OMGD China Dinner
Bailliage of Beijing
Beijing, December 14, 2019
Who was Catherine de Medici?
" A high point of Beijing's holiday season dining scene "

Often overlooked in discussions about the Chaîne’s history is that our founding father, King Louis IX, had an eighth-generation descendant, Henri II. In 1533 he married Catherine de Medici: a woman who changed the history of French cuisine forever.

A noble Florentine by birth, whom history credits for bringing the practices of sophisticated Italian cuisine into the kitchens of French courts, Catherine united Italy and France in ways that sent French cuisine into a trajectory of glorious creativity for generations to come.
This rich exchange between the two great cultures of Italy and France inspired Beijing’s OMGD (Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs) dinner event. Themed “Un Ballo in Maschera” (“A Masked Ball”), Vito Grippa, Roman-born Executive Chef at the Ritz-Carlton Beijing’s Cepe Restaurant, created a lovely marriage of Italian cuisine with French techniques perfected in Michelin-starred kitchens of Relais & Châteaux establishments in Italy and France. Our OMGD confrère, Davide Lupi, a native of Abruzzo who received his wine and academic training in Bologna and Lyon, presented an expertly-curated selection of Italian and French wines.

A high point of Beijing’s holiday season dining scene we had great fun donning exquisite, exotic masks for the 160th anniversary of “Un Ballo in Maschera,” Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece inspired by Italian and French opera traditions. The “best mask competition” was an intense battle of originality and creativity.

Cepe’s hard-working food and beverage team ensured our dinner was an outstanding success. They worked even harder to pick the winner of our competition. The grand prize went to Preston Thomas, our Vice-Chargé de Presse, disguised as “The Mask.”

Wines served were :
- Champagne Deutz Brut Classic NV
- Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC 2017 - Marche
- Vie di Romans Pinot Grigio, Friuli Isonzo DOC 2017 - Friuli
- Lucien Crochet Sancerre ‘La Croix du Roy Rouge’ 2014 - Loire Valley
- San Felice ‘Il Grigio’ Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2015 - Toscana
- Château de Rayne Vigneau ‘Madame Rayne Blanc’ Sauternes AOC 1996 - Bordeaux

Our deepest thanks went to Chef Vito, Hotel Manager Oliver Achatz and Food and Beverage Director Benjamin Hafner of the five-star Ritz Carlton Beijing; CWS our wine supplier, and our confrère Davide Lupi, Italian Wine Specialist & Sales Manager for CWS.

Vive la Chaîne!

Michael Delacruz