The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society devoted to promoting fine dining and preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table. Although the modern day Chaîne began in 1950, our traditions and practices are based on those of the old French guild of roasters, whose written history dates to 1248.
The society has members in more than 75 countries. In Canada, there are 14 "bailliages," or chapters, each headed by a bailli and other officers who plan the chapter?s activities. These 14 Bailliages are governed by the Bailliage of Canada, consisting of a Bailli Delegue and other national officers. Our membership includes individuals with a keen interest in fine dining, and professionals such as executive chefs and restaurateurs.
Saint Louis XII, King of France, awarded the Corporation of Rôtisseurs an official coat of arms in 1610. The coat of arms 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 that unites the members of our society.
La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs has two types of members: individuals and professionals. The warm interaction between our professional and non-professional members distinguishes la Chaîne from other organizations. In addition, most successful Bailliages have almost an equal number of professional and non-professional members.
Benefits for Lovers of Fine Dining
Social dining events:
Membership in la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an opportunity to meet people who share a common interest in fine dining and good fellowship. All bailliages hold fine dining events, often black tie, in the best local restaurants and hotels. Menus and dishes are created exclusively for these dinners by chefsîmany of whom are also members of the confr?rie. Each bailliage holds one grand gala event (Chapître dinner) annually to celebrate the induction of new members. Members receive a distinctive ribbon that is worn at Chaîne events.
The activities of la Chaîne are not limited to grand dining. The "diner amical"îless formal meals, picnics and barbequesîalso plays an important role in each chapter?s schedule. The programmes vary, depending upon local resources and interests, but events across the country have included celebrations of New Year?s (traditional and Chinese), Valentine?s Day, Mardi Gras, April Fool?s Day, Canada Day and other theme parties.
La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs also offers a growing number of regional and national events that are open to all members. Members in good standing may also attend the Grand Chapître held once a year in each national bailliage around the world. The twinning of bailliages from different regions of the world expand the opportunities for fine dining and fellowship.
Tastings, demonstrations and educational seminars are offered by many bailliages. These events may take place in local hotels, restaurants, culinary schools and private homes and clubs.
In conjunction with the Bailliage of the United States, the National Bailliage of Canada produces an annual listing of all restaurants and hotels where professional members are located. Chaîne members are gladly received at affiliated establishments around the world when diners identify themselves as members to establishments that display the logo of la Chaîne (plaque).
Membership includes a subscription to Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a magazine published at our international head office in Paris.
Benefits for Culinary Professionals
La Chaîne deeply appreciates the guidance and sophistication that our professional members bring to our organization. The titles bestowed on professional members depend upon their functions, and whether they have direct responsibility for a kitchen.
La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs began as a society of meat roasters and grillers, and it is the continued interest and support of our professional membersîrestaurateurs, hoteliers, caterers, industry suppliers and vintnersîwhich allows the society to maintain its sophisticated standards. For our professionals, membership is an opportunity to demonstrate their exceptional skills and creativity to a discerning, appreciative audience. The restaurants and hotels which host Chaîne dinners take pride in planning and delivering superb social and culinary events.
The inclusion of a professional member in our international dining guide leads to patronage from sophisticated diners; many Chaîne members make an effort to patronize affiliated members when travelling. The guide is circulated to all U.S. and Canadian members, and to the officers of the major bailliages abroad. As our members are known for their sophistication in dining, they are frequently called upon to recommend restaurants and hotels to their non-member friends and associates, and are most comfortable in suggesting a fellow member?s establishment.
Hotels and restaurants where Chaîne members are located display a full-colour enamel plaque announcing their membership. The plaque, along with the society's logo on menus and brochures proclaims excellence in dining. The plaque and logo are the property of the society, and are awarded to professionals as individuals. This means that these symbols may be displayed only as long as the member is in good standing and is normally present at a property.
Young commis (cook) competition:
La Chaîne sponsors an international competition for promising young cooks. During the competition, chefs are required to prepare an appetizer, main course and dessert using a prescribed table of ingredients, and must complete their task within a specified time limit. The winner of each regional competition is sent to compete at national and international levels. At each level, special publicized events are scheduled to recognize the participants and honour the winners for their initiative and creativity.