A Casual Evening at the Chicago Yacht Club

Monday, July 28, 2003

Hors d’Oeuvres, Dinner, Cruisin’ and Caviste’s Choices


Chicago Yacht Club welcomes Chicago’s First Lady

by Jane Tracy, Vice-Chargée de Press

Casting a watchful eye toward the July skies, members of the Chicago Chapter and Chicago’s First Lady got together again for the summer cruise on Lake Michigan. This year, the prime location of the Chicago Yacht Club hosted a post-cruise dinner. Hors d’Oeuvres and a chilled ginger carrot soup were served on board accompanied by a lemony 1989 Heidsieck Monopole Diamant Blanc. Maitre Hotelier Ian J. Smith, General Manager of the Chicago Yacht Club and seventeen years as a Chaîne member, put on quite a show.

Upon disembarkation Executive Chef Mark Brown and Sous Chef Kristopher Murray put together a delightful summer evening dinner for us all. An aspic-lined plate with the Chaîne logo in the center was placed at each table setting in the high glass-walled dining room of the Yacht Club. Bailli Roger Tracy gave the toast and welcomed Vice-Chargé de Missions Mark Monoscalco and Mirella Monoscalco from the Kauai/Oahu Bailliage and Ecuyer Danielle Bermann from the Houston Chapter all of whom were visiting Chicago co-incident with our event.

Chevalier/Commandeur Pete Stiles, and also Chicago Yacht club member, had made the wine choices from the Cellar and gave commentaries about them alongside Vice-Chancelier Argentier Jeanne Cahill who addressed the dishes. The 1988 Philippe Leclerc Gevry-Chambertin was loaded with black fruit and mint that completely dispelled the myth of white wine with fish. Blending conspiratorially was seared Hamachi and tuna the latter coated with coriander seed, cilantro, and lemon zest. A classic demi-glace sauce that included juice of blood oranges alongside a sauce espagnole accompanied the visually pleasing plat de resistance comprising a trio of meats and a craftily constructed vegetable Napoleon. The 1990 Delas Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvée de Haute Pierre spoke for itself. An English Stilton – contending for the “King of Cheeses” nomenclature - carried with it the reputation of being “more trouble than babies” to produce and was beautifully accompanied by a 1963 Moreira Colheita Port. A voluptuous 1988 Château Rieussec Sauternes produced a welter of honeysuckle apricot and peach flavors completely justifying the titan Bananas in a Box dessert.

Special plaudits were justifiably given to Chef Brown and his team who had excelled in their ability to create a most civilized summer evening on the edge of Lake Michigan.