USA Gala Dinner
Washington D.C., June 14, 2018
A special night at the Jefferson
" Resounding appreciation was given to Chef Schlegel for his exemplary efforts "

Perfect evenings are rare. Our Bailliage came very close during its dinner in the Michelin-starred Gallatin Room of the Jefferson Hotel’s only blocks away from the White House. The restaurant is named after Albert Gallatin, a Swiss immigrant and “self-made man”. He became Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Monroe and eventually US Ambassador to both France and England.

It was therefore a most appropriate location for the induction of our guests of honour, HE Martin Dahinden, Ambassador for Switzerland to the United States, and his wife, Anita. They were respectively inducted as Chevalier d’Honneur and Dame de la Chaîne by Bailli Provincial John Fannin.

In addition to his extensive diplomatic experience, Ambassador Dahinden is an authority on Swiss cuisine, especially the differences between Switzerland's cultural and culinary regions.

The Jefferson’s historian, Susan Lagon, provided a brief history of Gallatin’s career and his connection to President Thomas Jefferson setting the scene for the special induction ceremony.

For the celebratory dinner, Michelin star and a Forbes 5-star rated Executive Chef Ralf Schlegel, Pastry Chef Fabrice Leray and their teams displayed innovation and artistry merging traditional and modern techniques to optimum effect. Chef Schlegel’s exceptional, subtle dishes were beautifully presented. Combinations of bright colours, mix of flavours and textures left us spellbound.


Foie gras, kumquat, phyllo
Duck prosciutto, Vermouth cantaloupe, fig
Carrot sphere, pickled ginger
Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV
Champagne Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut 2006


Matjes herring fillet
Bull’s Blood beets, green beans, soubise
Trimbach Riesling Reserve 2011 (Alsace)

Seared rabbit loin
purple haze carrot, Savora mustard
potato crumble, ramp gel
Volnay 1er cru ‘Clos des Angles’ 2012
Nicolas Rossignol (Burgundy)

Elysian Field rack of lamb
savoury herbs, bergamot, fava beans, black garlic jus
Toro Fina San Roman 2011
Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos (Castilla y Leon, Spain)

Honey marzipan croustillant
apricot caviar, caramelized pine nuts
bee pollen, rosemary ice cream
Chateau Coutet 2004 (Sauternes)

During the dinner designated attendees moved seats around the table. Accordingly, each course gave an opportunity to get to know the other attendees.

Resounding appreciation was given to Chef Schlegel for his exemplary efforts and the unique opportunity to sample his cuisine. A truly special evening from beginning to end!

Michael McHenry
Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique

* Photos by Judith Mazza, Allan Kam, Nicole Schiegg and Michael McHenry