Linda Hopkins moves with efficiency through the kitchen, gliding between the refrigerator and granite-topped island where she assembles a stunning cheese and charcuterie board highlighted by fresh strawberries, a mini wheel of Brie and a smattering of prosciutto di Parma. Hopkins, who spent the last 30 years working with Barbara Fenzl at Les Gourmettes Cooking School, started Harmony Boards last year when she learned Fenzl was going to shutter the beloved Phoenix institution.
Now, Hopkins fashions beautiful spreads for all occasions, chock-full of fruit, cheese, cured meats and seasonal vegetables dotted with nuts, olives and honeycomb. Each delivery-only board is different ($70 for small; $160 for medium), but she always starts with leaves from her fig tree, followed by cheese and meat. “Then I fill in with fruits and nuts. I like to cover the whole board.”
Hopkins eyeballs the almost-finished board, and doesn’t like the positioning of the cheese. Without upsetting the platter’s feng shui, she adds candied orange and lemon slices to the border, along with a handful of chocolate-covered almonds. To finish, she snips flowers and herbs from her garden and places them carefully on the board, then wraps and boxes it for delivery ($15 charge). And the board itself? You get to keep it.