Monday, December 19, 2011
CHAINE DES ROTISSEURS
Chaine des Rotisseurs is not as old as the Knights Templar, and nothing like Yale's Skull and Bones, which is a secret society. Chaine is merely the world's oldest international gastronomic society, founded in Paris in 1248. Well, at least some creative Chaine historian searched back to the time of Louis IX and determined this was when it all started. Actually, the group disbanded at the time of the French Revoution in 1793, but was resurrected in 1950. Today, there are 24,000 members in 75 countries. Those green ribbons with all that decoration on Maurice Nicholson and Bruce Liebert indicate that they are high officials. A purple ribbon means you have not yet accomplished anything:
Nothing new for me because I belonged to an eating club at Stanford University, and Chaine is just an upgraded version that gathers a few times a year to eat, drink and be merry, sort of like the Gourmet Philosophers, a local discussion group. However, there are supposed to be no speeches during Chaine dinners, this one held at the Oahu Country Club and general photography is prohibited. Well, maybe only discouraged, for how else could I have taken these photos, first with Mayor Carlisle and friends:
Sitting next to Christel Yount (she was my sponsor with Bruce Liebert--they both are high officials, but you will note that she is not wearing her blue ribbon necklace with three pounds of medals for she gets by with a symbolic blue bow...and a few other presentable members:
Our table had all the good looking ladies. The cuisine, of course, was the highlight, beginning with a burgandy (Les Perrieres 2009 Simon Bize & Fils, Savigny-Lells-Beaune, Cote d'Or) and hot consomme of beef with Marrow and Madeira topped with shaved winter truffles and gold flakes:
Actually, unlimited champagne began the evening with foie gras and a range of other appetizers. After the soup came a Mas D'en Compte Blanco 2009 Priorat DOCa from Spain (who could have guessed that this wine consisted of 50% Garnatxa Blanca, 255 Picapoll Blanc and 25% Xarel.lo--all for $23/bottle) and a grilled fillet of island onaga (really fancy ingredients like saffron mussel broth, vanilla bean-butter and braised horenso, but I forgot to take a photo), then a glass of Chateau Pesqie Quintessence Rouge 2009 Cotes du Ventoux (both Bruce and I were surprised that this wine was a composite of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, or maybe they came from 70 year old Grenache and 20 year old Syrah vines--in any case, you can buy this bottle on the internet from around $22) to accompany a seared spiced breast of squab, with port reduction, roasted chestnut and braised red cabbage:
This squab was almost as large as a chicken. I thought it was pigeon-sized? Then another glass of red (Clos Saint Jean, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2008 Vieille Vignes--a Rhone wine with Grenache, again dominating, and can now be had for $35...formerly $50--I think this was the best of the lot) with roasted loin of lamb en croute (you can see what this means), au jus lie, pommes parisienne (potato fried in butter), courgette (also know in some quarters at zucchini), haricot verte (green beans) and so on, and I enjoyed what appeared to be a french fried leaf of some type:
All this reminded me of those Pellegrino Best 100 Restaurant meals I had on my recent trip. Note the artistic presentation. Then an extravagant dessert of pistachio flourless (it was all chocolate) chocolate cake with essence of roasted Kona coffee and raspberry coulis (french for sauce), pumpkin cheesecake with egg-nog Anglaise, and a bourbon pecan tart topped with vanilla ice cream.
The final touch was a Chambers Rosewood Rutherglen Muscat HV. Well, not quite, for in complementation were egg nog, cognac and port wine.
There was a dance band playing boogie of the 70's, and you can't believe how uncomfortable it is to be sweating in a tuxedo. But, I got some exercise and Christel was a wonderful dancer. She also dropped me off at the end, saving me $10 for another taxi ride or a walk back to my apartment in the rain.
Finally, my latest sunset:
The Dow Jones Industrials fell a further 100 to 11,766, with world markets also mostly down. Gold went up a buck to $1599/toz, while the WTI oil is $94/barrel and Brent Spot costs $105/barrel.