Vietnam Inaugural Grand Chapitre 1
Ho Chi Minh City, August 27-31, 2018
Inauguration of the National Bailliage celebrated in style
" Five days of festivities celebrating the formal launch of the Chaîne in Vietnam could not have been better culminated "

The Bailliage of Vietnam celebrated its founding Grand Chapitre by hosting more than a dozen events in the course of five days in Ho Chi Minh City.

Evening Drinks and Welcome at the Rex Hotel Rooftop Bar
On August 27th the week’s festivities commenced with cocktails, locally-inspired snacks and live music at the Rex Hotel Rooftop Bar. During the (circa 1955-1975) Resistance War Against America, the rooftop bar played host to daily military press briefings which were aptly named “Five o’Clock Follies” by the local press corps.

Singaporean Lunch at Lion City Restaurant
Tuesday, August 28th, marked the first culinary event featuring a Singaporean and Perenakan Heritage lunch for 20 guests. Maître Restaurateur Harry Ang treated guests to a six-course lunch made with the freshest ingredients in the region including his award-winning “Iron Chef” Singaporean chili crab recipe.

Private Cooking Class at An An Saigon
After the lunch, Bailli Délégué Rajesh Taneja and renowned Maître Restaurateur Peter Cuong Franklin of An An Saigon hosted distinguished Chaîne members, International Vice-President Marie Jones, Inducting Officer David Tetrault, Member of the Conseil d’Administration from Canada, and Steven Kahn, Member of the Conseil Magistral from Hong Kong, for a market visit followed by a private Vietnamese cooking class. The select group was able to enjoy the rich and vast history of one of Vietnam’s most centrally located wet markets while learning about local ingredients and fresh Vietnamese food.

Light Casual Dinner at Hôi An Sense Restaurant
On the second evening Hôi An Sense Restaurant presented culinary delights from central Vietnam for 20 excited diners. Featuring a menu originally presented to Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister of Russia and a former President, guests indulged in delicious homemade rice flour rolls and dumplings, traditional charcoal grilled selections using house “secret sauces” and a full collection of Hôi An signature dishes including “Cao Lau” and “Com Hen.”

Evening Drinks at Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar
After the casual dinner, attendees adjourned to the Caravelle Hotel’s rooftop bar, appropriately named “Saigon Saigon”, for Latin dance, live music and contemporary cocktails.

Cooking Class with Lunch at Hoa Tuc Restaurant
The third day of events started early with a tour of Saigon’s historic Ben Thanh Market followed by a Vietnamese cooking class. Members learned about indigenous vegetables, herbs and spices, while shopping for ingredients to make their next meal. They then travelled to Hoa Tuc Restaurant and Saigon Cooking School for a fully interactive cooking class and lunch. Some members were so enthused to find out that this cooking school changes their menus daily that they booked additional cooking classes during the week of this Grand Chapitre!

Baillis Dinner at An An Saigon
While members and attendees of the Grand Chapitre were given the third evening off to explore Saigon, the visiting international “Red Ribbons” and senior Bailliage leaders, accompanied by Bailliage of Vietnam National Council members, again visited Maître Restaurateur Peter Cuong Franklin’s An An Restaurant for a private dinner with a seven-course menu featuring the ceremonial, celebratory, impressive “Beef done seven ways”.

Evening Drinks at Alley 50
After dinner, everyone was invited to a late evening drinks party at Alley 50, a modern cocktail bar tucked away in one of Ho Chi Minh City’s quiet alleys. Jamey Merkel, Brand Ambassador for Suntory Roku Gin, was present to mix special gin concoctions with local ingredients for our guests.

Induction Ceremony, Reception and Gala Dinner at Opus Saigon
Ed. Please refer to separate article published on the website

Farewell Lunch and Caviar Tasting at Cugini Restaurant
The final day of events kicked off with a special caviar tasting featuring Vietnam’s own “Caviar de Duc” paired with Grey Goose Vodka ‘Special Edition by Alain Ducasse’ and rustic Italian dishes prepared by Maître Rôtisseur Nico Ceccomoro at Cugini Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City’s upscale Thao Dien neighbourhood.

London Epic Evening Brunch at Social Club Saigon
Where better to conclude the Grand Chapitre programme than at the iconic Social Club Saigon famous for one of the most decadent free-flow buffets in Asia. Besides the many Chaîne dignitaries, members and their guests, a notable person at the event was Ian Gibbons, British Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, who was accompanied by his wife, Karen.

Guests were overwhelmed not only by the outstanding selection of champagne and food - including three types of foie gras, endless fresh seafood, live stations and more - but also by the entertainment which featured the “Fab Four”, a Beatles tribute band from Thailand.

Five days of festivities celebrating the formal launch of the Chaîne in Vietnam could not have been better culminated.

Rajesh “Raj” Taneja
Bailli Délégué