Block Island Charcuterie
Kaleigh Bernier traces her love for charcuterie to the theater. In non-pandemic times she is a stage manager on Broadway. She traces her love of Block Island to her father, who has been coming to the island since he was a baby. Bernier has been coming here since she was a baby too, summering at Twin Maples for many years before the family built a house on the island. The combination of these two loves has resulted in Block Island Charcuterie.
When the pandemic hit New York City and shut down Broadway, Bernier relocated to the family home on Block Island to weather the storm. It was her first winter here, and she says she absolutely loved it. “It’s just so peaceful,” she said, although she quickly realized there was nowhere on the island to get a good charcuterie appetizer plate.
Bernier relayed that when working in the theater, “cheeseplate dinners” are a mainstay, as the cast and crew rush around in between shows, with little time to eat. The delectable cheeses, sweet fruits and vegetables, and smoky cured meats are an enticing treat no one can resist, and there is a constant stream of interns running back and forth from Trader Joe’s and other mainland retailers to replenish the charcuterie boards.
Bernier spent the winter reaching out to local New England farms, making connections with cheese producers and farmers in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. She said that hearing how passionate some of the farmers are about their products and listening to the vast array of knowledge they have, really hit home for her, and helped galvanize her resolve to locally source her charcuterie. She has four farms she works with on the mainland to provide the meats and cheeses, and she uses fresh vegetables grown at the 1661 Farm and Gardens on Block Island. Bernier has also partnered with Farmstead Refreshments food truck, using their site to prepare the charcuterie boards for customer pickup.
Bernier receives her meat and cheese inventory from the mainland as needed, and the farms send what they have in season. She says this results in each board being unique, and she really enjoys the artistry of creating each one with the freshest ingredients available.
Bernier is staying busy, providing charcuterie boards for individuals and family events, as well as larger occasions such as weddings. She thinks upcoming outdoor beach events such as live music at Blues on the Beach and movie nights by Soundwaves will both be the perfect opportunities for people to pick up a charcuterie board to enjoy.
The made-to-order arrangements come in a variety of sizes and are displayed on hand crafted East Indian Walnut boards or on recyclable palm leaf platters. Ordering is done online at farmsteadrefreshments.com/charcuterie
Block Island Charcuterie requests 24 hour notice on orders, and orders are picked up at Farmstead Refreshments on Spring Street.