USA Grand Chapitre
Chicago, October 12-14, 2017
Outstanding events in iconic locations made for a fabulous programme

The 2017 Grand Chapitre planning committee, headed by Conseiller Gastronomique Simeon Roldan and Chicago Bailli Beth Roldan, chose Chicago’s InterContinental hotel to host the event.

Constructed in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club, the hotel was an exclusive men’s club for members of the Shrine organization. In 1988, the InterContinental Hotels Group purchased the property and spent considerable time and money transforming it into one of the most opulent hotels on the Magnificent Mile.

The Grand Chapitre programme opened with a special thank-you luncheon at Kendall College for Chaîne Foundation donors (“Foundation Friends”). Kendall College was the first culinary school to dedicate a “Chaîne Kitchen” intended to introduce students to the Chaîne and its philanthropic endeavours.

Midwest Bailli Provincial Renee Wilmeth welcomed the group and introduced Midwest Conseiller Culinaire Provincial Christopher Koetke, who is Vice-President of Kendall’s culinary arts programme. Students prepared a delightful luncheon for the group. Conseiller Gastronomique Roldan donated a “Balthazar” (12L) of Viette Perbacco Nebbiolo delle Langhe 2007 to ignite the enjoyment engines to full throttle.

The venue for the Gala Induction evening on Friday was the Art Institute of Chicago, affording confrères a stunning private viewing of the museum’s impressionist collection. The ceremonies, held in Fullerton Hall, were followed by a champagne reception in the Stock Exchange Trading Room and dinner in Griffin Court.

Bailli Délégué Harold Small, with assistance from national officers: Foundation Chair John Burson, Grand Échanson Ira Falk, Conseiller Culinaire et des Professionnels Reimund Pitz, Argentier Stephen Gross, Conseiller Gastronomique Simeon Roldan, and Bailli Provincial Renee Wilmeth, inducted and promoted members representing many regions of the Bailliage of USA.

On Saturday morning, the Baillis met for their annual meeting which included a Bailli educational forum. Later that day was the Board and National Council luncheon and meeting. That evening’s Bailli Appreciation Dinner at the InterContinental celebrated the foods of Chicago, with music from the Big Band era.

Included in the culinary team were Executive Chef Randy Reed, Executive Sous-Chef Alex Cantero, Banquet Chef Sue Lynch, and Pastry Chef Thomas Gorczyca. The unique reception, held in the Swimming Pool Room, paid homage to Chicago’s seventy-seven distinct ethnic neighbourhoods.

The Chicago Synchronized Swimming Club provided in-water entertainment amid the grandeur of the room’s terra cotta ceiling and classic sculptures. Some attendees donned 1940s garb, adding to the nostalgic tone of the evening.

Following dinner, Foundation Chair Burson and Gene Daly, Bailli Honoraire of Napa-Sonoma, spoke about the Chaîne Foundation and funds were raised in a live and silent auction to support the ongoing education of US culinary students.

Marie Addario
Vice-Chargée de Presse Nationale
Editor-in-Chief of Gastronome and Gastronome Extra!

Photos courtesy of David H Ramsey Photography, Charlotte NC