BY: LISA CAVANAUGH
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JULIA CUMES
STYLING BY: HEATHER MCGRATH, SIMPLER PLEASURES
Ring in the New Year with friends, fun and fondue! It’s easy to gather everything you need for a unique and festive affair—right here in Chatham
Plan the party
Comfortingly retro yet surprisingly chic, a fondue party is the perfect way to celebrate this winter. The Chatham Cheese Company is ready to host an intimate gathering—or supply you with everything you need to create your own cheery, cheese-filled celebration.
“We have fondue pots you can buy or rent to host your own party,” says Heather Cantin, owner of the Chatham Cheese Company. “It’s very fun and people just love it!”
Cantin offers a wide selection of imported cheeses, including the Emmenthaler and Gruyère she uses in her signature fondue recipe. “These are Alpine cheeses, great melters, with nutty, rich and complex flavors,” she says. Her shop also has made-to-order sandwiches, an array of gourmet condiments and a broad range of both domestic and imported wines.
“We do cheese and wine tastings here, which are a great way to learn about our selection, but the fondue parties are even more popular,” says Cantin. She provides the prepared cheese fondue, fresh baguettes and apples for dipping and a cozy corner table for six to eight guests to enjoy an evening of fondue fun at her Main Street store.
Chatham Cheese Company will also create cheese platters for any size holiday party and Cantin, who was a personal chef for 15 years, provides catering services, with items like truffle mac and cheese, lasagne and stuffed shells on the menu. The shop is open until Dec. 31, when they have a fantastic year-end sale, and then closes until Easter.
Enjoy one of Chatham Cheese Shop’s fine wines in elegant iridescent glassware and display both in this clever bottle and glasses holder. (Glassware and holder both from Simpler Pleasures in Chatham.)
Share the delights of a fondue party with your closest friends and family or throw a bigger bash for the neighborhood or entire office!
Set the perfect table with a wood and chalkboard-edged Lazy Susan, cheery red cotton napkins and fine Casafina stoneware, all available at Simpler Pleasures. Festive blooms, like this bright arrangement of fall and winter flowers from Sonny Garda of Stony Hill Exchange, complete the scene.
Chatham Cheese Company’s Cheese Fondue:
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 pound Emmenthaler (grated)
1/2 pound cave-aged Gruyère (grated)
(you can also add Comté or Appenzeller cheese for more depth of flavor)
In a large bowl, coat cheeses with cornstarch. Rub inside of a 4-quart pot with garlic, then discard clove. Add wine to pot, bring to simmer. Gradually add cheese and stir until melted. Do not boil. Cook until thickened. Transfer to fondue pot, set over flame. Serve with cubes of French bread, sliced apples or pears, cherry tomatoes, blanched broccoli or roasted mushrooms.
Indulge in hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries from the Chatham Candy Manor or make your own delectable chocolate fondue.
Easy Chocolate Fondue
½ pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Splash brandy (optional)
Combine chocolate and cream in heat-proof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Use wooden spoon to stir occasionally until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and brandy. Put in fondue pot over flame, and serve immediately with berries, banana, dried fruits, mini cookies or angel food cake.