The challah plates that have been passed down to us from our grandparents and even our parents are pretty typical: oval-shaped, porcelain, block Hebrew lettering and some garish design surrounding the edge of the plate. While this may have been the style of generations past, it’s not one that we want to see on our weekly Shabbat table.
Our recent tastes have gravitated toward challah boards made from rich woods (think dark walnut and golden maple) in more minimalist forms. We know that these aren’t cheap, but heirlooms are meant to last for generations, and these craftsman-quality servers are worth it. Best of all, since many of these items aren’t intentionally challah plates, you can benefit from their multi-purpose ability. Use it for your challah on Friday night, then switch it out to serve appetizers to your friends on Saturday night. What’s not to love?
1. Amanda McAulay Round Board ($130): While this 15″ diameter, walnut piece was designed as a cutting board, it’s rich color, slim profile and indispensable nature are all things that we can get behind when it comes to embracing this as our go-to challah board.
2. Alessi Crumb-Catching Challah Board ($114): A collaboration between the Jewish Museum and Italian design house, Alessi, this bamboo challah board is beautifully contemporary at first site, but has an underneath compartment to house a Challah knife as well as catch crumbs, making organization and clean up that much easier.
3. Peterman’s Bowls and Boards Spalted Maple Challah Plate ($165): We love the natural look of this handmade spalted maple plate as is, but the fact that it is so far from what is considered traditional, is even more reason to celebrate it in our book.
4. Michael Aram Hammertone Challah Board ($180): If you’re looking for something a bit more formal, we recommend Michael Aram’s Challah Board. The strength of the wood is beautifully balanced by the, delicate nickel-plate handles.
5. Jose Reguiero Cutting Board ($210): We consider this piece to be the “statement” challah board. It’s larger size and black walnut material are unapologetically simple, while still being the center of any table design.
6. Larch Wood Enterprises Round Challah Board ($300): A truly unique round challah board made up of end grain detailing.
7. Hamson Woods London Plane Serving Platter ($195): This handmade platter looks closer to a cheese plate than a challah board, but we love the versatility of a piece like this. It’s dimensions and quality ensure that it will be a timeless piece across multiple occasions.
8. Ladies & Gentlemen Studio Perimeter Challah & Shabbat Tray ($288): We consider this to be the quintessential modern Shabbat piece, made of veneer plywood with a removable carrara marble board and gold aluminum handles.