The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the oldest gourmet group in the world, with its roots in France going back to 1254, and ‘head office’ is still in Paris. To be accepted into the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an honor, and the acceptance of a member is carried out at what is known as the ‘Intronisation’ (French for ‘induction’) ceremony. At this time the new member swears to uphold the traditions of the table and the ceremonial sword is placed upon the shoulder. For 2011, the induction ceremony was under Joe Thawilvejjakul from Bangkok.
Naturally, at this special dinner, the food and wines presented to the members are also very special. Tastings are carried out, with the chefs, to produce a harmony between the food and the wines, to all make the dinner even more memorable.
Ranjith Chandrasiri, (centre) Bailli (President) of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, poses with members and guests at the intronisation ceremonies.
At this year’s Intronisation dinner, held Saturday, Dec. 3 in the Royal Cliff’s Grill Room and Wine Cellar, chefs Walter Thenisch and Horst Rautert spent much time in fine-tuning the menu, in conjunction with the Bailli of the Pattaya Chapter, Ranjith Chandrasiri.
The feast began with a poached Boston lobster with champagne jelly with a grape salad on hazelnut oil dressing. This had everyone’s taste buds calling out for more, and the champagne jelly was just superb.
To go with this dish, a Menage a Trois White 2009 from California was offered. Called Menage a Trois, it is a blend of three grape varietals, Chardonnay, Muscat Alexandria and Chenin Blanc. This white blend brings together citrus and tropical fruit flavors with crisp acidity. Extremely refreshing, an exhilarating wine which is the current popular choice in America.
The next course was a double cooked pork belly on ginger-cinnamon yellow squash mash and Pacific scallop wrapped in Serrano ham on meat glace. This course was another offering some wonderful tastes. The double-cooked pork was extremely soft, and the Pacific scallop wrapped in the Serrano ham was just sensational. With more defined flavors, this course needed a stronger wine, and the Wynns Coonawarra Estate Chardonnay 2007, did just that. This wine spent six months in French oak, and was smooth to the palate with peach and nectarine flavors, with a subtle oak flavor adding to its complexity.
The third course was a quail which had been stuffed with fois gras. For the wine with this course they returned to the Menage a Trois label, but this time their red 2009, which was a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Following the quail a lemongrass sorbet with a slice of Granny Smith apple was presented on a stalagmite ice carving.
In all Chaîne dinners, the main course has to be a roast (“Rôtisseurs” being French for “roasters”). This course was a roasted Wagyu beef filet on a coriander risotto with sautéed chanterelle mushrooms and glazed chestnuts complete with a parsley foam on the beef that I found was particularly enjoyable.
The wine was a Seghesio Family Vineyards Sonoma Zinfandel 2009 coming from 100 year old vines, with the Sonoma region being the producers of the best Zinfandel. It scored 91 from the Wine Spectator this year, a very high mark indeed. The grapes are Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Syrah and at 15 percent alcohol, had to be treated with care!
The next course was exceptionally interesting, being baked goat cheese, on a fig carpaccio with cranberry jam and spiced fruit bread. An amazing mélange of flavors. The diners were given the choice of continuing with the Sonoma Zinfandel or going on to the Anakena Single Vineyard Late Harvest 2010 sweet Botrytis wine from Chile. 100 percent Viognier grapes of which 60 percent had the noble rot (Botrytis). This vintage was aged in French and American oak barrels.
The dessert was a white chocolate parfait with baked raspberry semolina tart and coconut foam. Thousands of calories, but you don’t go to a Chaîne dinner and expect Weight Watchers food!
At the conclusion of the evening, certificates of appreciation were given to the chefs, kitchen staff and service personnel.
It was indeed a night to remember with notable wines and delightful dishes. Further details on the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs can be obtained from Ranjith Chandrasiri, email [email protected].