New York Chapter of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
The Bailliage de New York, the oldest Chaine chapter in the United States, was formed by Paul A. Spitler; the first Bailli Délégué at the same time the Chaîne arrived in America. The first induction was held at The Biltmore Hotel on January 14, 1960, and set the tone for fifty years of exciting, and outstanding events. Each of the Baillis who has served since that time has brought his or her own vision, style and strengths to the position. They have been instrumental in recruiting both professional and non-professional members who bring an appreciation of fine food, wine and good conversation to the table as well as a desire to increase their knowledge. These Baillis have welcomed the challenge of creating the events that stimulate, educate and satisfy our members and their guests.
The Bailliage has the great, good fortune of being located in one of the world’s cultural and gastronomic capitals. The incredible choice of cuisines, made possible by the city’s cultural diversity, powered by a professional membership which includes the general managers, chefs and food and beverage directors of New York’s finest hotels as well as the proprietors and chefs of the City’s premier restaurants, has offered unparalleled opportunities to mount truly innovative and splendid events. It is impossible to even attempt to encapsulate fifty years of activities, but to illustrate at least some of the scope of the Bailliage; in the 2009 – 2010 season, our schedule included a glorious Chinese New Year Banquet at Shun Lee West celebrating 4707–The Year of the Ox, followed bymarvelous culinary experiences at Bistrot Bagatelle (one of Greenwich Village’s best new restaurants ),Chef David’s Burke’s Fishtail unveiling his new innovative concept for promoting sustainable seafood, and the inimitable Daniel withChef Daniel himself in the kitchen . With great pride, and after much planning and hard work, we welcomed over four hundred confréres from twenty-nine countries, including the United States to the 2009 Grand Chapître United States & International Conseil D’Administration Meeting. During this time, young chefs from around the World competed at the international Jeunes Commis competition held at the CIA in Hyde Park and were honored at a reception and grande bouffe at The Pierre Hotel. We concluded our 2009 season dining sumptuously at Per Se.
History of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
It was in the year 1248, under Saint Louis, King of France, that the Guild of Rôtisseurs was formed. Originally limited to roasters of geese (“Ayeurs”), the Guild expanded in scope and in numbers, and in 1610 it received the present coat of arms by royal warrant. (Note the crossed broches, or turning spits, on this seal. A symbolic broche is used during the Chaîne’s induction ceremony for new members and elevation in rank of deserving members). One of the most prosperous of the Guilds, La Chaîne comprised many members who were attached to the noblest of families of France. This proved less advantageous during the French Revolution, for along with most other Guilds, La Chaîne suffered significant loss of membership and was dissolved. Gastronomically speaking, 160 uneventful years passed until the revival of La Chaîne in 1950. Following recovery from World War II, three gastronomes and two professionals joined in Paris with a common goal – to restore the pride in culinary excellence which had been lost during a period of wartime shortages. In that year La Confrèrie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs was officially incorporated, and the seal and coat of arms of the predecessor Guild were restored by Act of the French Government.
The Chaine Today
Today La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the oldest and largest gastronomic organization in the world. Tens of Thousands of people have participated in Chaine events annually in its activities throughout the world with 6,000 members in the USA alone. Bailliages (Chapters) in more than 80 countries coordinate their programs through La Chaîne’s international headquarters in Paris. In the United States, La Chaîne has approximately 130 local chapters. The National office is located in Madison, New Jersey on the Farleigh Dickinson University Campus. 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 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.
National Competitions & Further Learning
Visit our national website for competitions or more general information.