International Grand Chapitre & AGM
Paris, May 14-16, 2016
Three days of pomp, circumstance, gastronomy and camaraderie

The opening dinner took place in the Salon Ravel of the Hotel InterContinental Paris le Grand.

After a champagne cocktail under the great glass canopy of the winter garden located in the heart of the hotel, the members present were able to enjoy the fine quality of the dishes offered and the work put in by the service brigade.

Fine vegetable broth
marinated sardine Asian-style

Duo of green and white asparagus
St. George mushrooms
mustard vinaigrette, Île-de-France saffron

Grilled langoustines
Tuscan-style tomato confit

Aveyron duck, Seville orange jus
turnips and courgettes

Cherry blossom crème légère

Coffee, tea, petits fours

Chablis 1er cru ‘Fourchaumes’ 2013
Montagny 1er Cru 2011 – Bouchard

After a warm welcome over coffee, the Conseil Magistral met in the Salon Berlioz of the Intercontinental Hotel Paris le Grand. The Conseil was chaired by the President, Yam Atallah, assisted by the International Vice-President, Marie Jones, the Members of the Board of Directors and the Secretary-General, Philippe Desgeorges.

A detailed report on the Chaîne was presented, among other things touching on the following topics: status of subscriptions for the year 2015; presentation of completed, ongoing and future projects; presentation of the results of the World Chaîne Day; appointments to the Conseil d’Honneur; and, finally, the Grand Argentier’s Report on the year 2015.

The appointment of Marc Bermann (Bailliage of USA) to the Conseil d’Honneur was approved unanimously.

In the evening cocktails and dinner took place at 19 place Vendôme, in the Hôtel d’Evreux.

The Hôtel was built between 1706 and 1718 by the architect Pierre Bullet (1639-1716) at the request of the owner of the site, Antoine Crozat, to provide accommodation for his daughter and son-in-Law, Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne. In 1738 the hotel passed to Louis Antoine Crozat who in 1752 gave it to his second daughter, who was married to the Maréchal de Broglie. In 1896, the Hôtel was acquired by Crédit Foncier de France.

The salons of the Hôtel d’Evreux are a succession of rooms arranged “in a chain”, of which one part overlooks the Place Vendôme itself and the other the hotel courtyard. These salons, some parts of which date from the time of Louis XIV, make it possible to imagine the social life of 18th century Parisian aristocracy up to the time of Napoléon III.

Cocktails were served in the private salons on the first floor of the hotel, providing the guests with a magnificent view over the place Vendôme. The participants then repaired to the Salle des Tirages for dinner where the lights were low and the atmosphere welcoming.

This rectangular room was constructed at the end of the 19th century. It is covered by a ceiling of polished glass and decorated with garlands of stone and symbolic motifs associated with the worlds of urban and agricultural work. The ceiling is supported on two sides by cast iron columns that recall the nineteenth century fascination with the new technology of metal architecture. The same room houses eight lottery machines dating from 1880 to 1932, called “spheres”, for the drawing (‘tirage’) of lots, unique witnesses to the resurgence, at the turn of the twentieth century, of the “loan lottery” of the Ancien Régime.

The kitchen brigade, led by Chef Marie Soria, delighted us with each course, offering meticulously presented modern dishes. The service brigade, present and discreet, rose to the challenge of combining surprises with excellent time-keeping.

At the end of the meal everyone had eaten their fill. As the service brigade entered the assembled guests applauded warmly to express their thanks.

“Crystal lobster”
Steamed lobster, grated citrus, vegetable crisps,
green seasoning with vanilla, pickled beetroot

“Guéridon service style” monkfish tail
mushroom duxelles and vegetables braised in chicken stock

Noisette of lamb
hotchpotch of chick peas, mint and enoki mushrooms
lamb jus with kumquat

‘Smoking’ bombe glacée
coconut ice cream, mango and mandarin sorbet, caramel-banana cream
vanilla and ginger parfait; grilled and sculpted pineapple, mango and pear
(With this creation, Marc Rivière, Chef Patissier at Potel & Chabot,
won the World Cup for desserts in 2009)

Coffee, tea, petits fours

Puligny-Montrachet ‘Bastion de l’Oratoire’ 2011 – Maison Chanson
Côte-Rôtie ‘Colline de Couzou’ 2011 Patrick et Christophe Bonnefond
Champagne Bollinger NV

The 2016 International General Meeting of the association was held in the Salon Berlioz of the InterContinental Hotel Paris le Grand after a welcome coffee.
President Atallah chaired the meeting, assisted by the International Vice-President, Marie Jones, the Board of Directors and Secretary-General Philippe Desgeorges.

Several new Baillis Délégués were present, among them: Norbert Simon (Austria), Allen Wong (China), Jorgen Krenk (Denmark), Thierry Blouet (Mexico) and Thore Sande (Norway). Two members of the Conseil d’Honneur were also present: Bob Epstein (USA) and Marc Bermann (USA).

In accordance with the detailed agenda, members were informed of the results and achievements of the year 2015 and of projects under development for the forthcoming years.

Mrs Jacqueline Wolfovski, from Cabinet Exponens was also in attendance to present the annual accounts for 2015 and provide the necessary explanations for the financial results.

Finally the evening of the Induction Ceremony arrived. The participants gathered in the Salon Napoléon, decorated with frescoes from the Second Empire period, this room was the ideal place for the ceremony. To our great delight, among the hundred or so members present that evening, we met a large delegation from Mexico as well as numerous members from China.

After the speech by President Atallah, Benoit Fragnière, Member of the Conseil d’Administration, orchestrated the Induction Ceremony.
As well as several promotions and the induction of seven members of the Bailliage of Mexico, the Ceremony was notable for the:
- presentation of two Commandeur awards to Michel Cottray (France) and to Masanaga Hikichi (Japan)
- induction of three members to the Conseil Magistral - Natalie Lumpp (Germany), Norbert Simon (Austria)
   and Allen Wong (China)
- confirmation of Mark Bermann (USA) as a Member of the Conseil d’Honneur
- induction of two new Baillis Délégués: Jorgen Krenk (Denmark) and Thore Sande (Norway).

After a champagne cocktail in the Salon Aiglon, the doors to the Salon Empire were thrown open to reveal the tables set out for the Gala Dinner.
In this grand and impressive room the team, led by David Real, served a cuisine that was classic but also as delicate and polished as the gilding that decorated the prestigious columns of the Salon Empire.

Gazpacho of almond and melon,
beautiful Breton langoustine marinated in lime

Freshly-caught sole, morels and green asparagus

Veal from Corrèze
osso bucco cooked on the bone and pork belly confit with tomato
cromesquis of baby broad beans

Fresh Cabécou with “organic” olive oil
truffle pistou, Poujouran bread toasted with new season’s garlic

Chilled Gariguette strawberries, lemon and basil sorbet
sweet pastries with wild strawberries

Coffee, tea, petits fours

Pouilly Fuissé ‘Vieilles vignes’ 2014 – Vincent Girardin
Les Hauts de Smith 2012 – Pessac Léognan

When the kitchen and table service brigades entered they were thanked with enthusiastic applause.

Philippe Desgeorges

NB. Click this link photos to access the gallery of all the photos ... (c) Mary Erhardy / Sylvie Humbert