The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society, founded in Paris in 1950, traces its origins back to 1248. At that time, the French King Louis IX (later canonized as Saint Louis) wishing to thank the trades which had contributed to the construction of Sainte Chapelle, ordered the establishment of several professional guilds, one of which was the “Oyeurs” or goose roasters. The vocation of this guild was to improve the technical knowledge of its members: apprentices, tradesmen and masters. Over the decades its activities and privileges were expanded.
Royal Charter and Naming of the “Rôtisseurs”
By 1509, during the reign of Louis XII, when the guild’s knowledge was extended to include the preparation of other meats and poultry, including game, it took the name “Rôtisseurs” (roasters). Later in 1610, under the reign of Louis XIII, it was granted a Royal Charter and a Coat of Arms.
RENAISSANCE OF THE CHAINE
For more than four centuries the ‘Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ cultivated and developed the culinary arts, meeting all the requirements of professionalism and quality demanded by the ‘Royal Table’, right up until the guild system was dissolved during the French Revolution.
The Rôtisseurs were completely forgotten until 1950, when Dr Auguste BÃ cart, the well-known journalists Jean Valby and Curnonsky* (elected ‘Prince of Gastronomes’), and chefs Louis Giraudon and Marcel Dorin revived the association and founded the ‘Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’.
*Curnonsky was the pen name of Maurice Edmond Sailland, a French writer, novelist, biographer and gastronome. He was known as the “Prince of Gastronomes”, a title he was awarded in a public referendum in 1927, and a title no one else has been given since. At the height of his prestige, eighty restaurants around Paris would hold a table every night in case he arrived. Supposedly in his later years he was so heavy he was unable to walk and had to be carried by six friends to his favourite restaurants. On July 22, 1956, at the age of 84, Curnonsky leaned too far out of his window and fell to his death.
CREATION OF THE COAT OF ARMS
Today the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs coat of arms is its contemporary emblem. In 1610, when the arms were created, they featured two crossed spits and four larding utensils in the centre, surrounded by the flames of the hearth. In the present version, this historic shield is encircled by fleurs-de-lis and two chains, between which are the name of the association and the two foundation dates, 1248 and 1950. The inner chain represents the professional members, while the outer chain symbolizes the non-professional members and the bond that unites all members.
THE CHAINE TODAY IN JAKARTA
The Chaine has an active membership in Jakarta and Bali organized under a system of “ Bailliages”. The Bailliage of Jakarta Provincial is run by Alistair Speirs, Fabrice Mini, Gilles Marx, Michelle Kanan and Bob Januar. Jakarta Sud is run by Linda Tan, Petty Elliott and Farah Quinn, and Jakarta Nord by Roy Wirosuyo, Sezai Zorlu and Noke Kiroyan. Each Bailliage is taking turns to organise exceptional dinners to challenge the highest standards of the hospitality industry. For further information call 781 3212 or email Clora@phoenix.co.id.