A special evening with the Swiss Ambassador
" It was a quintessentially Chaîne evening "
The Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States, Chevalier d’Honneur Martin Dahinden, and his wife, Dame de la Chaîne Anita Dahinden, hosted the Bailliage for cocktails and dinner at their residence.
Beyond his diplomatic career, the Ambassador is also a culinary historian and author of two books on Swiss contributions to gastronomy: “Schweizer Küchengeheimnisse” (Swiss Kitchen Secrets) and “Beyond Muesli and Fondue: The Swiss Contribution to Culinary History”.
We first met the Dahindins at an event at Stable, a Swiss restaurant in Washington, where the Ambassador spoke about the regional nature of Swiss cuisine, soon after the couple were inducted into the Chaîne at a special ceremony at the Michelin-starred Plume Restaurant.
As the Dahindens prepare to return to Switzerland in August after four years in Washington, they warmly welcomed their fellow members to the Swiss Residence for a dinner inspired by the legendary Delmonico family of Swiss restaurateurs.
Featuring modern architecture and materials that evoke the snow-covered Swiss Alps, the Swiss Residence is set on one of the highest points in Washington’s Woodley Park neighbourhood. Its terrace commands a stunning view south to the National Mall and the Washington Monument.
Swiss wine, cocktails named after Swiss culinary and historical figures, with passed hors d’oeuvres greeted arriving members and guests at the reception.
Chef Joao Marcos Barboza delighted us with a dinner featuring classic dishes that made Delmonico’s restaurants famous.
Lobster pieces, Sherry cream sauce
Petite Arvine AOC 2014 - Valais, Switzerland
Endive, watercress, apple salad
tangy honey mustard vinaigrette
Pan-roasted strip loin steak
herb compound butter, twice-baked potato, vegetables
Compleo Cuvée Noir 2014 - Zürich, Switzerland
vanilla ice cream, sponge cake
meringue, blueberry sauce, fresh berries
Each course honoured the Delmonico legacy whilst demonstrating Chef Joao’s own talent and creativity. Between courses, Ambassador Dahinden shared the fascinating story of the profound influence of Delmonico’s on American gastronomy.
It was a quintessentially Chaîne evening, i.e. incorporating international camaraderie, gracious hospitality, and outstanding food and wine.
All agreed that it had been an honour for members of the Bailliage to get to know our hosts during their time in Washington. They will continue to be active in the Chaîne upon their return to Switzerland in the Bailliage of Bern Oberland.
Vice-Chargé de Presse
Photos principally by Arvin Photography, but also from Judy Mazza and Michael McHenry