Monday, February 19, 2001
Wieland Ludwig* et al Ed Chaine*
Chicago Chapter’s DINNER OF THE DINNERS 2001
It was all about orchestration and breaking new frontiers. Chicago Chapter’s first annual Dinner of the Dinners was held at The Chicago Hilton and Towers on the Magnificent Mile. Seven Chefs, who had each provided a full culinary dinner for us during our 2000 Season, were invited to re-create one of the dishes from each of the original Chaîne menus. The Chicago Chapter’s Gastronomic Year Book produced by Bailli Roger Tracy formally laid out every dish, each wine pairing, the host establishment and Executive Chef so that that a well-balanced and appealing menu could be compiled. Proceeds from the evening were destined to create a new Scholarship Fund for a student of culinary education at a respected school. From there, Vice-Conseiller Culinaire Heinz Kern took over the reins and moved this pioneering event forward by consulting with the invited the chefs and establishments. It was a show not to be missed. The Chicago Hilton and Towers hosted the event and the dinner took place in the palatial Grand Ballroom, with its Versailles-influenced chandeliers and balconies. Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique Bob Beilfuss juggled the complex and varied logistics of keeping the organization of it all well under control and Vice-Chargé de Missions/Caviste Charles Lockhart accomplished clever and successful wine pairings. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Maître de Table Hôtelier Ed Chen, Hilton’s Director of Catering, the Ballroom’s striking appearance led us into an evening of talent, art and stamina. Chef Rôtisseur Wieland Ludwig, Hilton’s Executive Chef had prepared a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres to commence the evening and also a top notch Grand Dessert Buffet to close it. Chevalier Peter Stiles offered the Toast acknowledging all those participating.
Seven Chicago Chefs worked together as a team, assembling, aiding and being supportive toward one another, facilitating each’s aim to replicate the original dish and for it to remain undistorted. It was an impressive dinner involving different establishments, batterie de cuisine and personalities, all of whom were working at the pinnacle of professional competence. Rather than address each course and its wine pairing, this article will be a tribute to our unique Chefs, illustrating how this event culminated in a synchronous series of fabulous ingredients honed and cleverly manipulated into artistic design and taste. For those purists to be able read in detail the compositions and descriptions of the courses they can be found on our Website www.chaine-chicago.org
Bailli Roger Tracy and Vice-Conseiller Culinaire Heinz Kern recognized each Chef to ardent applause. It was a pioneering event for the Chicago Chapter and we formally thank all participants for being willing to take those risks.