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The Chaine des Rotisseurs (1248-1950)

An international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950. It is devoted to promoting fine dining and preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table.

The Chaine is based on the traditions and practices of the old French royal guild of meat roasters, whose written history has been traced back to the year 1248. Today, the society has members in more than 100 countries around the world, headed by a bailli ("bailiff") and other officers who plan the individual chapterís activities.

All bailliages offer fine dining events, often black tie, in the best local restaurants and hotels. The menus and dishes are created exclusively for these dinners by the chefs, many of whom are also members of the confrerie. This interaction between professional and amateur members is one of the things that distinguishes La Chaine from other organizations. Each bailliage also holds one grand gala event each year to celebrate the induction of new members. Members receive a distinctive ribbon which is worn at Chaine gatherings.

The official coat of arms of the Confrerie was awarded to the Corporation of Rotisseurs in 1509 by royal patent from King Louis XII. It consists of two crossed turning spits and four larding needles, surrounded by flames of the hearth on a shield encircled by fleur-de-lis and a chain representing the mechanism used to turn the spit. The outer chain along with the legend was added in 1950 to represent the bond which unites the members of our society.

Membership in La Chaine offers the opportunity to meet people who share a common interest in fine dining and good fellowship. For professional restaurateurs and hoteliers, it offers opportunities to demonstrate their exceptional skills and creativity to a discerning, appreciative audience. Members receive an annual guide to Chaine-affiliated restaurants and hotels, which also display a distinctive metal plaque.
The activities of La Chaine are not limited to grand dining. The diner amical - less formal meals, picnics and barbecues - also plays an important role in each chapterís schedule.

Tastings, demonstrations, and educational seminars are also offered by many bailliages. These have included caviar sampling, salmon slicing, coffee and tea appraisals, and many sorts of wine presentations. Dinners are often held in such settings as museums, galleries, private clubs, and historic buildings.

Many of bailliages hold events to support local culinary schools, and the national Chaine des Rotisseurs Foundation holds auctions and other fund-raising events to provide scholarships at schools.

The Chaine des Rotisseurs also has a society within the society, líOrdre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs, for those who have a special knowledge of or interest in wine and spirits. Members of this group organize special wine-related events, including trips to wine-producing regions around the world.


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