We hosted our first fondue party the other night and it was AWESOME and much easier than I had expected.
Obviously the big thing was having a fondue pot. We are lucky and were given a really nice cast-iron pot by a friend of mine, so we had the option of doing either an oil or cheese fondue. Oil fondues are apparently only possible in heavy duty fondue pots, as the heat of the oil will cause the weaker ceramic ones to crack and pour hot oil everyone (which is something that I know I never want to happen at a dinner party!)
I prepped three dips ahead of time using plain yogurt, sour cream, and mayo as bases and spicing them up with horseradish, chili sauce, and making one just plain ol' tzaziki, which turned out to be the most awesome of them all. Instead of making it with just yogurt, cukes, garlic, and a bit of lemon, I added sour cream to thicken, chopped the cukes instead of shredding (this also cuts down on the liquid in the dip) and added green onions, onion powder, and a lots of fresh crushed garlic. MMMMMMMMMM! Allowing the dips to sit in the fridge for a couple hours really brought out the flavours. http://www.bestfondue.com/
Check out that site for some great dip recipes!
Then we took chicken breast, sirloin steak, and pork loin, chopped it up into manageable cubes, and set it all out on the table. We added some sides (baked brie with onions and port, french bread, garden salad, and fried zucchini with parmesean) and then heated the oil on the stove until it was almost ready to bubble. Then my partner carried the oil very carefully to the table where we had a ceramic tile waiting, lit the heat source (we used gel fuel, apparently it's MUCH safer than liquid, but also much more expensive) and away we went! It was a little bubbly at first and the meat really sizzled, but after about five minutes the oil loses a fair bit of heat, so you really don't want to wait to long to start the fondue-ing!
It was an awesome time, though, and if you have the fondue pot it's actually a pretty cheap and easy way to throw a great dinner party.