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Prep

Camphor Cutting & Cheese Boards

Cutting Edge

Some cutting boards are all about form, acting as an attractive backdrop when you’re serving tasty morsels. Others are all about function, designed to withstand sharp blades and discourage bacterial growth. Thanks to Kate Castle, who told us about today’s Grommet, we’ve found some that do double duty.

Prep cutting boards and cheese platters are beautifully rustic and thoroughly utilitarian. Each one is handmade in Australia from a solid piece of Camphor Laurel wood that has been air and kiln-dried and sealed with grape
seed oil. There’s nothing more to it -- no glues, dyes or anything artificial. Camphor Laurel is an ideal species for food preparation products because naturally occurring elements in the wood have been found to reduce bacterial and fungal growth and minimize cross-contamination risks.

Prep is a family business run by Mick Zulpo, an Australian expatriate who lives in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. Mick's father, Peter, lives in Queensland, Australia, and oversees Prep’s export operations. Together they’re helping find new uses for an overabundance of Camphor Laurel in Australia and introducing the U.S. market to an exceptional series of food preparation boards.

— Ann
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Prep  - Camphor Cutting & Cheese Boards
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Mick
    Mick

    G'day Mates! My name is Mick Zulpo, owner of Prep Products and

    I am very excited to have our hand-made Australian wooden cutting

    boards and cheese boards featured as today's Grommet. Natural

    products and the environment are very important to us at Prep,

    that is why all of our products are made with 100% natural materials

    using environmentally friendly resources. Not only that, they are truly beautiful,

    some say functional art! I have dedicated the day to answering your questions

    about our unique products so let's chat.

  • Julia
    Julia
    12/15/2010 1:36 PM

    Mick, I think your boards look lovely. You mentioned on the video that you are planting native species in the place of the camphor trees you are harvesting. Is this a one-for-one effort where you plant one tree for every one you take down? What sort of shade trees are you planting in place of the camphors? Just curious!

    Also, I finally invested in great knives and have been tossing up which kind of chopping block to buy. How does camphor compare to something like end-grain maple when it comes to dulling the blades on one's knives? Also, is your large cutting board reversible? (Does it have the juice rail on both sides?)

  • Mick
    Mick – Special Guest
    12/15/2010 1:50 PM

    Julia, The trees we typically plant in place of the Camphor Trees are native Australian species like Iron Bark, Gum, and Eucalyptus trees and it all depends on the location of the planting project to how many trees we replant as we try to mimic their natural occuring growth patterns. As for knife performance, our boards are very forgiving on knife blades making them ideal for keeping you prized knife collection sharp. Our surface is soft enough to have give allowing the blade to keep sharp while being hard enough to last for many, many years. Other cutting surfaces are unfortunately usual only one or the other. Our large board has the juice rail on one side for carving and the other side is flat for everyday preparation. Mick

  • Julia
    Julia
    12/15/2010 2:03 PM

    Thanks, Mick!

    Can you tell us the best way to care for and clean these boards? Soap and hot water? Do you need to oil them down at any point?

  • Mick
    Mick – Special Guest
    12/15/2010 4:18 PM

    @Julia: Our baords are oiled with normal cooking grapeseed oil when manufactured and we recommend oiling them periodically when the board looks a little dry. This will keep them looking beautiful. You could even give them a light sand before oiling as this will remove any knife marks in the board and bring it back to its original luster. We do not recommend using mineral oil on our boards as it is a petrolium based product as we want to keep all toxins away from our food. Grapeseed oil 100% natural with no odor or flavor and is the only natural oil that will not go rancid. As for cleaning soap and warm water will do the job. Mick

  • Sue Davis
    Sue Davis
    12/15/2010 2:37 PM

    These boards look amazing! What I really can't believe is that you live right around the corner from me in Fuquay-Varina! Wow! Who lives there? lol.. I'm in Erwin.

    When I have save up, I would love to have one of these. Nice job!

  • Mick
    Mick – Special Guest
    12/15/2010 4:24 PM

    @Sue Davis: You move to Fuquay Varina from Australia when you marry and native NC girl. The things us guys will do for a beautiful girl! Thanks for your comment and I look forward to sending you one in the future. Mick

  • david
    david
    12/15/2010 2:51 PM

    Aren't camphor trees toxic? Does your curing process negate the toxic compounds within the wood?

  • Mick
    Mick – Special Guest
    12/15/2010 4:13 PM

    @david: Like a lot of things in its rare form the fine dust from Camphor can be toxic, however once we are dry and kilm dry the wood over a 12 month process this toxic elements are no loner present. Phama companies even use camphor in a lot of medication in this same form. Mick

  • Doug Thompson
    Doug Thompson
    12/15/2010 4:25 PM

    These cutting boards are great! My wife and I have two of them and we use them all of the time. They're not only great for cutting, chopping, etc... but they are great for serving light H'orderves such as chesse & crackers. We sometimes even use them as large trivets for hot dishes at the kitchen table. The boards become a center piece to whatever you're are using them for and really accent the kitchen when displayed. Awesome product and would highly recommend them!!

  • Mike S.
    Mike S.
    12/15/2010 8:13 PM

    What is the size of your meat carving board?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/15/2010 11:19 PM

    @Mike S.: It is 20" x 11" x 1.5".

  • Ann
    Ann
    12/16/2010 11:11 AM

    I'm a buyer for a family owned department store, how can I get these to sell in my store?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/16/2010 11:40 AM

    @Ann: I will forward your contact information to Mick.

  • Mick
    Mick – Special Guest
    12/17/2010 3:43 PM

    @Ann: Thank you for your inquiry. I sent you an e-mail so we can get together. Please let me know if you do not receive it. Mick

  • Kelly
    Kelly
    12/17/2010 5:05 AM

    Hi. I missed out on the oval cutting board. Will you be stocking more?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/17/2010 9:52 AM

    @Kelly: Yes, there will be more available, but they are coming from Australia and so they are not expected until Mid-February.

  • Mick
    Mick – Special Guest
    12/17/2010 3:45 PM

    @Kelly: Katherine is correct. Our guys are making them in Australia as we speak, however then they need to take a long boat ride over the pacific ocean. We will be sure to let you know as soon as they arrive. Mick

  • kim
    kim
    3/22/2012 11:41 AM

    Hey Mick, these are amazingly beautiful! Any chance I can get some rough camphor wood to play with? I'm a beginner wood bowl turner. I'm definitely going to buy one of your boards! Thanks! Kim

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    3/22/2012 4:32 PM

    @kim: We're glad you love the boards. We have a message in to Mick about possibility of getting some rough camphor wood.

  • Mick
    Mick
    3/28/2012 9:48 AM

    @kim: Thank you for your kind comments about our products. I did happen to get some raw material in our last shipment. They are cut into board feet in thicknesses of 1" and 2". I would be happy to ship you some. You can contact me direct at [email protected] to organize the details. Mick

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