Food & Home

How to Make a Megasize Charcuterie Board for Fuss-Free Hosting

Written by: the Editors of goop


Published on: May 16, 2024

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As a child, Lebanese chef Edy Massih—owner of Edy’s Grocer in Brooklyn—spent endless hours in the kitchen with his two teitas (“grandmothers” in Arabic), who taught him to cook Middle Eastern and Mediterranean classics. They also showed him the art of hosting an excellent dinner party. For them, cooking was a way of life, not a means to an end.

Massih’s new cookbook, Keep It Zesty (out May 21), is brimming with inspiration for weeknight meals and weekend gatherings alike: We quickly bookmarked his Orangey Date Carrot Dip, Spatchcock Sumac Chicken, and Lemony Rosewater Cake.


Below, in an adapted excerpt from his upcoming release (plus a step-by-step video demo), Massih explains how to build his signature Brown Paper Board, the key to throwing a party that’s easy on the host and memorable for guests.


My signature Brown Paper Board, like most great ideas, happened by accident. During my first year of catering, I arrived at a photo shoot set and realized I’d forgotten some of my platters back at the kitchen. Someone on set had already laid brown butcher paper on my table, and my friend Ross McCallum, who was a stylist on the shoot, suggested arranging the food directly on the clean paper. I made a beautiful spread and grabbed a Sharpie to label it all. From that point on, I started trading in my platters for bulk rolls of brown paper. I’ve always believed food should be fun, accessible, and communal, so one board at a time my creativity grew. Here is everything you need to know to make your next gathering extra zesty.


It’s a visual centerpiece. With a simple piece of brown butcher paper, you can transform your boring table into a feast. You don’t need other table accessories, like vases or candles, to make your table look beautiful. Let the vibrant spread speak for itself. Using fresh, seasonal produce will add a pop of color, and edible flowers, herbs, and spices are the perfect garnish to dress up your table to make the board feel extra fancy.

It’s easily customizable. You can cater to everyone’s dietary restrictions. Vegan? Gluten-free? Not a problem. As you’re confirming your guest list, remember to ask for any dietary restrictions so you can include a little something for everyone. There is so much room for creativity. It doesn’t have to be limited to appetizers or cheese and charcuterie. You can make a board with meats, salads, bites, baked goods, mezze, pickles, and more. Fill up the board with affordable ingredients like baby carrots, radishes, lettuce, and celery to make entertaining on a budget easy. You can also put an entire meal on the table from an appetizer to dessert by dividing your board. (Let your guests decide if they want cake before dinner. It’s a party!) And, most importantly, your guests can enjoy the food leisurely at their own pace—even the friend who’s always late.

The setup and cleanup couldn’t be easier. Casual is the name of the game. It’s up to you what goes on a platter and what goes directly on the board. Use your finest china and silverware or serve on store-bought options (just try to be eco-friendly). Buy a large, cheap roll of brown butcher paper from your local craft store and use a marker to label each dish (and any dietary info) directly on the paper. Get all your prep work out of the way ahead of time so the board is already set up and ready to go by the time the first guest arrives. Instead of running back and forth to the kitchen, you can pour yourself a drink and enjoy the party. And after everyone leaves, cleanup is as simple as folding up the paper and tossing it. It really couldn’t be easier.


The best part of building the board is that it looks abundant and impressive, but it’s actually so simple to execute. I’ll walk you through the process one step at a time.

Step 1: Cut your brown paper. Begin with a clean, sturdy surface. Carefully cut a piece of brown butcher paper to cover the entire surface. Tape the edges down under the surface to keep it firmly in place.

Step 2: Plate. Place your mezze in separate bowls. I love a wide, shallow bowl for easy dipping. Level up your board by adding some larger dishes like meats, salads, or even dessert bites. Have fun with different colors, shapes, and sizes to add texture.

Step 3: Arrange. Arrange your bowls and plates across the paper, making sure there’s plenty of space between them. This sets the base for the rest of the board.

Step 4: Fill it up. The most fun part! Watch your spread come to life as you fill the space between the dishes with colorful crudités, breads, crackers, small bites, and flatbreads directly on the paper.

Step 5: Garnish. Complete your board by sprinkling herbs, spices, and seeds across your mezze.

Step 6: Dig in. I know that was a lot of work, so take a moment of gratitude to look at the beauty that you just made, snap a pic, maybe tag @edysgrocer, and make sure to enjoy with your loved ones. Yalla, sahtein to you all!


As a caterer, I find that everyone is always asking me how I know how much to make for a crowd. Luckily for you, I’ve included a few of my easy-to-follow formulas below, which will make planning your next zesty gathering quick, easy, and delicious.

Intimate Gathering (4 to 8 people): Bread and crudités, 3 or 4 dips, 1 or 2 appetizers, 1 main, 1 salad or grain, 1 dessert, and 1 drink.

Zesty Gathering (9 to 15 people): Bread and crudités, 4 to 6 dips, 2 appetizers, 2 mains, 1 salad or grain, 1 or 2 desserts, and 1 drink.

It’s a Party! (16+ people): Bread and crudités, 6 to 8 dips, 2 or 3 appetizers, 2 or 3 mains, 1 or 2 salads or grains, 2 desserts, and 1 or 2 drinks.


From the book Keep It Zesty. Copyright © 2024 by Edy Massih. Published on May 21 by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.


Massih’s cookbook is full of recipes you can use to build a Brown Paper Board. For more inspiration, we pulled a few board-worthy recipes from the goop archives.