A classic meat and cheese tray has been a staple at get-togethers for quite some time, but recently folks have been turning this relatively simple party fare into works of art. Charcuterie boards have taken the internet, hip restaurants, and backyard parties by storm. It’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t elevate a casual Friday night get-together with an aesthetically pleasing arrangement of cured meats, fancy cheeses, artisanal crackers and other tasty accouterments. This week, the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce is treating local foodies to an evening of food and fun at their first Battle of the Boards event.
Battle of the Boards will be held on Wednesday, June 16 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Wheeling Country Club. Tickets are $20 per person and include two drink vouchers, samples of several charcuterie boards, and other light refreshments. Tickets can be purchased from the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce’s website or by calling 304-233-2575.
This event was first conceived by the Chamber staff after noticing a growing interest in charcuterie boards. “We were brainstorming ideas that we thought would be fun to get the community involved and with the increase in charcuterie board popularity, what better event than one to let individuals and companies show off their board skills,” said Erikka Storch, president of the Wheeling Area Chambre of Commerce. “We are also excited to be able to network, socialize, and connect with those in the community who we have only been speaking to by phone and email.”
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So, how exactly will the best board be determined? Judges will arrive shortly before the event begins to make their selections, but there will also be a People’s Choice awards. Contestants will be split up into two categories – professional and amateur. The professional level is open to individuals, companies, and restaurants who prepare boards regularly as part of their business. Participants in this category include Rocco Basil, Valley Cheese, and Figatretti’s Restaurant. The amateur level is for folks who like to make boards at home and wish to share their talents with the community. There’s still time to sign up to compete – all you need to do is visit the Chamber’s website to register for $25.
Due to COVID and other safety concerns, tickets must be purchased in advance. Tables at the event will also be well-spaced to ensure guests have plenty of room to safely mingle. While we have all become accustomed to following COVID-19 safety protocol throughout the past year or so, it remains important to continue following best practices by wearing a mask if you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and staying home if you are not feeling well.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about this event, you can call 304-233-2575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Alex Panas is the Program Manager for Wheeling Heritage, where she works with artists, small business owners, and community stakeholders to provide technical assistance and create meaningful programs that enhance Wheeling. She also serves as the managing editor for Weelunk. Alex lives in St. Clairsville with her husband where they raise four cats and four spunky backyard chickens.