Chef Mark McEwan began his illustrious career as the youngest-ever executive chef at Toronto’s upscale Sutton Place Hotel. From here, he opened the ground-breaking North 44, which set a new standard of excellence in Toronto’s culinary landscape. Chef McEwan continued to push dining innovation with the launch of Bymark, winner of the enRoute Award for Canada’s Best New Restaurants and a pioneer in the Toronto Financial District food scene. Never one to rest on his laurels, Chef McEwan then opened the chic ONE Restaurant, which is considered by locals and discerning travelers alike as the heart of Yorkville.
“Fondue is a fun dish that makes a great appetizer, perfect for entertaining. Fondues can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like! For this recipe, I use a mix of many different cheeses for an interesting depth of flavour. This recipe is wonderful to serve with a variety of accompaniments like mixed vegetables, crusty bread and your favourite sausage. This dish is a crowd favourite that’s delicious and exciting.”
In a pot over medium heat, let the milk steep with herbs, shallot and spices for 30 minutes.
Strain out the ingredients and return the aromatic milk to the pot.
In a separate large pot, melt the butter using low heat, being careful not to let it brown. Sieve the flour and add it to the butter, mixing with a whisk until it forms a smooth, uniform texture to form a ‘roux’. Cook the roux for 4 minutes until the colour is light gold.
Slowly add hot milk while mixing to create a béchamel sauce. Once the sauce is thickened, slowly add the grated cheeses one handful at a time.
Once all cheese is added and melted, add salt, lemon and vermouth. Let sit on low heat for 5 minutes to let the flavours come together.
Serve with your favourite breads and vegetables.