It was the year
1248, under Saint Louis, King of France, that the Guild of
Rôtisseurs was formed.
Originally limited to "Ayeurs" (roasters of geese), the Guild expanded in
scope and number, and in 1610 it received the present coat of arms by
royal warrant. Note the crossed broches, or turning spits, on the seal. A
symbolic broche is used during the Chaine's induction ceremony for new
members and elevation in rank of deserving members.
One of the most
prosperous of the Guilds, La Chaîne comprised many members who
were attached to the noblest of families of France. This proved less
advantageous during the French Revolution, for along with most other Guilds,
La Chaîne suffered significant loss of membership and was dissolved.
speaking, 160 uneventful years passed until the revival of La Chaîne in 1950. Following
recovery from World War II, three gastronomes and two professionals joined
in Paris with a common goal - to restore the pride in culinary excellence
which had been lost during a period of wartime shortages. In that year, La Confrérie
de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs was officially incorporated, and the seal and
coat of arms of the predecessor Guild were restored by Act of the French
Today La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
is the oldest and largest gastronomic organization in the world. More than
80,000 participate annually in its activities worldwide with 7,000 members in the United States. Bailliages (Chapters) in more than 110
countries coordinate their programs through La Chaîne's international
headquarters in Paris. In the U.S., La Chaîne has approximately 140
local chapters. The National office is located in New York City.
Underlying the growth
of La Chaîne is the
organization's sense of purpose. A key criterion which distinguishes La Chaîne
from other organizations involving food or wine is the interrelation between
amateur and professional. In La Chaîne we strive for balanced
membership representing professionals involved in food supply and
preparation, service in hotels and restaurants; wine, food and equipment
suppliers and world- renowned lecturers, writers and critics, as well as
knowledgeable laymen who, due to their interest in learning and/or well
traveled backgrounds, are in a position to enjoy the pleasures engendered by
good cuisine, good wine and good company.