Gourmage owner Stephanie Richardson made her first wedding cheese cake after an English customer suggested the idea to her.
“It was his second marriage and his now-wife’s second marriage, so they both wanted something a little different,” Richardson recalled.
Accepting the challenge, she and her team crafted a stunning “cake” stacked with English cheese wheels, a nod to the groom’s heritage. Since then, Gourmage—owned by Richardson since 2010—has produced dozens of these showstoppers. She describes her typical cake clients as people who “like a sense of adventure” and are looking for something unconventional.
It’s unclear who came up with this creation first, but in 2002, The Fine Cheese Co. produced its first cheese wheel cake for the wedding of one of its own mongers. Since then, this shop in Bath, England, has fulfilled cake orders for more than 5,000 brides and grooms. The trend has picked up stateside in recent years, with small and large shops and producers offering their own impressive cheese towers.
The cheese cake possibilities are literally endless. With hundreds of wheels out there to choose from, the selection stage might be overwhelming for even the most fervent caseophiles. However, there are several ways to get started. One of the easiest options is ordering an already-constructed cake online. Another method, touted by wedding blogs and food sites, is constructing your own tiered masterpiece; check out our own tips here. Alternatively, you can visit your favorite cheese shop for some guidance. Some stores, such as Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provisions in Hudson Valley, N.Y., encourage tasting sessions. Meanwhile, Richardson says most of her customers put a lot of faith in the cheesemonger’s tastes.
Choosing accompaniments is another fun step in the process. Couples can serve the classic crackers or bread, or go all out with jams, pickles, fruits, and charcuterie.
These cheesy centerpieces aren’t just for weddings, either; they appear at events ranging from bridal showers to birthdays. Regardless of how simple or extravagant the cheese cake is, it’s sure to grab everyone’s attention, no matter the occasion.