The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950. It is devoted to promoting fine dining and “les Arts de la Table” in its broadest sense. The Chaîne is based on the traditions and practices of the old French Royal Guild (corporation in French) of Geese Roasters, “les Ayeurs”, birds that were particularly appreciated in those days. Its authority gradually expanded to the roasting of all poultry, meat and game. During the Middle Ages, each key art form and profession was grouped under a Guild. The Guilds contributed to the constructions of architectural marvels such as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, while Music, Literature, Painting, Theatre and the other Arts forms were being developed and refined. The Royal Guild of Oyers Rôtisseurs was founded in 1248 under Saint Louis, King of France. It was granted a Royal Charter and a Coat of Arms in 1610.
The object of the Guild was to perpetuate the Standards of quality befitting the Royal Table. Soon the craft of Rôtisseurs encompassed the preparation of all the various meats and fowls destined for the spit or rack, and the activities of the Guild always remained under Royal Patronage.
In 1789, during the French Revolution, the Royal Guild of Oyers Rôtisseurs, as well as all the other Guilds, were abolished. The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs was founded in its present form in France at Easter 1950 by three gourmets, Curnonsky, elected Prince des Gastronomes, Dr. Auguste Becart and Jean Valby, and two professionals, Louis Giraudon and Marcel Dorin. While savouring a “gigot a la broche” they decided to revive the form and tradition of the Chaîne by restoring the pride of culinary excellence lost during a period of wartime starvation. The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs was re-incorporated and the Coat of Arms was restored to the Fraternity.
Today, the society has over 26,000 members in more than 120 countries around the world. Each Chapter, called a “bailliage” (English “bailiwick”) is headed by a bailli (“bailiff”) and other officers who plan the individual chapter’s activities. The national societies are governed by a national Board of Directors and a National Council which, in general, follow the programs and policies set forth by the international society headquartered in Paris.
All bailliages offer fine dining events, often black tie, in the best local restaurants and hotels. The menus and dishes are created exclusively for these dinners by the chefs, many of whom are also members of the Confrérie. Each bailliage also holds one grand gala event each year to celebrate the induction of new members. Members receive a distinctive ribbon which is worn at Chaîne gatherings.
The activities of La Chaîne are not limited to grand dining. Diners amical—less formal meals, picnics and barbecues—also play an important. role in each chapter’s schedule. The programs vary, depending upon local resources and interests, but have included celebrations of the New Year (traditional and Chinese), Valentine’s Day,. Mardi Gras, April Fools’ Day, Christmas dinners and theme parties. Tastings, demonstrations, and educational seminars are also offered by many bailliages. The society also offers a growing number of regional and national events that are open to all members. Members in good standing may also attend the Grand Chapitre Dinner held once a year by each national bailliage around the world. Many of our bailliages also hold events to support local culinary schools and many national and local chapters of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs provide scholarships to schools which are involved in the training of future Chefs or funding for other activities linked with the object of our Confrérie. The Society also sponsors an annual Young Commis (cooks) competition with participation from the national and local bailliages. The winner of each national competition then advances to compete in the international finals of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
Membership in La Chaîne is by invitation only and offers the opportunity for new members to meet people who share a common interest in fine dining and good fellowship. For our professional restaurateurs and hoteliers, it offers opportunities to demonstrate their exceptional skills and creativity to a discerning and appreciative audience.. Underlying La Chaîne’s growth is the organization’s sense of purpose. A key criterion which distinguishes La Chaîne from other organizations involved in wine or food is precisely the interrelation between amateur and professional. In La Chaîne we strive for balanced membership representing professionals involved in food preparation, service in hotels, private clubs and restaurants; wine, food and equipment suppliers and world- renowned lecturers, writers and critics, as well as knowledgeable laymen who, due to their interest in learning and/or well traveled backgrounds, are in a position to enjoy the pleasures engendered by good. cuisine, good wine and good company.
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs also has a society within the society, l’Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs, for those who have a special knowledge of or interest in wine and spirits. Members of this group organize special wine-related events, including trips to wine-producing regions around the world.
Today the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and its branch, the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs is present in over 120 countries, with over 26,000 members. It creates a bond of friendship across professions, cultures and boundaries, giving special attention to maintaining the art of the cuisine and supporting the young professionals.
Pronunciation and Meaning of Chaîne Terms
|Bailli||bailiff, senior office-bearer||bye-yee|
|Bailli Délégué||national president||bye-yee day-lay-gay|
|Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs||Brotherhood of the Chain of Roasters||cone-frair-ee deuh lah shen day row-tea-sir|
|Grande Chapître||large international gathering||grahnd sha-pea-tre|