Cured meats & cheese boards, vegetable trays – we’ve seen them at nearly every party we’ve been to since we were kids. Yet Lady & Larder has completely changed the way we view & enjoy these boards. Known for their aesthetically pleasing spin on the classic board (aka Instgrammability) & using high quality ingredients from small, local vendors, Lady & Larder has completely changed a once expected tray into a highly coveted treat.
Sarah, the lady herself behind Lady & Larder alongside her brother & sister, has worked as a private chef for years & has been trained at the infamous Le Cordon Bleu. She started creating the trays for catering & private chef work years back & after getting numerous requests, decided the boards in & of themselves were a business. Following her dad’s advice of finding a way to turn a hobby into a career, Sarah has now created a cheese & charcuterie empire with fans such as Mandy Moore, Giada De Laurentiis, & Molly Sims. “Don’t quit your day job,” she jokes, “I still work 5-6 days a week as a private chef at night.” Her style of cooking for private clients & her style of creating the boards go hand-in-hand. “My style is very farm to table, not doing much to them [the ingredients]. If you do the extra legwork for sourcing, you reap the benefits [in taste].” You can often find Sarah & her family sourcing ingredients for Lady & Larder at multiple weekly farmers markets. She laughs remembering the time her son, whose first word was very on brand… “cheese”, was in a stroller & they filled the bottom, cup holders – every space possible with fresh produce until it all spilled over. “Sometimes it takes a little disaster for you to realize you have to make an adjustment,” Sarah notes. While referring to something as simple as a cart, Sarah can apply the same words to starting a business. She notes how the entire process was, & still is, a learning curve, however, she sticks to the advice of, “If you’re scared, that’s a good sign. If I feel nervous or scared about it, I just say yes.” Saying yes has allowed Sarah a plethora of opportunities in the past few years & upcoming one: the first Lady & Larder brick & morter store located in Los Angeles, inclusion in the coveted cookbook Savor, & a monthly cheese club that is currently in the works along with their “Secret Sandwich Society” that will launch soon allowing you the very best breads & toppings to enjoy from the experts themselves.
Speaking of experts, Sarah recommends every chef, even a home chef, have a peeler & mandolin in their kitchen. They’re her go-to tools for creating boards & preparing vegetables. She also notes you should always place veggies in cold water for at least 24 hours before consuming as it will help them get super crisp & refreshing. If you’re looking to recreate one of Sarah’s boards at home, she recommends you start with the hummus or center dip first & then place larger pieces of vegetables or items at the bottom of the tray & build your way up & out. The last step is to come around the edges with smaller items such as sliced radishes & edible flowers. We highly recommend attempting a board on your own, however, there’s something truly special about ordering one from Lady & Larder themselves as you know you’re supporting all local businesses, farmers & families when doing so. Plus, their store is filled with all the cheese, honey, nuts, jams, candles, & fresh bread you could ever want…
Favorite cheese of the moment?
Detroit Street Brick Cheese from Zingerman’s
How did your partnership with Williams-Sonoma come about?
They reached out in January of last year & said they were fans. They said they saw our site & our curation & they said ‘We’ve been looking for you, we’re just looking for someone who is curating vendors the way you are, with your selection & overall position. What can we do together?’. It took about 10 months & they were so supportive.
How do you find new vendors?
Farmers markets, research, reading, etc.
- seasonal veggies
- 1 cup hummus
- drizzle of EVOO (L&L love Brightland)
- ¼ cup roasted chickpeas
- edible fresh flowers
- Wash & chop all your veggies. Arrange them in closely next to one another (they tend to cluster a few of the same veggie in one spot) or overlapping on board until you can no longer see the base of the board. Leave fist size hole in center of board to fill with hummus.
- Once board is lined with veggies, place hummus directly onto board in the center of tray. Drizzle with a bit of EVOO & sprinkle on some roasted chickpeas. Serve & enjoy!
SHOP THIS POST:
PIN FOR LATER:
*Editing by Rob Lee.
**Images via Shannan Leigh for Public Lives, Secret Recipes.