USA Chapitre
Bailliage Provincial of Southwest
Austin (Texas), March 2-3, 2018
From boots to Beluga
" The weekend ended with a black-tie Gala at the host hotel, the Westin Downtown "

Confrères from eight states gathered in Austin to celebrate the region, its new inductees, those promoted and its young chefs. Hosted by Bailli Provincial Bill Salomon and Dennis Shay, Bailli of Austin, the group was treated to some of the best things the city, Russia(!) and very talented chefs had to offer.

Day One coincided with Texas Independence Day so the dress code was “Texas chic” - cowboy hats, bolo ties, fringed dresses, coloured boots. The unusually warm winter evening allowed for drinks and hors d’oeuvres on the upstairs deck of Parkside Restaurant which overlooked the famed Sixth Street.

Music from nearby venues showcased Austin’s reputation as live music capital of the world. Known for locally and state-wide sourced products, Parkside Chef Victor Sandoval produced fine offerings from both land and gulf, several with a “hot” Texas kick. The finale, a chocolate torte laced with whole blueberries, provided an unexpected, tasty pop in the mouth.

Saturday activity options were touring the Texas State History Museum or watching their favourite young chefs compete in a heat of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition at the Art Institute of Austin.

In the afternoon, at the fun and funky Russian House, we were greeted by a life-sized, growling stuffed bear and a bar filled with 150 house-flavoured vodkas. We sipped on Russian finest bottle-fermented sparkling wine and munched on traditional Russian hors d’oeuvres before entering the chandelier-filled dining room for the pièce de résistance - a caviar tasting billed as the ultimate afternoon snack. The Maître d’ described three red and two black caviars that he grew up eating in his grandmother’s home in Russia. Needless to say, the final offering - Beluga - took the top prize.

The weekend ended with a black-tie Gala at the host hotel, the Westin Downtown. Culinaire Provincial Leslie Bartosh praised the young chefs for a tough competition and announced the top two competitors.

Chancelier Ira Falk, who is a Member of the Conseil Magistral, provided an inspiring, entertaining Induction Ceremony for six new members including a Maître Rôtisseur. He also promoted three members.

With the ceremony concluded we celebrated with an exceptional dinner provided by Executive Chef Martin Wilda and his team, deemed by some to be the finest Chaîne dinner they had experienced.

The invitation to this Southwest Provincial Chapitre promised food, wine, friends and Austin. It delivered on all counts. One could not have wished for more!

Kathy Shay
Chargée de Presse Provinciale

Photos by Kathy Shay and by Sara at Mistworks