Michigan Chapter of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the world’s oldest international gastronomic society, founded in Paris in 1248. It is devoted to preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table and to promoting excellence in all areas of the hospitality arts. Each year the society sponsors young chef and sommelier competitions that attract contestants from throughout the world, while the Chaîne Foundation provides scholarships for students in these fields. Chaîne is based on the traditions and practices of the old French royal guild of meat roasters. Revived in 1950, the society has professional and amateur members in more than 90 countries worldwide.
The Michigan Bailliage consists of the entire state of Michigan but our headquarters are in Detroit and we have events all over the Metro Detroit area. We have members who live in Harbor Springs, MI as well as Windsor, Canada; these members often travel to areas such as Birmingham, MI for brunch or a champagne and sparkling wine tasting and instruction. We are a fun group of food and wine lovers who enjoy meeting new people and having a good time together; we have all made good friends through The Chaine and enjoy the camaraderie! It gets cold and blustery in Michigan but we manage to stay warm through those cold months by having casual brunches or tastings in the many country clubs or hip Detroit restaurants where we can sit by the fire! Our events range from high-end 4 star with black tie to casual patio events to business casual mid-range priced events at trendy Metro Detroit restaurants.
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. More than 80,000 persons participate annually in its activities throughout the world with 6,000 members in the USA. 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, NJ. 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.