Laguna Chapter of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
The Laguna Bailliage of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs is a diverse group of people who come together to enjoy gourmet food and fine wines. The Bailliage was founded in 1987 by Hotelier Henry Schielein. Today the Bailliage has grown to over 70 members who with their spouses, companions or friends join in dinners several times each year.
Since the beginning, the Laguna Bailliage has had a strong interest in promoting local professionals. We currently have about 20 members who are professionals. These professionals include executive chefs of some of the biggest area hotels, restaurant owners and chefs of local favorites, caterers, culinary educators and sommeliers. Many of these professional members regularly host the bailliage for dinners. At these dinners, professionals and nonprofessionals all come together with at least one commonality, an appreciation of food and wine.
The Laguna Bailliage hosts 6-8 events per year, ranging from our black-tie induction dinner to our annual end of the summer clam bake. We work closely with the chef for each event to pair the wines perfectly with each course with the goal of creating a dining experience the members may not be able to have on their own. Each event is different and exposes our members to wines and foods from all over the world. Our Echanson thoroughly explains each of the wines chosen for the meal and the chef will usually come out to talk to us about the food. Often times our members learn something new about a wine or food at an event or are exposed to a varietal of wine they have yet to experience. Our events are a great opportunity for our members to get to know one another and even make life long friendships through sharing the common interest of food and wine.
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.