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International Grand Chapitre & AGM

Lyon, November 11-13, 2021

Extravaganza in Lyon
" everyone was so delighted to be able to meet in person after all the challenges of the past two years! "

We were delighted to welcome everyone in Lyon on the occasion of the International Grand Chapitre and Annual General Meeting 2021 of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. As if that wasn’t enough, even more exciting news was that the Grand Chapitre was combined with the International Final of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition.

The three days of the Grand Chapitre commenced on Thursday, November 11th with a Cocktail Reception before the “Welcome Dinner” in the Salon Soufflot at the InterContinental Hotel. Members and guests were resplendent in their attire bedecked with Chaîne insignia. The menu was created by Executive Chef Lionel Levy from the Michelin 1-star Restaurant Alcyone in the InterContinental Marseille together with Executive Chef Mathieu Charroi from InterContinental Lyon.

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Banyuls-marinated mackerel, Puy lentils

Star anise beef tataki, Greek-style mushrooms

Fillet of Dombes duck
seared octopus, spiced carrot mousseline

Dessert
“from Lyon … to Marseille”

WINES
Macon-Lugny 2018 - Joseph Drouhin
Crozes-Hermitage 2018 - Laurent Combier

On Friday 12th the theme was ‘Discovering Beaujolais’. It was an early start for those who had booked for the tour.

First stop was Château des Bachelards in Fleurie. The group was warmly welcomed and enjoyed a special visit of the estate including a tasting with the owner, Madame la Comtesse Alexandra de Vazeilles, and Fabrice Sommier, a MOF Sommelier and Master of Port. [Ed. MOF = Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France - a craftsman successful in the competition held every four years in France]

Next on the tour was an apéritif and visit to the Wine School in Mâcon where Fabrice Sommier gave us lots of interesting information.

Lunch followed at the Michelin 1-star Restaurant l’O des Vignes set in the vineyards of Fuissé. Chef Sébastien Chambru, also “Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France”, served a superb menu to delight our taste buds.

Back in Lyon, the annual meeting of the Conseil Magistral commenced at 3pm in the Salon Soufflot. This special event is reserved for active Members of the Conseil together with Honoraire members and Baillis Délégués who can attend as observers.

Friday evening was a Gala occasion at “Abbaye de Collonges - Paul Bocuse” in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or. [Ed. see separate article.] It was dedicated to the celebration of the young Sommeliers who participated in the 2021 International Final.

It was a very full evening with attendees being transported by coach to the establishment in two tranches. The first group left earlier than the other so as to be able to attend the Awards Presentation and Induction Ceremony of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition. The ceremony concluded the second group arrived with perfect timing for everyone to enjoy the Champagne reception.

The exceptional Gala Dinner was prepared for the packed banqueting room by Executive Chefs Gilles Reinhardt, Christophe Muller and Olivier Couvin, all three holding the prestigious “Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France” title.

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Black truffle soup “V.G.E” *

Bresse chicken
roasted in our fireplace, truffle juice

Saint Marcellin “Mère Richard”
“Baratte” of fresh goat’s cheese **

Bocuse delicacies

Coffee and sweetmeats

WINES
Condrieu - Domaine Perret
Côte Rôtie - Domaine Semaska

[* Ed. This soup was created for President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing by Paul Bocuse on the occasion of his promotion as a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur at the Élysée Palace in 1975. Bocuse, the acclaimed father of French gastronomy, was asked to prepare a special meal and one of the dishes he decided to serve for the President and the guests was the now famous “soupe aux truffes”.]

[** Ed. Baratte = churn in English. Paul Bocuse was the originator of this goat’s cheese. He wanted a portioned cheese of quality. Recognizable by its butter/cheese churn shape, the “handle” is a short wheat straw, the “churn” being 30 grams of cheese.]

At the end of an action-packed day happy participants travelled back to the InterContinental Hotel just before midnight.

The full programme was in flow early on Saturday morning beginning with a Welcome coffee in the Foyer des Sœurs at 9am before participating in one or more of these events:

- 9.30am: Departure from the Hotel for guided tours
- 10am to 11.30am: Halles de Lyon
- 10am to 12 noon: Secrets of Lyon gastronomy
- 10am to 12 noon: Old Lyon
or
- 10am: International General Assembly in the Salon Soufflot
or
- 12 noon: Meeting of the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (OMGD) in the Salle du Cloître for Échansons and Baillis Délégués only.

During the afternoon everyone was at leisure anticipating the Induction Ceremony and Gala Dinner that evening.

The Induction Ceremony was scheduled for 6pm in the Salle Tony Garnier of the Palais de la Bourse. Everyone was in evening dress with full insignia. The black tie outfits contrasted with the jewel like array of evening gowns.

President Yam Atallah presided over the ceremony. He was assisted by International Vice-President Marie Jones and Board members, Klaus Tritschler, David Tetrault and Benoît Fragnière. There was an emotional moment when Marie Jones stepped forward to surprise the President with the presentation of the Officier Commandeur Award for his 30 years of Chaîne membership. In making the presentation, Marie gave a short resume of the President’s career starting in 1991 when he joined the Chaîne as a Chevalier. Rapturous applause confirmed approval of the award and the manner in which it had been conferred.

The ceremony was followed by a reception after which came the Gala Dinner prepared by Executive Chef Davy Tissot from the Michelin 1-star “Saisons”. Executive Chef Davy was 2019 winner of the Bocuse d'Or France and a 2020 Bocuse d'Or Europe competitor.

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Smoked eel cream, light beet mousse
Sherry vinegar, caviar

Langoustine quenelle
wild mushrooms, hazelnut oil emulsion

Eucalyptus honey pigeon
roasted salsify, parsnip puree, white chocolate

Chocolate Chartreuse

WINES
Condrieu ‘Pagus Luminis’ - Domaine Louis Chèze
Sancerre ‘Le Rochoy’ - Domaine Laporte
Givry 1er Cru ‘Champ Lalot’ - Domaine Sarrazin et fils

What an outstanding finale to a superb time in Lyon where everyone was so delighted to be able to meet in person after all the challenges of the past two years!

Marie Jones
Managing Editor, Chaîne News Online

Photography by Mary Erhardy (maryerhardy.com)

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