The Oldest Gastronomic Society - Chaine des Rotisseurs

by Melody Kettle

This Thursday, The Manor will host a private dinner to celebrate two auspicious events, the 55th Anniversary of The Manor and the 50th Golden Anniversary Annual Induction Dinner of the Chaine des Rotisseurs

Most of us are familiar with The Manor.   But what’s the Chaine des Rotisseurs? The Chaine is the oldest, international gastronomic society in the world. According to the Chaine:

The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the world’s oldest international gastronomic society, founded in Paris in 1248. It is devoted to preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table and to promoting excellence in all areas of the hospitality arts. Each year the society sponsors young chef and sommelier competitions that attract contestants from throughout the world, while the Chaîne Foundation provides scholarships for students in these fields. Chaîne is based on the traditions and practices of the old French royal guild of meat roasters. Revived in 1950, the society has professional and amateur members in more than 70 countries worldwide. In the United States, there are nearly 150 bailliages (chapters), each offering a variety of culinary activities to suit the interests of local members.

The Chaine has chapters worldwide.  The New Jersey Chapter –also called the Montclair Chapter – is comprised of professional members such as chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers, and offers events and opportunities for industry professionals to demonstrate their exceptional skills and creativity to a discerning, and appreciative audience.


At the dinner this Thursday, Master of the Gastronomic Arts, Executive Chef Mitchell Altholz has prepared an extraordinary feast in the tradition of haute cuisine! Also in attendance will be Harry Knowles, who holds the titles, Grand Commandeur, Grand Maitre de Table, Restaurateur, and Doris Knowles, together with their sons, Kurt and Wade, both Officier Maitre de Table.

How well do members of the Chaine eat? I got an exclusive peek at the menu which will include a first course of Sautéed Foie Gras Roasted Figs, Sauternes Sauce, Pistachio Pain Perdu, 50 Year-Old Balsamic Vinegar, paired with Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2005.  A Second Course featuring Dover Sole, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Lobster Emulsion, Truffle Froth paired with Domaine Michel Vire-Clesse "Sur le Chêne" 2005, and a fifth course featuring a Duo of Grass-Fed Côte De Boeuf and Braised Short Ribs, Cauliflower Puree, Haricots Verts, Natural Jus, paired with Château Clos L'Eglise, Pomerol 1996.  Sounds pretty good!

At this dinner, Kurt Knowles, Jr., myself, and others will be inducted into the Chaine by Sandra C. Miller, Chandelier National.  Also in attendance will be Joseph Marino, Bailli of the New Jersey (Montclair) Chapter.  I will also be writing for their publication, Gastronome.  If you – like me – happen to love food, wine, and fine dining, and would like to seek membership in the Chaine, click here. Stay tuned to Hot From The Kettle for an exclusive video from the induction ceremony and dinner.