in the Restaurant Business
This time of year is pure culinary excitement; we get the final bounty of summer, plus the first loads of squash, figs, and pumpkins.
Winemakers are busy with the year's harvest and press, and as we deplete the last bottles of the current vintage, we're left with the promise of a new one to come.
On a good day, the weather is still perfect for a crisp alfresco dinner, but other days, there is nothing better than a cozy booth, a hot toddy, and some braised meat.
One of our favorite Autumn weather foods is our fresh potato gnocchi served in a warm, melted blue cheese fondue, topped with crispy roasted pecans and some grated salty cheese.
The oldest known recipe for fondue dates to 1699, with specific instructions to melt cheese with wine, and then dip in bread. The word fondue first appears a bit later, in 1735, in Vincent la Chapelle's Cuisinier Moderne. From the French word fondre, which means 'to melt,' fondue fulfills its name sake in more ways than one: it's one of the only dishes that can seemingly 'melt' away the chill of a brisk night! Over the centuries, fondue has remained a staple in French cuisine, it's become an important dish in Switzerland, and it's been a fad in 1950s America. But a great fondue will never go out of style, and we wont mind if, in the spirit of the 1699 reference, you dip your bread into the sauce afterwards...