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Watch Afrim Pristine make an epic cheese board

Afrim Pristine, maître fromager at Toronto's Cheese Boutique, shows us how to make a sensational cheese board In the Kitchen with Foodism.

Serves 4

Preparation time 15 minutes

For the finalé of our In the Kitchen with Foodism series, we invite you inside the home of Toronto cheese legend, the God of gouda, Cheese Boutique maître fromager, Afrim Pristine. Every cheese has a story, and in this episode, Pristine shows you how to build a cheese board that you won't be able to put down — but you totally should because your guests are waiting and no one likes a cheese hog.

Down the street from Afrim Pristine's home kitchen is Toronto's beloved Cheese Boutique, where he has worked for most of his life — his family first opened the store over 50 years ago. Just like the many wheels and slices it houses, the Cheese Boutique keeps getting better with age. From funky blue stilton to a vault that stores some of the world's longest-aged wheels, the treasured shop is a cheese lover's emporium that has four generations of Pristines currently working there.

Today, Afrim Pristine is the big cheese who oversees the day-to-day operations and co-owns the very store he grew up in. In 2013, he became the world's youngest maître fromager at the age of 33. He treats his title more like a duty than an honour, sharing his passion for cheese and giving his all because cheese has given so much to him.

As much as we would love to put 500 types of cheese on our board, we're not the experts here. Let Pristine talk cheesy to you and show you how it's done. In this episode, learn how to expertly pair your cheese with accoutrements like a beautiful honeycomb, local Ontario maple butter and, of course, vino from our friends at Principle Fine Wines. Because what's a cheese board without some wine? A Christmas tree without lights? Santa without his — you get the point.

Check out the video above to watch Afrim Pristine create the cheese board of our dreams.

Ingredients

  • Hay Hay My My pecorino from Tuscany
  • Midnight moon goat cheese from California
  • Chabichou goat cheese from France
  • Bleu d'Élizabeth from Quebec
  • Old Amsterdam gouda
  • Spanish Marcona almonds
  • Prosciutto di Parma
  • Ontario honeycomb
  • Fruit nut crisps
  • Crostini
  • Baguette
  • Mixed Italian Cerignola olives
  • Ontario pure maple butter
  • Amedei Toscano Black 63% Dark Chocolate

Method

  1. Slice each cheese differently so you have a variety of textures.
  2. Place the cheese from mildest to strongest. You want to end with a big, aromatic cheese like blue cheese. 
  3. Present the meat according to different varieties, consistencies and textures as well. 
  4. Add olives and the other accoutrements — the acidic and sweet items cut the saltiness and fatiness of the cheese and cured meat.
  5. Pair your cheese with the wine and enjoy!
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