We got a raclette grill similar to the one above for Christmas.
I'm looking forward to trying it out actually, I do have a feeling it's the new "fondue" - we'll love to do it to start with and eventually we'll just forget what it was all about. But I'll sure enjoy it while it lasts! :-D
Raclette cheese is usually sold cut from the wheel. Depending how ripe the cheese is the rind can be quite soft or hard. Some people prefer to melt the cheese with the rind on. The rind can have quite a different flavour compared the main part of the cheese and is usually very salty and crunchy when grilled under a raclette. Trim off a thin layer of the outer rind using a sharp knife. Then use an adjustable wire cheese cutter to slice cheese into thin slices approximatley 2mm thick. The small bits can be cut into equal sized cubes. To prevent the cheese sticking together you can place a layer of wax/baking paper in between the slices. Place on a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 20mins before serving. The smell and taste of the cheese is a lot different compared to it's aroma and flavour when melted.
We recommend the Pontiac and Desiree potato varieties (the ones with the pinkish/purply skin) as these have a tasty creamy texture. Small Kipfler potatoes are also perfect and ideal for raclette. The Pontiac, Desiree and Kipfler potatoes are great cooked in their skins. The common washed Coliban, Sebago or "Chat" baby potatoes are best suited for baking (potatoes served with raclette can also be baked, in the microwave or oven).
Sliced French Baguette (cut on diagonal for a larger slice), Turkish pita or other crusty loaf type breads can be placed in a basket and covered with napkin or tea towel to prevent drying out. If you wish you can drizzle olive oil over them or serve with butter. During the meal they can be placed onto the top of the grill to toast slightly.
More about raclette: www.raclette.com.au ("original raclette recipe")
Oh, and raclette is a Swiss cheese made from cow's milk. :-) (Wikipedia link)