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Switzerland Grand Chapitre

Basel, May 24-26, 2013

A truly gourmet festival blessed by spring sunshine

A 60th birthday demands a magnificent occasion that will create lasting memories. 60 years ago the Basel Bailliage was inaugurated. For the three days in May of the Spring Grand Chapitre the Basel Chapitre celebrated this golden anniversary. Thoughtful and meticulous preparation by a dedicated team of local Bailliage officers led by Bailli Karin Weinmann made the three days a truly gourmet festival.

After a light lunch at the Hotel Radisson Blu Friday afternoon was filled by a sightseeing journey aboard a historic tram to see the old part of the city. In the evening an excellent dinner was presented at the famous Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois. Commencing with a lush Champagne cocktail, we followed a culinary tour of foie gras, cream of lobster soup and lamb fillet jointly prepared by Maître Rôtisseur Peter Knogl, Executive Chef of the Michelin 2-star Restaurant le Cheval Blanc at the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, and Marc-André Dietrich, the hotel’s Executive Chef.

The Annual General Assembly of the Bailliage of Switzerland was held on the Saturday morning in the prestigious Town Hall. During this event we honoured the members who had achieved Grand Commandeur and Grand Officier Commandeur status. The Restaurant Schlüsselzunft just a few steps from the Town Hall was the perfect place to celebrate these long-time members. Andreas Uebersax and his team created a delightful light lunch while outside a thunderstorm cleared the atmosphere!

Late afternoon, Carl Wachtmeister, Member of the International Conseil d’Administration from Sweden, presided over the Induction Ceremony at the historic Basel Casino. Afterwards we transferred to the city’s new convention centre for the Gala Dinner.

Elegantly decorated, the refined illuminated auditorium provided the perfect backdrop to the culinary talents of Peter Moser, Head Chef of the Mercure Hotel Europe’s gourmet Restaurant Les Quatre Saisons, and Klaus Kratzeisen supported by a large kitchen brigade. We enjoyed a wonderful evening with a perfectly-conceived dinner not only because of Peter Moser’s famous ‘Basler Mehlsuppe1, but also due to the finest selection of wines from all over the world.

After the breath-taking show by performers from the nearby Europapark, two long standing members of the Chaîne were honoured. Herta Kornetzky, Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique of Zurich-Campagne was presented with the Chaîne Silver Award, and August Meierhofer, Chargé de Presse Honoraire received the Bronze Award.

Always a pleasure is the traditional Sunday ‘Déjeuner d'au revoir’ at the Restaurant Bel Etage of the historic Hotel Teufelhof, hosted by Raphael Wyniger with newly-inducted Maître Rôtisseur Michael Baader in the kitchen. The very unusual menu created especially for this event was most delicious.

What a 60th birthday party it was! We look forward to the next 60 years.

Renata Cavegn
Chargée de Presse

1 Basler Mehlsuppe is a hearty, full-flavoured soup made with browned flour, beef bouillon and onions. Cooked and stirred for several hours, it is seasoned not only with peppercorns but also with sweet spices, usually cloves but sometimes nutmeg or allspice.