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Le Bailliage du Greater Washington, DC Chapter

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An "Embarrassment of Riches" at the Metropolitan Club

April 12, 2013

By Judith Mazza, Chargée de Presse, Bailliage of Greater Washington, D.C.

The Bailliage of Greater Washington has been bestowed with an “embarrassment of riches.”  Not only are we located in the capital of the United States with all of the diversity and excitement that brings, but for the second year in a row, we have had the opportunity to plan an induction to accommodate a “double digit” number of inductees. This growth is no accident. Our members have so enjoyed meeting fellow confreres, that they nominate their friends and favorite culinary professionals for membership in the Chaîne. And, so we grow. Thanks to Commandeur/Vice Conseiller Culinaire Honoraire Reinhard Danger, General Manager of the Metropolitan Club, located one block from the White House, we had the opportunity to once again enjoy one of the most elegant and exclusive private clubs in Washington as our venue. The richly paneled room was a proper setting for the most formal event of the year, our grand induction.

Our evening began with a champagne reception during which we enjoyed four different passed hors d’oeuvres; tuna tartar with an avocado fan, chicken Saltenas, seared scallop in saffron cream and a delightful Maryland crab “Reuben” with a tomato soup shooter. This was accompanied by Henriot Brut “Souverain” NV which wasgreatly enjoyed by all. We were then seated for the induction ceremony itself in an adjoining room. Our inducting officer was Conseiller Gastronomique des Etats-Unis Thomas E. Cassidy, assisted by mid-
Atlantic Chambellan/Bailli Paul Haar. The history and rules of the Chaîne were explained to the new inductees.

In addition to the induction of new members, there were also promotions. Reinhard Danger was given his Commandeur title, Dame de la Chaîne Louise Harkavy was promoted to Vice Chargée de Missions and Chevalier Thomas Walsh was promoted to Conseiller Gastronomique. In addition, Chevalier Allan Kam was awarded the Bronze Star of Excellence for his service to the Bailliage.

We were seated and the first course of duck rillettes with caraway seed allumette accompanied by a thyme, artichoke and truffle oil parfait was served. We enjoyed that course with two separate wines; Aecovi, Manzanilla Santiago NV and La Bastide Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc “San Dominique” 2010. The second course of a parmesan crusted oyster and Serrano ham crisp accompanied by a quinoa and wheat berry salad with porcini scented oil was delightfully accompanied by Domaine Louis Michel Vaillons Chablis Premier Cru 2010. We next enjoyed a surprise course of baked thyme scented braised snails roll in a crisp phyllo dough, layered with persillade and brioche crumbs and butter, over wild mushroom and chanterelles ragout and red wine jus accompanied by Sancerre Chavignol Vincent Delaporte 2011. Chef Horville and his team were playful in presenting us with something unexpected and totally delicious.

The meal progressed as we were presented with a roasted bacon wrapped monkfish tail with a smoked monkfish liver atop the roll. The Masut Pinot Noir 2009 was well matched with this dish. The final savory course of a confit of lamb shoulder served with butter beans and goat cheese and potato croquettes was nicely accented by the Monte Real Rioja Grand Reserva 2001.

Before the dessert was served, it was time for the Mondiale Induction. Dame de la Chaîne Stephanie Fateh and Chevalier Mehdi Fateh were inducted into the Société de Mondiale by our inducting officer Thomas E. Cassidy who was accompanied by Mid-Atlantic Chambellan/Bailli Paul Haar and Vice Echanson Ellen Kirsh, who all donned the ceremonial robes and wielded the wine stock. As we toasted the newest members of the Société de Mondiale, a lovely dessert of a chocolate leaf bar was served with M. Chapoutier Banyuls 2009.

Chef Horville and his team arrived to applause for their hard work in serving all 77 confreres. Vice Conseiller Culinaire Chef Francois Dionot thanked the team and also thanked Commandeur and Vice Conseiller Culinaire Honoraire Reinhard Danger, who is retiring in the fall of 2013, for so graciously hosting us once again at the Metropolitan Club.

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