Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Honors Dignitaries and Celebrities and Supports Charities in D.C.

Celebrating the theme and setting of the Chaîne gala, James E. Pozzi, Argentier des Etats-Unis, and his wife, Jan, wore “Sun King” Era costumes.

By Marilyn LaRocque
Photos by David Ramsey Photography 

When the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs held its annual “Grand Chapitre” in Washington, D.C. in October, it demonstrated that the world’s oldest and largest food and wine society does not just enjoy the delights of farm and vineyard but also possesses both civic responsibility and an appreciation of those who have achieved success in a variety of professions. The organization spotlighted notable members of the judicial and legal professions and diplomatic dignitaries, as well as culinary celebrities, and also donated funds to help support people and families dealing with hunger
every day.

Chef Michel Richard and Chef François Dionot observed the festivities at the gala at the French Embassy.

At a gala at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Chaîne honored His Excellency François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States, with induction into the organization with the rank of Grand Officier d’Honneur, a title the organization bestows only on governors and heads of state. Chef Michel Richard was named the eighth “Maître d’Honneur” of the society. Marie E. Jones, Bailli Délégué Honoraire of the United Kingdom and Vice President International, was the inducting officer. The evening was made especially festive by guests who donned costumes of the Louis XIV “Sun King” era.

Paul Haar, chair of the Grand Chapitre, epitomized a Musketeer at the gala at the French Embassy.

At Saturday evening’s banquet at the Fairmont Hotel in Georgetown, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was the Guest of Honor and featured speaker. He received a Chaîne des Rôtisseur “plate” commemorating the occasion. The rarely awarded Chaîne’s Gold Star of Excellence, reserved for those who provide exceptional service and commitment to the organization, was presented to three members, including two of the men who masterminded the weekend’s program—to D. C. attorney Paul Haar, Esq., who chaired the Chaîne’s weekend conference and is also Chambellan Provincial of the Mid-Atlantic Region and Bailli of the Washington Chapter of the Chaîne, and to François Dionot, Vice Conseiller Culinare, Washington, D.C. Baillage, and founder and owner of L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, MD. Third recipient was Tulsa, OK, Bailli Sue Gerkin.

Harold S. Small, Chancelier des Etat-Unis, left, and Canadian Bailli Délégué David Tetrault, right, talk with French Ambassador to the U.S. François Delattre.

The three winners of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs 2013 International Best Young Sommelier competition (second, third, and fourth from left) Jarrod Mills, Australia, third, Loic Avril, U.K., first, and Bobby Conroy, U.S., second, are congratulated by George H., Brown, Jr., Bailli Délégué des Etats-Unis, far left, and, at the right, Klaus Tritschler, Germany, Bailli Délégué d'Allemagne, and Marie E. Jones, United Kingdom, Vice-President International of the Chaîne.

The 2013 International Best Young Sommelier competition was held in D.C. during the Grand Chapitre. Loic Avril of the United Kingdom took first place honors. Bobby Conroy of the United States was in second place. Jarrod Mills of Australia finished third. In a separate ceremony, Shelly Margolis, Chair of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Foundation, presented a check for $5,000 to Nancy Roman, President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank in support of the 1 12 organization’s outstanding programs. “The Chaîne Foundation’s gift will enable us to provide 12,500 nutritious meals to those most vulnerable,” Roman said.

Guest of Honor Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia addressed Saturday night banquet attendees.

The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs has 22,000 members and chapters in more than 80 countries, including 130 chapters in the U.S. with a combined membership of nearly 6,000. Two important programs of the Chaîne are a Young Sommelier competition and a Young Chef competition at the national and international levels. Both encourage younger members of the hospitality industry. The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ Foundation contributes to organizations within the community that assist those facing poverty and hunger and supports educational programs for individuals pursuing careers in the food and beverage industries.

Additional information about the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is available at its U.S. website,, and international website,

Tulsa Chaîne Chapter Bailli Sue Gerkin receives congratulations from George H., Brown, Jr., Bailli Délégué des Etats-Unis.


Food, wine, and travel writer/editor Marilyn LaRocque has visited the seven continents, experiencing not only sights and sounds but also foods and wines. In Paris in May, she was named Vice Chargée de Presse Nationale, Des Etats Unis, of Les Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest and largest food and wine society. She was Senior Food & Wine Editor for LUXURY Las Vegas magazine for nearly 10 years and immersed herself in the cuisine scene in this over-the-top city. She knows and has written about celebrity chefs, their restaurants, and food and reported dining trends not only in Las Vegas but throughout the world, from South Africa to Scandinavia, New Zealand to South America. She knows master sommeliers and mixologists and has written extensively about wines and spirits, particularly California, as well as Oregon, Virginia, and Kentucky (Bourbon) and Tennessee (Whiskey). She has dined at globally celebrated restaurants such as Taillevent (Paris), Noma (Copenhagen), Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (London), Per Se (New York), and French Laundry (Yountville). She has served as a judge in culinary competitions, been guest lecturer at Le Cordon Bleu, Las Vegas, and served as PR consultant for the 2012 UNLVino, Nevada’s oldest and largest wine event. Photo by Jim K. Dekker