As the weather warms and social calendars start to blossom again, entertaining responsibilities are also going to return anew. In times like this, it’s good to keep an easy recipe in your back pocket, whether you’re hosting or attending.

Behold the charcuterie board. A choose-your-own-adventure kind of appetizer, or aperitivo hour complement, the charcuterie board is a low-effort crowd pleaser.

We asked chefs from around the country to offer their expert advice on how to build the perfect charcuterie board for your entertaining needs. 

Start with a Theme

While a good charcuterie board is an edible menagerie, you want to make sure everything’s going to go together coherently. “Pick a theme, whether it’s Italian, French, Scandinavian,” says Doug Psaltis, chef and partner of RPM Italian and RPM Steak in Chicago.

Condiments are Mandatory

Every chef recommends including mustard in your charcuterie spread. Which kind you choose is up to you. “Thiercelin Green Apple Mustard strikes the right balance of sweet and tart,” says Psaltis.