Celebrate German food with Melting Pot’s beer cheese fondue

Q • I would like to get a recipe for cheese fondue from Melting Pot. I am inviting friends to my home and would like to host a fondue party. — Jackie Rodriguez

A • The Melting Pot shared its newest cheese fondue recipe with us just in time for Octoberfest, an event St. Louis embraces wholeheartedly. The Bavarian Beer Cheese Fondue anchors the menu for the first annual Oktober FondueFest, which will be available Monday through Wednesday, now through Oct. 26 at the Melting Pot in Chesterfield.

We spoke with Karen Barnett, who owns the franchise restaurant with her husband John, about the menu and the event. “Although this is a nationwide event, I think people in St. Louis are really going to enjoy it,” she says. “We like bratwurst, German food and good German beers. I think this is going to be a really fun way to meld the German aspect of Oktoberfest, which we all love, with a French cooking style. Who wouldn’t love to dunk a little grilled bratwurst into melted cheese?”

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In addition to grilled brats, dippers include braised short ribs, steamed carrots, cornichons and Dijon roasted potatoes. Accompaniments also include pretzel bread, sauerkraut and a house-made sweet Bavarian mustard.

Options include a three-course menu with beer cheese fondue, dippers, choice of a salad, and a Black Forest chocolate fondue served with decadent treats dippers — Black Forest brownies, sweet-spiced apples, strawberries, pearl sugar waffles, bananas and cream puffs. There is also a four-course option. Reservations are recommended.

Unlike the more raucous street celebrations surrounding Octoberfest, The Melting Pot Oktober FondueFest is an intimate way to observe and enjoy the festivities with loved ones, family and friends.

“Our top priority is that guests get a chance to enjoy a unique experience, connect with their dining companions, and cut off from the world for a little bit,” Barnett says. “It’s fun to see cooking tableside and to just be able to enjoy a gift of time to savor a meal with friends. We need that in a busy hectic world.”

In February, Karen and John Barnett will celebrate their restaurant’s 20th anniversary. In fact, their ownership path started with a special anniversary. “We celebrated our first wedding anniversary at a Melting Pot and just loved it. Later, my husband was looking for a different investment opportunity, and we remembered that wonderful anniversary. We thought it would be great to have the ability to offer that

to other people as well,” she says. “There’s been so many different celebrations here over the years — date nights, birthdays, anniversaries, we even do gender reveals. We help people celebrate the big and small events in their life over a meal that’s not a quick in. We offer more time to savor and really connect with your dining partners,” Barnett says.