café du centre

café du centre
through the cobblestone streets of lutry following the smell of molten cheese we turned down a dimly lit alley and made our way to the back door of an unassuming house. this was not just a house this was cuisine gourmande, a maison du fromage, fondue réputée. we were greeted warmly by the lady of the house, cathy danner. she, a joyful, bubbly host was dancing about the small dining room. a stranger to no one, her words were interspersed with bursts of an infectious laughter that made me want to hug her. a bell rang and a dumbwaiter carrying food began to descend from the upstairs kitchen of the apartment that i assume she lives in. for a moment my imagination got the best of me and i began dreaming that she was my aunt. we were in her kitchen, windows lined with lace curtains, wearing vintage floral aprons and she was teaching me to cook the way her grandmother did. i snapped out of it just in time for the assiete du jour to arrive, the esteemed fondue. we dove in placing bite after bite of cheese enrobed bread into our mouths. just when i thought i would surely explode before eating another fork full we came to la religieuse, french for "the nun", it is the thin crust of toasted cheese at the bottom of the pot (aka the best part). i settled back into my chair in a cheese induced coma and wished for stretchy pants which henceforth shall be called fondue pants.