Chaîne Online News

Actualités en ligne / News On-Line

2012 International Grand Chapitre & AGM

Paris, May 10-12, 2012

This year’s International Grand Chapitre and Annual General Meeting were held in Paris, the capital of France and spiritual home of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs given the connections with Saint Louis (Louis IX, King of France from 1226 – 1270).

Panoramic view of Paris with l'île Saint-Louis in the foreground - by Dimitri Destugues

Paris has many nicknames, but its most famous is "La Ville-Lumière" ("The City of Light") ... a name it owes first to its fame as a centre of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment (and later indeed to its early adoption of street lighting!).

We had been spoiled by the superb weather last year on the Côte d’Azur and we were not less favoured this time. Paris rose to the occasion and offered an azure blue sky with lots of sun, despite a wind that at times was chilly.

Thursday, May 10th

The opening dinner of the Grand Chapitre programme was held at the Hôtel Le Meurice, one of the finest addresses in Paris. Combining exceptional decoration, style and contemporary chic, its Salons were the ideal environment to welcome everyone to this year’s events.

A Champagne reception in the Salon Tuilerie gave the opportunity to greet friends from around the world and exchange the latest news. After President Yam Atallah had introduced Executive Chef Yannick Aléno, dinner was served in the beautifully-decorated Salon Pompadour.

Friday, May 11th
For the Members, together with Baillis Délégués and other invited Bailliage representatives, the afternoon was fully occupied with the annual meeting of the Conseil Magistral. President Atallah chaired the meeting. He was supported by International Vice-President Marie Jones, Members of the Conseil d’Administration and Secretary-General Philippe Desgeorges. The previous year’s results and achievements were fully discussed. [NB. Grand Argentier Joseph M. Girard was unable to attend and thus International Vice-President Marie Jones presented the financial report on his behalf.], equally proposals for the future direction and development were aired.

In the evening, dinner was held at the Hôtel Le Bristol. Situated at 112 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré – a street cited as being one of the most fashionable streets in the world thanks to the presence of virtually every major global fashion house. Not forgetting of course that the French Presidential Palace – the Elysée – is at number 55!

After a cocktail reception, dinner was served in the Salon Elysée Malmaison. Executive Chef Eric Fréchon and his brigade pulled out all the stops. Everyone was full of praise for the superb cuisine, so much so that President Atallah was heard to say that it was “one the best dinners I have ever had”.

Saturday, May 12th
The 2012 Annual General Meeting of the Confrérie commenced at 10am in the Salon Elysée Malmaison at the Hôtel le Bristol. President Atallah chaired the meeting and was supported by International Vice-President Marie Jones, Members of the Conseil d’Administration and Secretary-General Philippe Desgeorges. As for the Conseil Magistral meeting, in the Grand Argentier’s absence, International Vice-President Marie Jones presented the financial report. The Association’s Auditor, Jacqueline Wolfovski from Exponens was present to provide explanations as necessary. The general membership had the opportunity via a comprehensive agenda to learn of the previous year’s results and achievements. Equally proposals for the future direction and development were tabled. [NB. Full minutes of the Annual General Assembly will be posted in due course on the Chaîne’s international website.]

As is the tradition, a post-meeting lunch was served – in the Restaurant d’Hiver of the Hôtel le Bristol.

On a lovely May evening, the International Grand Chapitre’s finale took place at Le Pré-Catalan – a private reception suite situated in the Bois de Boulogne.

President Atallah presided over the Induction Ceremony in the Salle d’honneur “Aile Orsay” which saw three new members appointed to the Conseil d’Administration, together with many other awards, presentations, promotions and inductions.

We were welcomed to a cocktails and champagne in the beautiful Salon d’honneur “Aile Empire” before moving into one of the French capital’s prestigious venues, the Jardins d’Hiver, for the Gala Dinner.

It was an evening filled with music and excitement. The orchestra was playing whilst members and guests took their places for dinner. There was a short introduction by President Atallah, who invited members to take to the dance floor at any time during the evening.

Dinner was prepared by Executive Chef Guy Krenzer and his brigade. The wines selected by Maison Lenôtre’s Chef Sommelier Olivier Poussier matched the courses perfectly.

The President’s invitation to dance was enthusiastically accepted and more often than not the dance floor was crowded. After the dinner, for those who found the music too loud, there was the possibility to retreat into the sanctuary of the lovely gardens of this former 18th century botanical garden.

Edited by Marie Jones, International Vice-President, Managing Editor
(with thanks to Barbara Tritschler, Grand Officier, for her contribution)

Photos by Mary Erhardy (