National meeting in review
" the Gala Dinner truly was a wonderful grand finale to a wonderful weekend! "
Halifax was pleased to host the Canada’s 61st Annual Grand Chapitre with the National Council, visiting Provincial and local Baillis, and members from across Canada and around the world enjoying an action-packed weekend of events.
Founded in 1749 and the site of the first British town in Canada, visitors have been falling in love with Halifax for more than 250 years. Situated on a peninsula alongside one of the world's largest deep-water harbours, Halifax combines the international essence of a major port city and naval base with the culture and heritage of one of Canada’s most historic communities.
The three-day programme began on Thursday evening with dine-arounds offered by three Chaîne member establishments: Brooklyn Warehouse; Eliot & Vine; Hermitage.
Early Friday morning, there was a choice of activity.
One was a guided bus tour of Peggy’s Cove, historic Lunenburg and visit the churches of Mahome Bay. Peggy’s Cove is a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay and site of the famous Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse. Founded in 1753, the port town of Lunenburg, and location of our luncheon at Beach Pea Restaurant (courtesy of Chef-Owner Martin Luis Salvador, Maître Rôtisseur), was one of the first British attempts to settle Protestants in Nova Scotia. The Old Town is one of only two urban communities in North America designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Alternatively, there were wine tastings at Gaspereau Vineyards and Domaine de Grand Pré Winery followed by lunch with Chef Jason Lynch at Le Caveau Restaurant, named one of twenty world’s best winery restaurants by Wine Access magazine. A premium boutique winery situated in the beautiful Gaspereau Valley since 2004, Gaspereau Vineyards was the first winery to establish in the valley. Domaine de Grand Pré winery is the oldest farm winery site in Atlantic Canada.
Third option was a presentation by Acadian Seaplants with an eco-tour, mushroom foraging and lunch. Courtesy of Louis Deveau, Acadian Seaplants Founder and Chair, the group received a rare glimpse into the world’s leading and most diversified, fully integrated, and sustainable seaweed company. Afterwards, local expert mushroom identification herbalists Jolanta Grossman and Fred Dardenne from Terroir & Wild Ecotours led a foraging expedition, followed by a gourmet lunch featuring the bounty they collected.
On Friday evening, an extraordinary Welcoming Reception, featuring a delectable series of food stations highlighting the flavours of the Maritimes and a fine selection of wines, was held in the Wardroom of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Stadacona in Halifax. Hosted by Executive Chef Kevin Ouellette, the Wardroom is an integral part of CFB Halifax Officers’ Mess complex in the Juno Tower. All non-Nova Scotia residents also experienced a local custom, namely their induction into “L’Ordre de Bon Temps” (English: Order of Good Cheer) conducted by Chargé de Missions Honoraire Rémy Richard.
During the day on Saturday, members and guests were able to take advantage of a unique walking tour accompanied by a kilted guide.
This year’s “Baillis and Members” luncheon was held at Gio Restaurant located in the host establishment, The Prince George Hotel. Executive Chef Greg Burns presented an outstanding lunch with wine pairings.
On Saturday evening, Kevin Toth, Bailli of Nova Scotia, welcomed the attendees to the Regency Room at Prince George Hotel and introduced Bailli Délégué Tony Catanese. Tony opened the joint festivities of the Awards Presentation for the National Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs (JCR) Competition and the Induction Ceremony for the Grand Chapitre. He began by recognising the many senior members of the National Bailliage who were present as well as thanking the sponsors.
With that, he invited Conseiller Culinaire Cameron Huley to take the podium for the JCR presentation. Firstly, each of the competitors was presented with a participant’s medal, certificate and a Wüsthof knife. After thanking Nova Scotia Community College’s state-of-the-art Kingstec Campus for their amazing kitchen facilities Chef Huley announced the winner was Nova Scotia’s Ethan Green. He will now represent Canada at the 2023 International Final in Istanbul, Turkey.
With the JCR Awards concluded, Bailli Délégué Tony Catanese launched the Induction Ceremony. He led the inductees in the Oath to the Chaîne, then in his capacity as a Member of the Conseil Magistral, he raised the sword over those being promoted and new members being inducted. Tony was assisted by David Tetrault, Member of the Conseils d’Administration and Magistral, who was Tony’s predecessor as Bailli Délégué. Kevin Toth, Bailli of Nova Scotia served as announcer.
Attendees then retired to the Terrace for a champagne reception followed by the Gala Dinner in the Windsor Ballroom. An extravaganza of tastes, moving smoothly through a series of nine superb courses perfectly accompanied by the exquisite range of wines, the Gala Dinner truly was a wonderful grand finale to a wonderful weekend!
Based on an extensive write-up prepared by Eric Jones, Chargé de Presse