Linking up with Chaîne members and fine dining in May/June 2016
Linking food and wine enthusiasts worldwide with one common Chaîne goal: offering “brotherhood, friendship, camaraderie sharing a passion for the culinary arts.” - not just theory but reality as my husband Mel and I discovered on our travels. We were welcomed warmly, made great friendships and I could indulge my passion for interviewing Chaîne Executive Chefs and other Professional members.
Detailed planning, insider top tips were crucial and paid off.
Before we left Australia Stephen Tredwell, Bailli of Vancouver, gave invaluable advice about chefs to contact, restaurants to visit, places to go. These included the French Colonial boutique-style Wedgewood Hotel and Spa; Signature Restaurant “Market” at the Shangri-La Hotel where I interviewed Executive Chef Ken Nakano; legendary Michel Jacob of Le Crocodile and celebrity Executive Chef Alex Chen at the Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar. Michel and Alex were interviewed too - the former sharing his secret to ongoing success (consistency, quality, tradition matched with impeccable service), the latter his distinctive culinary vision, uncompromising standard of excellence with the motto “Fresh – Local - Inspired”.
Lake Louise, Canada
Fairmont Château Lake Louise Hotel meeting Chef André Blanchet and the culinary team who showed how gastronomic operations at a 550 room resort hotel worked.
The highlight, tenfold what was promised, was the Spring Grand Chapitre of the Bailliage of Switzerland. Bailli Délégué René Kamber welcomed us. The opening dinner of the programme was at owner and Professional member Chef Beat Stofer’s venue in Meggen. Beat and his team created a superb banquet for an impressive international gathering of Chaîne members meeting old friends and making new.
Dined with Thomas Gysler, Bailli of Zurich Ville and Josef Boesze, Chargé de Missions, and their families at Sonnenberg Restaurant, with its glorious city views, home of the illustrious and expensive membership Club FIFA. Legendary Swiss Chef Jacky Donatz exemplified his important good cooking rules - sustainability of flavour, experience, modern, honest cooking with a touch of “Italianità”.
A flying visit to the Mövenpick Hotel & Casino to meet General Manager Nicolas Meylan and Executive Chef Vincent Godereaux. As we left for the airport Nicolas presented us with a bag of Swiss “goodies”.
London, Great Britain
Bailli Délégué Phillip Evins, who we had met in Lucerne, recommended Odette Restaurant. Chef Bryn Williams gave an exclusive tour through the busy kitchen.
Bristol, Great Britain
Coffee with old friends Alan Cox, Bailli of Cotswolds, and his wife Anne reminiscing and planning our next trip to include the Cotswolds.
Stopover homeward bound at Roppongi Hills, an exclusive “Club 51” members-only restaurant on the 51st floor with unmatched views over the city. Chef Alexis Gutierrez prepared a feast. Out of this world finish to our tour!
Back home, reminiscing meeting extraordinary, wonderful people experiencing first-hand the beautiful, global Chaîne community sharing the same passion - friendship, good food, excellent wine.
Vice-Chargée de Presse
Bailliage of Gold Coast, Australia