Merv Brandt and Lionel HughesMerv Brandt and his pitchfork fondue May 10, 2012 in Ogema, SK. The last time I enjoyed one of his extraordinary meals was in 2005.
The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook. —Julia Child
Steak and potatoes is a great spectacle. I like to make this foundational combination myself on occasion. It is celebratory. I particularly like to put steaks on the barbecue after a solid day's work in the yard or on a difficult writing project.
So I was really delighted that the end of a tour day hosted by Tourism Saskatchewan (thanks Connie, Bonnie and your team!) would end in Ogema and one of Merv Brandt's amazing pitchfork fondues.
Prairies North profiled Merv in 2005 and I recall the fascination that the giant cauldron of precisely balanced oils created in all the guests. Well, Merv is still his genial self and anyone who is told their steak will be dipped in searing hot oil on a pitchfork simply has to go and have a look at this unlikely cookery.
A couple of things stuck in my mind about Merv and his unique preparation of steak and potatoes that have endured through the years.
The first is that, for Merv, the only way to do something is thoroughly and with a fine attention to detail. The refinement of his equipment and the presentation of his food is well worth asking about.
The second is that Merv is all about including people in what he does. Whether it's your first time out for a Merv's experience or you've come back for more, this business is all about building friendships.
Those two things are only the first of what makes Merv a unique Saskatchewan phenom!
To find out more about Merv and his Pitchfork Fondue you can find him at http://www.mervspitchforkfondue.com