Belgium Chapitre
Brussels & On-line, November 2, 2020
Including the launch of OMGD in the Bailliage
" sincere thanks for his creativity, flexibility and great enthusiasm go to Inducting Officer Michel Cottray "

After having had to postpone this Chapitre three times as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the Bailliage was very grateful to have been allowed by our President Yam Atallah to conduct the Induction Ceremony digitally.

A window of opportunity presented itself during the continued crisis brought on by the pandemic. Together with my National Officers we had to act fast - like the “A team” - and draw on our combined knowledge and experience.

Two days in advance of the Ceremony each new member to be inducted was mailed an elegant box with their ribbon, certificate and a beautiful Bailliage “Dolce” wine glass. The package contained detailed guidelines on how to enter the Zoom room for the Ceremony as well as suggestions for what to prepare for the zakuski and beverage for the virtual reception.

Given the virtual nature of the event we chose zakuski seeing that they are “food-in-itself” and not necessarily part of a meal. Originating in Russia, zakuski is a term used in many Slavic-speaking countries for cold hors d'oeuvres and snacks intended to follow each shot of vodka or another alcoholic drink. The word literally means “something to bite after”.

On the day members could follow the Ceremony by Zoom so they could meet each other in the breakout rooms. Others could follow the Facebook life stream. Needless to say we had several brainstorming sessions and rehearsals to perfect the system as best we could in the time available for preparation.

Since we had a challenge with the Post Office - November 1st was a Public Holiday in Belgium - Maître Rôtisseur Bruno Elsier brought his sword so we had the necessary equipment for the Chaîne inductions. He called into a Belgian vineyard to get a real Chenin Blanc leafy branch to use for the inductions launching the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (OMGD in the Bailliage.

We presented one 20-year Commandeur and one 10-year Commandeur awards. Inducted were a Chargé de Missions, nine Maîtres Rôtisseurs, two Maître Restaurateurs, one Maître Sommelier, one Sommelier, five Dames de la Chaîne and three Chevaliers. A very encouraging 49 members joined the OMGD.

We had 50+ members on Zoom and 100+ followers on Facebook live. The virtual break out rooms for the reception afterwards was very much appreciated by the members.

My sincere thanks for his creativity, flexibility and great enthusiasm go to Inducting Officer Michel Cottray, Member of the Conseil Magistral and a former Bailli Délégué of France. He was supported by his lovely wife Heike, who is a Bailli Délégué Honoraire of the Principality of Monaco.

Much appreciation also goes to Conseiller Culinaire Jean- Baptiste Thomaes, Chargée de Missions Dominique Crombé and Chevalier Jan De Kimpe, all of whom significantly contributed to the accomplishment of this mission.
As this event was such a success we have now set ourselves a new mission, that of a “Bubble booster” on December 11th.

Vive la Chaîne! Vive l’Ordre Mondial!

Ilse Duponcheel
Bailli Délégué