Tips for a Perfect Fondue Party
If you’ve ever held a dinner party you know how much work is involved. There are appetizers, main courses, cocktails, and, of course, desserts. Making all that food is extremely time-consuming, taking care of guests can be stressful, and unless you really enjoy doing dishes, cleaning up is a nightmare.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a party that was tons of fun, easy to prepare for, coordinate, and clean up after? And, oh yeah, it has to be tons of fun too. You know where we are going with this right?
Yep, we are talking about a fondue party!
Fondue parties are so easy you could probably stop reading right now, throw together some fondue, invite some friends, and have a ton of fun. But for those of you who insist that everything has to be perfect, we have a few extra tips to make sure your fondue party is a smashing success.
Prepare for the right amount of guests
Ideally you should have four people per one fondue pot. However, this IS a party so you can probably get away with six. In a pinch, you can also use a crock-pot or chafing dish as a second fondue pot.
Have several courses of fondue
The traditional fondue party starts with a cheese fondue, continues with a meat fondue with dipping sauces, and finishes with a chocolate fondue. Of course that’s just a guideline, and you can serve whatever sounds like fun. Some of our favorite parties have included only cheese and desert fondue.
You may be tempted to serve an appetizer, and that’s okay, but keep in mind that there are many different things you can dip into fondue for variety. Traditionally, you can serve a green salad with the cheese fondue course and a baguette with the meat fondue.
Please don’t torture your guests with a store-bought fondue mix. They smell and taste awful. Besides, fondue is already so simple to make that using a mix just doesn’t make sense.
Make the fondue that you are serving to your guests at least once before you have the party. This will keep you from running into unforeseen problems that sometimes happen with new recipes. Remember, fondue parties aren’t supposed to be stressful!
Arrange it right
If you have several fondue pots you can set up different stations for each fondue course. A long table or several small ones work best for this. It’s a good idea to lay down a thick tablecloth to prevent any damage from spills.
For the first station, place a cheese fondue pot in the center and surround it with bread chunks, veggies, and other dipping ingredients. Arrange the dippers artistically on plates and in baskets. Garnish with kale, herb sprigs or even flowers.
Serve the meat fondue with small bowls filled with bite-sized cubes of beef, chicken or seafood. There are many dipping sauces for meat fondue. Pick a few you think your guests will like and arrange them near the pot. At this station guests should have access to a small plate, and a regular fork as well as a fondue fork. Don't forget to provide paper towels for blotting oil off of the meat.
The last station will be for your desert fondue. There are many options here for both the desert fondue and the dippers.
If you only have a large, round table, split the dippers into groups of two so guests don’t have to reach across the table. Make sure you have enough small plates and napkins for everyone.
Create some ambiance
Dim the lights and put on some nice music you have chosen beforehand. If you have a fireplace, light it up. Candles are also an excellent addition.
Time it right
About 15 minutes before guests arrive is a good time to transfer the fondue from the stove to the fondue pot. Arrange the dipping ingredients right before you start cooking the fondue.
Let everyone know about fondue etiquette
Explain the rules of fondue etiquette to your guests. Now might also be a good time to let them in on the fun traditions of fondue.
Have drinks and plenty of them
Beer and wine are traditional accompaniments for fondue, but any beverages you choose will work fine.
An ice bucket filled with bottled beer is a fun and easy way to serve it. White wine is a favorite, and Bordeaux, California Merlot, Chianti, and Cabernet Sauvignon are all full-bodied wines that go very well with fondue.
Shots of kirsch (a cherry brandy often used in fondue) are nice to go along with dessert.
Bonus Tip for the Adventurous: Have a party theme
Fondue is perfect for a 70’s themed party. Dig up some bell-bottoms, throw on some 70’s music and party away. Or how about a French or Greek party theme? The possibilities are endless...just keep an eye on the details to make it really special.
Play with your food
Unlike a normal party where guests are able to hide in the corner, the communal cooking aspect of fondue makes everyone mingle together and have a lot of fun. Fondue parties are cozy, exciting, unique and filled with delicious food. Now with these tips, you should be all ready to throw one that will be a smashing success. What are you waiting for?