The Expert Behind the Grammys Charcuterie Shares Her Tips for Making the Best Board

Plus, get her opinion on butter boards and behind-the-scenes details on what it took to create charcuterie centerpieces for the Grammys.

Lauren Delp started her charcuterie business in 2019 after one of her meat and cheese creations turned out to be a hit at a preschool picnic. A fellow mom told her she had to sell them, and after getting past the skepticism, she quit her career in corporate advertising, made an Instagram account, and slowly began the process of putting up a website and getting her certifications. Fast forward four years, and Delp was tapped to serve her boards at the 2023 Grammys.

Adorned with deconstructed pears, hundreds of hand-cut kiwi stars, and a deliberate selection of cheeses, Delp’s charcuterie centerpieces weren’t only enjoyed by A-listers (yes, that includes Beyoncé) but also became an overnight social media sensation

Grammy charcuterie boards by Lauren Delp

Courtney Mongulla

“Just winning the contract was the dream of dreams, and I thought ‘My gosh, in the best case scenario, one of the celebs will take some pictures, post on Facebook, on Instagram, in a story, and maybe that becomes something,’” she says. “Never in a million years did I think I would wake up on Monday to thousands and thousands of reposts because I did a video of the whole process.”

Charcuterie table with candles and greenery

Courtney Mongulla

How The Silverlake Socialite Got Its Start

The first event Delp catered as Silverlake Socialite was a book launch party for the mom (who’s also an actress) who encouraged her to start a business. Around 100 people attended. While an event of that caliber was overwhelming, everything went well, and her actress friend posted her work on social media. After that, orders and opportunities began rolling in, like going on a cooking show and being featured in Martha Stewart.

When the pandemic hit, Delp initially thought, “‘Well, this is over. No one’s ordering food. No one’s leaving their house; no one’s having parties,’” she says.

She was wrong.

“Actually, it was like a really great opportunity — people were home and had nothing to do, and they weren’t going to dinner,” she says. “And they still wanted to celebrate anniversaries, and they still wanted to send their mom a board for her birthday. So I was actually busy all of COVID.”

The Silverlake Socialite is now a brick and mortar in Los Angeles, and Delp has been delivering artisan boards and grazing tables locally for the past few years. A couple weeks ago, she got an unexpected order that has since changed her business, and her life: catering for the Grammy Awards. 

Extravagant charcuterie board at the 2023 Grammys

Courtney Mongulla

Creating Boards for The 2023 Grammys

Delp received an email about a week and a half before the awards ceremony, on a Wednesday at midnight, titled “Grammys: Urgent,” asking her to do the boards for the nominee tables. Apparently, she says, her charcuterie boards had been ordered for a party at J.Lo’s house in the past (which she was unaware of), and a producer of the show saw it and discovered her business.

“I replied immediately, ‘Yes’ and then literally sat until like one in the morning you know, just processing,” Delp says.

The turnaround was extremely quick, with Delp drawing up a mockup of a custom board and meeting with CBS producers and executives. Luckily they loved her ideas, and made just a few tweaks to fit with their very specific vision: No meat (many celebrities are vegetarian), nothing sticky, and no strong-smelling cheeses. (She actually had to push to have any cheese at all.)

Because everything had to be fresh, Delp and her team couldn’t start the order until three days before the ceremony. They prepped everything on Friday, worked a 17-hour day Saturday, and delivered on Sunday. She barely slept.

“To have 25 beautiful green pears meant that we had to buy 250 pears, because they would deliver them and I’m like ‘Nope, they’re bruised.’ And then we were backstage the day of the Grammys, unwrapping them for two and a half hours and then readjusting so that everything looked perfect,” Delp says.

The response to her work on social media after the event floored Delp just as much as the order itself. A video she shared of the start-to-finish process went viral after thousands of people reposted it, saying things like “I’m so proud of you,” and “I own a small business, and you’ve inspired me.” This TikTok from creator @Im_Alicia_, who attended the Grammys and raved about Delp’s board, currently has more than 100,000 views and 20,000 likes. 

“My heart is like — I can't believe the love and how people from afar, total strangers, are rooting for me,” Delp says. “I'm endlessly grateful because for anyone to care that much about anybody else, let alone a complete stranger — especially competitors — yeah, I’m so touched.”

Delp’s Best Board Tips and 2023 Charcuterie Trends

Let’s set the record straight: Delp is personally not on board with the butter board

However, she’s a fan of other types of boards — Silverlake Socialite now offers a caviar board, and she really wants to try out a pickled board this year.  

“There’s a lot of different ways to do this, and I think each company kind of has their own unique style,” Delp says. “I think that people are really trying to innovate all the time, so now it’s not just about the charcuterie board. It’s like, ‘Well, is it the butter board?’ We recently introduced the caviar board. And I think that to stay relevant really with anything, you have to keep evolving.”

Lauren Delp holding veggie board

Courtney Mongulla

When it comes to taking a charcuterie board from good to great, the first piece of advice Delp has is quality of ingredients. Get a nice combination of cheeses — soft and hard, goat and cow, etc. — and be deliberate about your selections. Don’t include pretzels or super buttery crackers (which are great to snack on on their own, she points out, but aren’t the most elevating). Whether you’re a novice or the go-to person for designing a board when a gathering is held, she recommends focusing on quality over quantity. Get three great cheeses (like a French brie, mimolette, or montego) and one box of really nice Italian crackers.

It’s also important to think about incorporating color and creating contrast: Strawberries for a touch of red, and pistachios for some green. Delp loves using garnishes to add movement and artistry, which she does by sprinkling blueberries on top or including a sprig of rosemary, for example. Avoid putting everything in a straight line, and don’t be afraid to experiment with placement and ingredients.

“The beauty of charcuterie boards or cheese boards is that you're not really tied to just cheese, fruit, nuts, and crackers,” she says. “You can absolutely tailor it to what you like. But variety is the whole thing that people love, that they can pick from all these items.”

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