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Le Bailliage du Greater Washington, DC Chapter

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Celebratory Mood Infects Induction, No One Is Spared!

April 22, 2010

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

On April 22, 2010, members of the Bailliage of Greater Washington, D.C. gathered at the Metropolitan Club to welcome new Chaîne inductees, present honors to longstanding members and to also give a very special award. The Metropolitan Club is a Washington insider’s establishment usually available only to members. However, on this night, Vice Conseiller Culinaire Honoraire Reinhard Danger, General Manager of the Metropolitan Club, and his staff hosted us in grand style in an evening of escalating camaraderie and merriment.

Mid-Atlantic Bailli Provincial Georges Muller served as the Inducting Officer, infusing the evening with his incomparable wit and wisdom. Chargée de Mission Carol Assmann and Vice Chancelier-Argentier David Burka assisted in the ceremony, making sure that everyone received their certificates and completed the appropriate paperwork. Georges Muller inducted eight new Chaîne members:  Mashaallah Ebrahimian, Reginald Laurent, Anthony Ramdass and Gregory Schwartz as Chevaliers; Louise Harkavy and Janice McHenry as Dames de la Chaîne, and David Jones as Professional de la Table. Morgan Parmet, the third generation in her family to be active in the Chaîne, was also inducted as Ecuyer as her father, Argentier des Etats Unis Honoraire Michael Parmet proudly looked on.  Carl Gewirz and Henry Greenwald were both acknowledged for their many years of service in their receipt of Grand Commandeur. Washington, D.C. Bailli Paul Haar was elevated to Mid- Atlantic Chambellan Provincial.

The most unique presentation of the evening was made to Lizhi Su, the father-in-law of Bailli Paul Haar who was inducted into the Chaîne as a Chevalier d’Honneur. In explaining Lizhi’s Su’s accomplishments, Bailli Provincial Georges Muller explained that Lizhi Su is one of the most respected politicians and businessmen in China. Having risen from humble roots, he became a member of China's Central Committee, holds the rank of a four-star general in the Army of the People's Republic of China, is responsible for all economic development in Northern China, and holds degrees in both Law and Medicine. Lizhi Su is the owner of one of China's leading fine dining restaurants, and is a world-renowned as Wushu Kung Fu Grandmaster, an ancient Chinese martial art over 2,000 years old (and served as the inspiration for the Disney feature film, Kung Fu Panda).

We celebrated the new and elevated inductees with champagne and delicious passed hors d’oeuvres. Chevalier d’Honneur Emil Skodon and his wife Dame de la Chaîne Dorothea Skodon mingled with Dame de la Chaîne Louise Harkavy, Jon Harkavy and their guest Jill Terranova. Jackie Talpa and Dame de la Chaîne Melinda Estridge dazzled us with their statuesque charm while Périphérique Vice Echanson Bob O’Toole, Chevalier Adam Blackwell and Caroline Blackwell looked on. Vice Conseiller Culinaire Francois Dionot and Patrice Dionot were chatting with Chevalier Gene Shugoll and Joan Shugoll and congratulating Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Honoraire Henry Greenwald and Vice Chargé de Missions Honoraire Carl Gewirz on becoming Grand Commandeur. Chargée de Presse Judith Mazza and her husband Allan Kam and daughter Laura Kam were all enjoying their conversation with Dame de Chaîne Dixie Butler, Vice Echanson Ellen Kirsh and Chevalier Holcomb Thomas and his wife Seyong Thomas.

All too soon it was time to be seated and enjoy the delightful menu prepared for us by Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Steven Lustig and Chef Vincent Horville. We began with imported Rougie foie gras from the Perigord with Xérès and a poached quail egg “Benedict” served on a brioche in a potato nest matched with Laurent Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut N/V. The pairing of the French Riviera style Smoked Sea Urchin with a Butter Crusted Diver Scallop with the Melville Estate Chardonnay Sonoma County 2007 was a divine inspiration. Chef Horville had an additional surprise for us, and served us his “South of the Border” Ahi Tuna Tartare Brûlée paired with an outstanding Arietta on the White Keys 2008. Next was a lovely intermezzo of refreshing coconut granité which preceded a sublime sour lemon roasted Australian rack of lamb with grilled artichokes, roasted garlic saffron scented polenta and coriander infused roasted pine nut jus. This perfect spring plate was accompanied by Aloxe Corton Premier Cru Clos du Chapitre Domaine Follin-Arbelet 2002.

As we paused before the cheese course and dessert, the merriment quotient was about to explode off the charts!  It was time for the Mondiale du Vin Induction!  Appearing in elaborate robes were Vice Conseiller Culinaire Honoraire Reinhard Danger, Argentier de Etats Unis Honoraire Michael Parmet and Chambellan Provincial/Washington, D.C. Bailli Paul Haar; wielding the ceremonial wine stock and libations. Mid-Atlantic Bailli Provincial Georges Muller called Dame de la Chaîne Melinda Estridge, Vice Conseiller Culinaire Francois Dionot and Chevalier Anthony Ramdass to the front of the room where they took their oath to Mondiale and were joined with much spirited camaraderie by the rest of the assembly. The exuberance and joy of this festive induction were such that several Mondiale members almost leapt from their seats to be inducted anew to Mondiale!

However, there was yet a cheese course to be enjoyed with the Chateau Marbuzet Saine-Estephe 1998. This was followed by a wonderful dessert course of an Almond and Morello Cherry Tart with Cassis Sorbet paired with the Royal Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2005.

Sighs of contentment filled the room only to be turned into a rousing applause when Chef Horville appeared with his staff. All agreed that this was one of the most fun and spirited events that the Washington, D.C. Bailliage had experienced in a long time. The celebratory mood was so infectious that no one escaped without a smile on their face. Vive la Chaîne!

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