USA Grand Chapitre
Baltimore, October 3-5, 2019
Gaiety, camaraderie and mountains of fresh Maryland crab
" Bailli Délégué Harold Small congratulated and honoured the Mid-Atlantic Bailli Provincial "

The 2019 USA Grand Chapitre took place in Baltimore, Maryland, at the Four Seasons Baltimore Hotel, a luxury, five-star property in the vibrant Harbor East district. Hosted by the Bailliage Provincial of Mid-Atlantic the festivities and meetings were surrounded by gaiety, camaraderie and mountains of fresh Maryland crab for which the state is known. Baltimore, its largest city, has a long history as a major seaport. Fort McHenry, birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, sits at the mouth of the city’s inner harbour.

On Thursday, Foundation Chair, John Burson thanked Foundation Friend and Trustee Michael Ty for organizing the delicious traditional celebration for donors to the Foundation at the Foundation Friends Luncheon prepared by Chef Raimund Holfmeister and members of the Regional Culinary Olympic Team. A $5,000 cheque was presented to the American Culinary Federation Education Fund in support of the ACF Culinary Olympic Team.

The Grand Chapitre was launched officially at Thursday evening’s welcoming reception where Bailli Délégué Harold Small and Bailli Provincial John C Fannin III welcomed all to the weekend, even more significant than usual given the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Bailliage of the United States of America.

An actor delighted the audience with a re-enactment of former resident of Baltimore, the late American poet Edgar Allan Poe, with one of his macabre poems, “The Raven", published in 1845. The poem is considered among the best-known in American literature and from this celebrated poet. Two very large ravens were also present to darken the show, adding to the drama and providing a photo opportunity for members.

Following the reception, exclusive dining experiences took place at some of the finest restaurants in Baltimore: Charleston, Magdalena, Bygone, Alma Cocina and Petit Louis Bistro. Daytime adventures included visits to the Baltimore Museum of Art, lunch at Gertrude’s and the Fells Point Walking Tour with stops along the way to enjoy local foods and libations.

To celebrate all Baillis a jovial Chesapeake Bay Feast took place at Bo Brooks Waterfront Restaurant. An open bar, great wines and customized Chaîne beers created for the event were paired with Maryland crab soup, fried chicken, and bushels of hefty Maryland crabs.

Saturday’s black-tie Induction Ceremony was officiated by Bailli Délégué Harold Small, a Member of the Conseil d’Administration, and assisted by National Officers: Chancelier Ira Falk, Argentier Steve Gross, Foundation Chair John Burson, and Bailli Provincial Mid-Atlantic John Fannin with Mid-Atlantic officers: Chambellan Provincial Stuart Goldberg, Chambellan Provincial/Bailli Matthew Karstetter, Conseiller Gastronomique Provincial Paul Schulze, and Échanson Provincial/Bailli George Staikos.

An elegant gala dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel planned by the Mid-Atlantic host committee rounded off the weekend. The reception featured Champagne Collet ‘Esprit Couture’ Brut 2007 and passed hors d’oeuvres.
The menu included tuna tartare paired with Weingut P. Licht Berweiler Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Auslese 1959, poached scallop, duck breast and côte de boeuf.

Other sensational wines included a Château Grand Village 2015 - a Bordeaux from Guinaudeau Vignerns, Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru 2012, Xavier Vignon ‘Cuvée anonyme’ Châteauneuf-du Pape 2012, and magnums of 1985 Château Suiduiraut 1er Cru Classé Sauternes.

Chocolates were hand crafted by fifth generation Swiss chocolatier Albert A. Lauber of Neuchatel Chocolates, Oxford Pennsylvania.

Bailli Délégué Harold Small congratulated and honoured the Mid-Atlantic Bailli Provincial and his team members for their work in creating this year’s Grand Chapitre with Bailliage of USA Silver Stars or International Silver Medals. USA Gold Stars were presented to Baillis Thomas Knox (Philadelphia) and John Foy (La Grande Cave du New Jersey) recognising their long and distinguished service to the Chaîne. A Silver International Medal was awarded to Executive Director Kevin Dunn, and special thanks went to National Office staff members, Kathy Aber, Felice Nussbaum, and Maria Fernandez for their assistance.

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

Photos courtesy of David H Ramsey Photography, Charlotte NC