An Epic Southern Take on the Viral Butter Board Trend

Whether you think it’s genius or gross, the butter board trend is taking TikTok by storm—and this Southern surf-n-turf masterpiece is over-the-top perfection

Think of a butter board like a cheese board, but instead of Manchego and prosciutto, you’re slathering it with a butter base and layering it with seasonings and garnishes. This viral trend has taken over social media, and we figured—given that butter is squarely in the Southern wheelhouse—it’s about time a Southern chef weighs in. “Honestly my first reaction was: that seems unnecessary. I even texted one of my chef friends about it being silly,” says Nathan Hood, the culinary director for Basic Projects, which encompasses Sullivan’s Fish Camp, Post House, and Basic Kitchen in and around Charleston, South Carolina. “But after I started thinking about it more, I realized it could be appetizing if you added in toppings that made it more of a meal. At the end of the day, I’ll always take the opportunity to eat something with butter as the star of the show.” 

Hood’s issue with a lot of the boards he’s seen is that they’re just covered in edible flowers, which are beautiful but don’t provide much in terms of flavor and texture. So, in creating his own epic take, he worked to incorporate acid, heat, and texture so each bite would be balanced. The result is an oyster-infused butter base topped with steak, blue crab, trout roe, Old Bay, arugula, and marigolds. Extravagant? Perhaps. But totally worth it. Try Hood’s recipe for the oyster butter base. We’ll leave the toppings up to you.


  • Sullivan’s Fish Camp Oyster Butter (Yield: 10–15 servings)

    • ¼ lb. oysters

    • ¼ lb. chicken fat (reserved from cooking or from butcher)

    • 1 shallot, chopped

    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

    • 1 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature

    • 1 tbsp. garlic powder

    • 1 tbsp. onion powder

    • 1 tbsp. hot sauce (Hood recommends Crystal)

    • 2 tsp. fish sauce

    • 2 tsp. liquid smoke

    • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Smoke oysters for about an hour (or purchase pre-smoked oysters from a quality purveyor).

  2. Warm chicken fat in a saucepan then add shallot and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add oysters to the saucepan, then transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Let cool.

  3. To a stand-up mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the oyster mixture, room temperature butter, and all remaining ingredients. Whip slowly until it starts to incorporate, then turn up the speed and continue mixing until the mixture is light and fluffy. 

  4. To serve, spread on a thoroughly cleaned cutting or cheese board and top with ingredients of your choice. Hood uses lemon zest, blue crab, thinly sliced steak, arugula, trout roe, and a sprinkling of Old Bay. Finish with edible flowers and serve with slices of crusty bread.