International - 70th Anniversary 1950-2020
December 14, 2020
Celebrating seven decades of the Chaîne
" our Confrérie has developed steadily, spreading around the world and sharing our core values "

Over the decades our Confrérie has developed steadily, spreading around the world and sharing our core values, which transcend cultures and national boundaries. Celebrating the significant milestone of 70 years in challenging times is proof of our strength and resilience.

Following World War II, France was in great need of reconstruction. Banker Jean Monnet developed a plan to develop output by setting modernisation goals for key economic sectors.

An influential supporter of European unity, Monnet, who was born in Cognac, into a family of cognac merchants, is considered as one of the founding fathers of the European Union.

US aid flowing through the Marshall Plan combined with Monnet’s national plan and worldwide prosperity brought an economic boom to France with annual growth of five per cent. It was in this context at the end of 1949 in France that food restrictions began to be lifted.

As a result Jean Valby obtained a leg of lamb which Mrs Valby cooked to perfection.

And the rest as they say is (Chaîne) history given that the famous roast lamb experience led to La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs being created at Easter 1950 to resurrect the ideals of the Guild of Roasters disbanded in the early 1790s at the time of the French Revolution.

Development of the brand

To develop an international brand it is a generally-held belief that you have to “think global, act local”. Language is complex and culture is distinct, however the need for brand uniformity is achieved given that our product, the friendship which comes from sharing the pleasures of the table, transfers across cultures and languages. Our logos and regalia are standardised.

We have an integrated network of same format websites. Even so, how to ensure that there is full adherence to the Visual Identity Guidelines of course remains a challenge.

The Bailliage of France was established in 1950. During the first ten years the Chaîne spread first to Switzerland in 1951, Cameroon in 1952 then across Western Europe and eventually the USA in 1959.

In the ten years from 1960-1969 further countries in Europe and the Americas joined the network. The Confrérie reached Asia (Hong Kong) in 1964 and by the end of the first 20 years it totalled 21 National Bailliages.

During the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties almost 40 are created with over 20 more bringing the Chaîne to their countries in the 21st century. Had COVID-19 not intervened, the Chaîne would have been formally implanted in South America - the last great frontier as far as National Bailliages are concerned.

Nevertheless, what began as a collective effort on the part of forward-thinking gastronomes has grown and evolved over seven decades to become our internationally-recognised gastronomy association in around 80 countries that uniquely brings Professional and Non-Professional members together.

Across the world from New Zealand to Hawaii and the Cook Islands following the sun from east to west World Chaîne Day had its debut in 2015 and has gone from strength to strength since.

The concept came from Finland where the first day was organized on a national level in 2014. International co-operation and connections have historically meant travelling. Over the years this has of course created a global community among Chaîne members around the world, a community which now celebrates once a year making the most of modern-day social media to make connections between Bailliages and members on a whole new level.

The five founder members agreed a constitution and the text of the Oath: “I solemnly swear to always respect a joint roasted on a turning spit, and that I will do it justice. I promise I will always behave with respect and warmth towards my fellow members of the Chaîne in the knowledge that we all share the same ideas and principles.”

Principles which remain as valid today as they were at the outset in 1950!

Marie Jones
International Vice-President