Finishing cutting boards for restaurant use.

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Forum topic by JoshuaJCox posted 12-18-2012 05:53 AM 1189 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 2262 days

12-18-2012 05:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cutting board cheese board finish restaurant

Hey guys, I need your wealth of expertise.

I currently work in a fine dining restaurant and have been asked by the executive chef if I could come up with some cool cutting boards/cheese boards for his charcuterie appetizers to be presented upon. I know there are dozens of threads on here about which finish to use for cutting boards, but I was wondering what finish I should go with in this case. The boards will be used A LOT and will be constantly washed. I know the oil-finished boards need to be hand washed and re-oiled continuously, but I wasn’t sure if there was some sort of alternative that may require less maintenance but still be presentable to guests?

Any suggestions?

6 replies so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3306 days

#1 posted 12-18-2012 08:16 AM

Here is an article you might want to read by thewoodwhisperer Josh. Due to the amount of rewashing you are stating these boards would be going through, a salad bowl finish might be the best option.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View MattADK's profile


28 posts in 2586 days

#2 posted 12-19-2012 12:03 AM

I was a chef for years, and you might want him to check that the health department won’t flip over these. They are trained to not like wood, and they don’t care how knowledgeable you are about finishes when they are being pressured to put the red pen on their write ups.

-- Matt

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2684 days

#3 posted 12-19-2012 12:32 AM

I would use a combination of beeswax and mineral oil, (20-80 split). Warm the wood in the oven or nuke to about 120°F, warm the mixture the same, (it will be pretty solid), rub it in everyday using a piece of old tee shirt, (wash it first).

BTW, the warm beeswax will put off a comforting smell, is antimicrobial, as is the wood, and as far as I can tell, not one health problem in the country stems from the use of wood except for nut allergies.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3885 days

#4 posted 12-19-2012 01:55 AM

To me , the finish would all depend upon whether they would actually be used as cutting boards , or just serving boards.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View JoshuaJCox's profile


16 posts in 2262 days

#5 posted 12-19-2012 03:15 AM

Thanks for all the input! I love how everyone on here is friendly and genuinely wants to help!

David, that article was good stuff – I had forgotten that I had watched that guy’s video where he explained his method. Thanks for reminding me!

Matt, you very well may be right. The way I see it, though, is that I’m just the craftsman and the whole regulation thing is above my pay-grade. : ]

Thanks again and Merry Christmas to you all!

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2290 days

#6 posted 12-19-2012 07:18 PM

One idea I’ve got for a tough finish is to coat it with epoxy. That should be able to take a pretty good beating. Most finishes are food safe once they are fully cured. If you’re going to be using those boards mostly for presentation than you can put more or less anything you want on them. If you’re going to be cutting on them though you’re probably best off with beeswax and mineral oil as the others have suggested. You don’t want to be munching on flakes of epoxy

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