How To Throw A Fondue Party

Fondue conjures up a variety of conceptions; some are true, many are not. Double-dipping. Fire hazard. Outdated. Are you running for the hills? I hope not. Fondue, though gaining popularity, often goes overlooked as the perfect fare for entertaining. So many of us are short on time and use this as an excuse to pass on entertaining, but fondue can be assembled in little time and with affordable ingredients. Plus, it gives the host a chance to sit and enjoy the evening with guests rather than slaving away in the kitchen. Here are five simple tips to help you throw a successful fondue party of your own.

1. BYO Ingredients
Since fondue is made up of a combination of various foods meant for dipping, this is a great opportunity to spread the ingredient responsibilities among your guests. Let them know what kind of fondue you'll be making — savory, sweet, cheese, oil, etc. — and allow them to bring creative foods to share. As I always say, asking guests to bring something will help them feel more involved in the party and make things much easier for you. If possible, encourage guests to prep ingredients (cut the vegetables or fruit, for example) before arriving to ensure the kitchen doesn't become overly crowded. Another important BYO tip is to make sure you have enough fondue pots. If you choose to make more than one type of fondue, line up fondue pots that can be borrowed from others or have guests bring theirs to share.
2. Incorporate a Theme
Since many of us imagine a scene right out of the 1970s when it comes to fondue, why not use that as a theme? Guests can come dressed in their favorite '70s garb and dip away to classic '70s tunes for the night. Another option is to create various fondue combinations that represent specific countries. Or create fondue versions of popular dishes, by deconstructing familiar dishes, like tomato soup and grilled cheese. Take a classic grilled cheese sandwich (made with grown-up cheese like Emmentaler, for example), cut it into bite-sized pieces, and dip it in a tomato-based fondue. Make the theme as whimsical and creative as you'd like!
3. Create Courses
Rather than putting all the food out at one time, create a more formal dinner feel by creating courses. Create appetizer, main dish, and dessert courses. For example, serve vegetables with a classic cheese fondue as an appetizer, then a beef dish with a flavorful broth, and finally a dessert course with chocolate fondue, fruit, and marshmallows. This way, you can introduce more than one type of fondue and keep a dinner party feel without all the fuss.

Rachael White, Menuism

For the full article on fondue party tips, check out Menuism.