Updates & Announcements

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Apply to Represent the Chicago Chapter in the 2018 National Young Sommeliers Competition

Application deadline: Sunday, December 31, 2017
One-hour online test: Saturday, January 6, 2018, 11:00 am Chicago time

For complete details, official rules, and online application, go to: http://www.ysommc.us/

The Chicago Bailliage of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs encourages all eligible sommeliers 30 years of age or younger to participate in the 2018 Young Sommeliers Competition. The goal is to enhance your wine skills and knowledge in a challenging but fun environment, while offering an opportunity to earn professional advancement, gain awareness and support among enthusiastic Chaîne members, compete for cash prizes, and enjoy free travel to the regionals and finals. Participation is at no cost to competitors.

The competition includes an online qualifying test administered on January 6, 2018, followed by an in-person regional test and a national final in Paso Robles, California, May 3-5, 2018. The Chaîne covers travel expenses to the regional and final tests for those who qualify. All judging panels are led by Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Chicago Chaîne Members Make a Culinary Journey to Copenhagen

No journey to Copenhagen would be complete without dining at Noma, and for members of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, no trip would be complete without sharing a meal with local Chaîne members. Five Chicago Chaîne members enjoyed both experiences during a week-long dining and cultural tour of Denmark’s capital in August.

Led by Bailli de Chicago Mon Roldan, the Chicago Chaîne delegation comprised Vice-Chargée de Missions Beth Lang, Vice-Chargé de Missions John Blaser, Dame Stephanie Blaser and Dame Beth Roldan. Prior to embarking on their trip, the travelers reached out to Mette McIsaacson, Bailli Délégué of Denmark, and Jørgen Krenk, Chancelier, Bailliage de Denmark.  They added a lunchtime dîner amical to their season’s program “to mark the visit of [their] Chaine brothers [and sisters] from Chicago,” according to their Web site announcement. The special event took place at Restaurant Schønnemann, an award-winning institution that has served traditional Danish fare since 1877. The twenty-four guests included members of the Denmark Chaîne and Mohamed Hammam, Bailli Délégué of Turkey with his wife, Maria. All enjoyed a variety of smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches), marinated salmon, plaice filet, chicken salad, calf liver paté, pork filet and Danish cheeses. Throughout the convivial meal, many a “Skål!” (“Cheers!”) was heard from local members toasting their American guests with snaps, the Danish version of aquavit, followed by healthy swigs of dark beer.

Jørgen also helped Mon plan the group’s dining itinerary by offering tips on Copenhagen’s best restaurants. “One of the many benefits of Chaîne membership,” noted Mon, “is to be welcomed by local members around the world and to get ‘inside information’ on the best dining choices.”

The genesis of the group’s culinary adventure was securing a coveted reservation at Noma, one of only two restaurants in Copenhagen to be awarded two Michelin stars and – perhaps more impressive – ranked the #1 restaurant in the world in four of the last six years on the San Pellegrino list of the world’s best restaurants.

Even with high expectations, the Noma dining experience did not disappoint. The innovative dishes using quality local, seasonal ingredients were equaled only by the warm and flawless service. The atmosphere was one of joy and excitement felt by diners, servers and chefs alike. Indeed, Chef René Redzepi and his entire team greeted guests as they entered, and at the end of the evening, the experience was extended with a behind-the-scenes tour. As diners left in the wee hours, the chefs were huddled in the kitchen, still working and collaborating.

However, the Chicago Chaîne discovered that Copenhagen dining is more than just Noma. “The levels of quality and sophistication of the food in the places we visited were as high as we anticipated – whether modern or traditional, high-end or at the Torvehallerne Market,” recalled Stephanie.

Those places included Geranium (Copenhagen’s other Michelin 2-star restaurant and #51 on the San Pellegrino list), Relæ (1 star, SP list #45), Kokkeriet (1 star), Søllerød Kro (1 star), Studio (1 star), Amass (SP #66), and Bror (Michelin Bib Gourmand). Visits to Torvehallerne Market for a limitless selection of Danish and international foods and Aamanns smørrebrød for Danish open-faced sandwiches (kicked up several notches) rounded out what proved to be an epic culinary journey.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Welcome to the 2014-2015 Season!

Cher Confrères and Consœurs,

Greetings!  I hope you all had a relaxing summer and now recharged and ready for our 2014-2015 Event Program.

Chaine Dinner Events: As in the past and unless otherwise noted, our events for this new season will be held on the 3rd Monday of each month starting on September 15, 2014 and ending on June 15, 2015.  The November outing will be the exception; it will be held for at least 3 nights starting on Wednesday, November 19th at 18 guests per night.  Also, the dinners at Fat Rice and Slurping Turtle/Takashi will occur on a Sunday/Monday combo due to venue size and event theme, respectively.

Mondiale Tasting Events: By popular demand, we have extended the number of our tasting events to five this season with two to three devoted to revisiting the basics of grape varietals, vinification and wine appreciation.  Events will be held on the 1st Sunday of every other month starting October 5th, except for March (on the 22nd) to allow members to attend the Midwest Region Assemblage in Kansas City.   

Set forth below is a complete list of our proposed Event Program for the new season.  Please mark your calendars.  Should there be changes to the schedule, trust that we will advise you promptly.  Per tradition, event invitations will go out a month before event dates.

Vive la Chaine!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013-2014 Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Bailliage de Chicago & Societe Mondiale du Vin Season Announced!!!

We are beyond excited to announce the upcoming 2013-2014 Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Bailliage de Chicago & Societe Mondiale du Vin Season.  We are thrilled to have put together a beautiful mix of well-established big venues and hotels, classic restaurants run by well-known Chicago Chefs and one-off experiences by underground, pop-up and rising star Chefs and Winemakers!  Chaîne dinner events, unless otherwise noted, will be held every third Monday of the month effective September 2013 with reception generally starting at 6:30pm.  Please mark your calendars and join us for what is sure to be an unforgettable season!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ Chicago Chapter Hosts “National Young Chefs Contest” at Kendall College

Chicago, IL – On June 8th, Chicago got another star in its culinary galaxy. The world’s largest gastronomic organization, Confrérié de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, hosted its annual National Young Chefs Contest at Chicago’s Kendall College and crowned Daniel Gorman of the Mid-Atlantic the Best Young Chef of 2013. Gorman works at The Inn at Little Washington, Virginia. Chicago’s own Brandon Zarb of Henri represented the Midwest region and was named runner up of the competition. Gary Marcos placed third representing the Pacific Island region and works at Halekulani Hotel & Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The 10 contestants were judged on their culinary skills by an award-winning panel of chefs. To be eligible, the culinary competitors must have won their regional contests and be less than 27 years old as of September 1, 2013. The national and international contests require competitors to plan, prepare and plate three courses in four hours using a mystery basket of ingredients as well as a typically stocked “pantry” of items made available during the contest. Mystery basket items for the contest included Ramps, Beets, Rhubarb, Duck, Lake Trout and Vermont Maple Syrup. 

Tasting judges for this coveted event included Chef Kevin Hickey, Chef Art Inzinga, Chef Michael Garbin, Chef Gaetano Ascione, Chef Christopher Koetke and Chicago Chaîne Bailli (President) Mon Roldan. Kitchen Judges (Kendall College Chef Instructors) included Chef Michael Artlip and Chef Michel Coatrieux with the Kitchen Manager (Kendall College Chef Instructor) Chef Pierre Checchi.

Winner Daniel Gorman will travel to Istanbul, Turkey on September 6th to compete in the Confrérié de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ International Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition, a contest that will bring together 24 of the world’s top young chefs.
The United States has won the international contest only once in its 36-year history – in 2011. Gorman also received a crystal trophy, red medal and a three-year membership to the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

“The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs coming to Chicago was a vehicle to raise awareness and support students for the next generation of culinary stars,” said Jane Tracy, former bailli of the Chicago Chaîne des Rôtisseurs chapter. “Chicago has made its impact on the culinary map and there was no better location than the most prestigious culinary school in our city.” The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs facilitates students from local to regional to international stardom.

Conseiller Culinaire et des Professionnels National Heinz Hofmann said, “The Chaîne has a long standing relationship with many culinary schools through the Chaîne Foundation. We also exercise strong support for the young chefs through our vast professional network of members in various positions such as Executive Chefs, Hotel and Restaurant Owners and Managers as well as a variety of food and wine Suppliers to the Industry. We maintain a keen interest in young talent so as to promote the culinary arts and always have access to excellent food.”

The June 8th event was not open to the public. An awards ceremony and gala was hosted at Trump Hotel Chicago that evening. The Chicago chapter also named Mon Roldan to Bailli (President).

Chicago benefited in many ways including additional tourism and a $25,000 donation to the Kendall College Charitable Trust for future scholarships to inspire the next generation of chefs and other hospitality industry leaders. Chicago has the largest Chaîne chapter in the U.S. with 130 members, including many well-known chefs, restaurant owners, general managers, caterers and sommeliers. Membership must be approved for enthusiasts of the culinary.  The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is headquartered in Paris and numbers 6,000 members in the U.S. and 22,000 in nearly 90 countries around the world.

“The Kendall College Charitable Trust is immensely grateful to the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs for their support.  It will provide scholarships for three outstanding culinary students in financial need to realize their educational dreams at Kendall College,” said Robin Malpass, Kendall College Charitable Trust executive director.  In fact, the Kendall College Charitable Trust will be creating an honorary scholarship for three outstanding Kendall College culinary students in the names of the top Chaîne des Rôtisseurs USA Young Chef competitors: Daniel Gorman, Brandon Zarb, and Gary Marcos.

In early 2013, Kendall College acknowledged its important relationship with the Chicago Chapter with the unveiling of its new “Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Kitchen,” which marked the first time that a U.S. culinary school has established a kitchen named after a Chaîne chapter.

Scholarships from the Kendall College Charitable Trust are available for students in career programs who have completed their first year of study that includes business, education, hospitality and culinary studies. The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs has contributed $60,000 to the Trust. Eighty scholarship recipients received grants totaling over $240,000 for the 2012-2013 academic year. In the past three years, the program has awarded $600,000 to 176 recipients in the past three years to students.

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