Because cutting board are used with food in the kitchen, I look for durable hardwood that does not have large open pores. I also use a food safe combination of mineral oil and bees wax as my preferred finishing choice.
A little tip of the hat to my LumberJocks friend, Lazy Larry for his online cutting board apprenticeship program. Larry, makes his home in Caboolture, Queensland, Australia, but has graciously put lots of time in to sharing his cutting board construction technique with his online friends. Thanks Larry. You are an inspiration.