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Le Bailliage du Greater Washington, DC Chapter

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A Grand Induction and Dazzling Debut at the Celebrated Metropolitan Club

September 22, 2016

By Claudette Veronica Ferron, Vice Chargée de Presse, Bailliage of Greater Washington, D.C.

At its premiere event of the year, on September 22nd, the induction of nouveau confrères and consoeurs, members, and guests of the Greater Washington, D.C., Bailliage, was celebrated in elegant grandeur at Washington's world - renowned Metropolitan Club wrapped in architectural opulence. Since its founding in 1863, during the height of the American Civil War, the fabulous Metropolitan Club has been one of Washington's ultimate private clubs and historical landmarks. Fostering literary pursuits, social development, and improvement, after more than 150 years the Club continues to attract distinguished members worldwide. Situated close to the center of American political power - including the White House and Capital buildings, it is the destination for world leaders, including nearly every American President since Abraham Lincoln. And on this propitious occasion the storied site of tradition and social grace was the setting in which General Manager Chef Rotisseur Michael Redmond and Assistant General Manager Ben Hales hosted the vibrant Bailliage's extraordinary induction dinner, under the culinary direction of Executive Chef Vincent Horville.

A classically trained chef from Versailles, France, Chef Horville grew up in the restaurant industry, receiving his first award as one of France's Best Apprentices in 1982. He then sharpened his skills at several Michelin rated restaurants and participated in numerous culinary teams and individual chef competitions throughout Europe. His passion for his art has taken him around the world and to a number of prestigious properties. Since 1995 Chef Horville has worked at the White House and Camp David and participated in an Iron Chef battle and James Beard Foundation fundraisers.

With Chef Horville's deft culinary artistry, and the Bailliage's signature enthusiasm, members and guests experienced a decadent gastronomic exposition while they inducted new members into La Chaine and the Mondiale du Vin, and conferred special awards.

Greeted curbside like celebrities, members and guests were guided through the grand foyer of the regal institution, up the magnificent staircase into the glorious ballroom, where the unparalleled evening unfolded. Starting with a dazzling, elegant reception, attendees engaged in congenial conversation as they were professionally photographed, and with excited anticipation, delighted in tantalizing butler passed hors d'oeuvres. Sumptuous Kelly Katch Caviar on new potato with crème fraiche primed palates and was followed by a delectable farm goat cheese tartine, with fig marmalade, while a luscious grilled peach, with Serrano Ham and Ricotta, rounded out the palate teasers. Accompanied by a vivacious Gonet-Medeville Brut Blanc de Noir, NV, Champagne Premier Cru, France, these morsels of delight were perfect appetizers.

The excitement of the reception crescendoed into a fitting prelude to the induction. With perfect poise, Bailli Judith Mazza called the Bailliage to orderand initiated the ceremony. And as members and guests settled into their seats, inductees expectantly took their places, excitedly awaiting official inclusion into one of the most spirited and innovative Bailliages of the society of La Chaîne des Rotisseurs.

With the pomp and circumstance of a royal event, the induction began in an atmosphere of amitié et fraternité as the inductees were warmly welcomed into the historic, gastronomic fold. Bailli Judith Mazza (assisted by Vice Conseiller Culinaire Francois Dionot, Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Louise Harkavy, and Vice Chancelier-Argentier David Burka), officiated the ceremony. Induction in the order of appearance included: Andrew Auerbach, Ecuyer/Chevalier; Jeffrey Auerbach, Chevalier; John Dabbar, Chevalier; Susan Dabbar, Dame de la Chaine; Michael Dudich, Chevalier; Beth Glassman, Dame de la Chaine; James K. Glassman Chevalier; Nathan Guggenheim, Ecuyer/Chevalier; George Martinez, Maître Rotisseur; John Michelich, Chevalier; Ronald Mitchell, Maître Hotelier; Brian Morra, Chevalier; Tracy T Morra, Dame de la Chaine; Geert J.M. Piferoen, Chef Rotisseur; Gillian Spooner, Dame de la Chaine; Benjamin Velasquez, Maître Restauranteur; Charles Wilson, Chevalier; Brendon Xiques, Chevalier; and Rosemary Xiques Dame de la Chaine.

Following the induction, special awards were bestowed on three members. First, Vice Conseiller Culinaire Francois Dionot received a special pin for professional members who are also officers of a Bailliage. Next Officier and Commandeur Michael McHenry, who was inducted into La Chaine in Kuwait in 1990, was awarded the Bronze Star of Excellence for his contributions to the Chaîne in coordinating the snack boxes served en route to the Inn at Little Washington with faculty from the Carlos Rosario Public Charter School. In addition, Officier McHenry has contributed to Board meetings and has always been willing to assist wherever and whenever needed. Additionally, Chevalier Mark Lewonowski was awarded the Mondiale Bronze Medal of Honor - a first of the Bailliage. Chevalier Lewonowski coordinates the wine for La Chaine dinners with Vice Echanson Ellen Kirsh. Moreover, he has organized the Bailliage wine cellar, straightened out the inventory and updated the online database with bottle locations in the cellar. He also handles the wine logistics for the dinners.

Completing the induction on a celebratory note, members, guests, and new inductees moved across the ballroom to the magnificent dining area, and with anticipatory delight, turned their attention to the evenings' jubilant gastronomic exploration and Mondiale du Vin event.

Starting with the first course, diners again experienced the culinary artistry of Chef Horville, relishing an amazingly succulent, lobster and foie gras terrine with lemongrass, and Lamb's leaf salad. Expertly paired with a 2010 Domaine Jean-Claude Bachelet et Fils Les Macherelles Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (France), a harmonious, complex and a delicious white Burgundy; the first course proclaimed of wondrous things to come. Then, the second course continued the joy with a luscious turbot mousse and sumptuous roasted sweet potato puree, artfully accompanied by a vibrant 2012 Chateau Respide-Medeville Blanc Sec, Graves, Grand Vin de Bordeaux (France) a classically fresh and flavorful blended aromatic wine.

Ensuing swiftly in the festivities of the sparkling event was the third course: a succulent pepper-crested Ahi-Tuna, with Falgeolet beans, softly caressed by a mélange of Trumpet mushrooms and chervil, in a subtle Pinot Noir butter sauce, elegantly accentuated by a understated 2009 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Pinot Fin, (Bourgogne, France), possessing a rich roundness with a refined aromatic nose of plum, cinnamon and earthiness, with a beautifully delicate mineral finish.

The fourth course increased the marvelous epicurean adventure with a saporous herb-crusted Elysian Fields lamb loin, completed by a savory thyme rosti potatoes, supple baby vegetables, pearl onions and delectable fried garlic jus. The sumptuous dish was paired with a delicate and elegant 2007 Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana Imperial Gran Reserva, (Rioja, Spain), a rich dark-ruby red wine perfumed with dark berry, tobacco and leather aromas exhibiting a silky texture, balanced acidity, and elegant finish.

Next, members and guest enjoyed the interlude of the ever-entertaining Mondiale du Vin induction as Bailli Judith Mazza, Vice Conseiller Culinaire Chef Francois Dionot and Argentier David Burka marched into the dining room with wine staff in hand. We then witnessed the induction of: Andrew Auerbach, Chevalier de Société; Trigg Bowlin, Chevalier de Société; Tatiana Gfoeller, Dame de Société; Beth Glassman, Dame de Société; James K. Glassman, Chevalier de Société; Nathan Guggenheim, Chevalier de Société; John Michelich, Chevalier de Société; Ronald Mitchell, Chevalier de Société; and Jonathan M. Sleeper, Chevalier de Société. As is the tradition of the congenial Société, the induction was a gleeful homage to fruit de la vigne. And the Mondiale inductees appreciatively joined the Chaine's illustrious wine aficionados' devoted to the acquisition and distribution of the knowledge of wine and quality spirits, along with the pleasure of the procurement of the ancient elixir.

Moving flawlessly to the culinary climax, the dessert course was a luxurious essay on culinary finesse, as a pistachio and vanilla mousse, with scrumptious caramelized pears, delicious chocolate swirl, and a seductive cranberry sauce, wooed guests to epicurean ecstasy, which was deftly married with a 2013 Weingut Max Ferdinand Richter Brauneberger, Juller-Sonnenuhr Reisling Spaltese (Mosel, Germany), a lovely and delicately sweet wine, with refreshing citrus notes and pronounced acidity.

And with this superb consummation to an exquisite evening, with appetites sumptuously sated and spirits lifted; warmed by a collective epicurean enchantment and draped in the grandeur of La Chaine tradition, members, new inductees, officers, awardees and guests of the Greater Washington, D.C. Bailliage concluded the 2016 Induction Gala.

The remaining 2016 Bailliage events also promise to be extraordinary epicurean adventures with a sophisticated sojourn to the fabulous Restaurant 1789 and the brilliant holiday spectacular at the world-famous Willard Inter-Continental Hotel.

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