This fall, we were tickled to be invited to compete in the annual FONDUEL competition hosted by the Barnyard Collective in Long Island City. Yes – this event is exactly what it sounds like – a bunch of cheese nerds facing off (in a very friendly way of course) to try and create a superlative fondue. And yes – it is open to the public too… 80 or so fondue-loving individuals attended the event and ranked each of the fondues on offer to determine a winner.
PSA break – if you’re interested in doing a deep dive into cheese nerd-dom, follow The Cheesemonger Invitational (the same brains behind the Barnyard Collective) for some of the most incredibly cheesy events in the world!
Pictured from left to right – Anne Saxelby, Adam Moskowitz, and William Sido.
As first time participants, we were humbled and totally stoked to take home 1st place honors in this year’s FONDUEL!! Our fondue game was a simple one – no fuss, no frills, just great cheese and a shot of Kirsch (which as it turns out is a ringer ingredient in a great fondue!) We used a blend of Calderwood, our exclusive collaboration cheese made for us by Jasper Hill Farm, and Reading Raclette – a perfect melter from Spring Brook Farm in Vermont. The bold tropical fruit and toasted nut flavors of the Calderwood and the soft, buttery, and creamy flavors of the Reading Raclette made a perfect melty marriage. Here’s our recipe – try it out yourself and see what you think!
SAXELBY’S FONDUEL-WINNING FONDUE RECIPE – SERVES 4
1 clove garlic, halved crosswise
1 1/2 cups white wine
2 tsp Kirsch
10 (ish)* ounces Calderwood
20 (ish)* ounces Reading Raclette
(You basically need a two to one ratio of Reading Raclette to Calderwood, and you need about 8 ounces of cheese per person for fondue, so you can fudge the quantities up or down a bit depending on how many people you’re serving.)
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
1 baguette (or your favorite bread!)
fruit and vegetables to pair (our favorites are cornichons, apples, pears, carrots, and cauliflower)
- Rub inside of a saucepan pot with garlic and then discard. Pour wine into pot and heat over med-low heat on the stove. When liquid starts to bubble, start adding cheese by the handful, stirring until melted and combined.
- Whisk continually to keep the cheese from separating. If it does, don’t freak out! Just add a bit more cheese to thicken the mixture a bit, or thin out with a bit more wine if it’s too thick.
- Add the Kirsch and continue stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling slightly – about 5 minutes. Season with nutmeg and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to fondue pot on the table and keep warm over the warmer. Serve with bread, fruits, and vegetables.