Instagram-worthy plate.
Photo by Karin Strickland

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.”

Local artisanal cheeses and other bespoke products are the stars of Greenwood’s charcuterie boards.
Photo by Karin Strickland

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.

Photo by Karin Strickland

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.

Photo by Karin Strickland

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 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 for updates.

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