BROOKLYN — Cheese plates are the center of attention at parties, but social media influencer Marissa Mullen is the one garnering all the attention for her incredible creations on her Instagram account Cheese by Numbers.
Cheese by Numbers breaks each cheese plate down step by step.
“I created this new thing called 'swipe to build,' which essentially, when on Instagram, you swipe and with each swipe is a step in the process," she said.
She's made cheese plates doable for anyone.
“When you look at it in person it’s so intimidating," she said. "When you do it step by step it's a lot easier. So I think people gravitate towards that.”
Cheese has always been a part of Marissa’s life.
“When I was very young, I was put on cheese plate duty and it was a fun way to be creative. I always remember my parents’ friends coming over and seeing these cheese plates and it was a sense of excitement," she said.
In college, she found making cheese plates was a great way to socialize and entertain.
That's when she started posting on Instagram.
“I would just document these in Instagram because it was, for me, a good way to see what I created and a creative space for other cheese lovers to come together to find inspiration," she said.
Soon after graduating from Northeastern, she landed a job on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
But she was still making cheese plates at night because she found it therapeutic.
“When I'm cutting vegetables, cutting cheese, I can't scroll on Instagram. So, for me it was a way to root down and be present," she said.
Once the props department found out about her talent, she was called into action. One of her cheese plates made it on air with Cheech and Chong.
After being sought after by the "Today Show" and "Rachel Ray," her Instagram number skyrocketed. She has now made cheese plates her full-time job and is inspiring others along the way.
“People more so than ever have been telling me 'thank you, thank you for these steps by steps. I've been making cheese plates for friends or I made a cheese plate for the first time.'"
Marissa is now working on her first book. It's called “That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life.”
While the book will have 60 recipes, Marissa also sees it as a self-care book.
“It's more like live your own authentic truth, follow your passion and do things that make you happy and bring people together because that in itself is self-care," she said.
Marissa says cheese plates are not expensive, you can spend about $30 and feed six people.
Two tips on cheese plates are:
1: Slice the hard cheeses ahead of time so they're easy for people to eat.
2: Always put crackers on the side, preferably on their own plate.