Atlantic City Chapter of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
The Atlantic City chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs was started in 1981, with a fantastic dinner at the city’s first casino hotel, Resorts International. The driving force behind its creation was Anthony Rey, a nationally-recognized hotelier. Along with Rudy Mazzonelli, VP Food & Beverage of Resorts as Culinaire, Patrick McGahn, a local lawyer as Argentier, and Jonathan Shiekman, a wine importer, as Gastronomique, the chapter was born. We had immediate support from the three other casino hotels and many local gourmets. Because of the incredibly high quality of the food and beverage programs of the local hotels, as well as other South Jersey restaurants, we had willing hosts, unusual themes, superb quality and magnificent presentations.
Tony Rey was Bailli until 1988, when Johanthan Shiekman took over and continued our forward motion. Fund raisers for the local Academy of Culinary Arts at a local art gallery were held, our Ordre Mondial chapter was established in 1991, and, as other casino hotels opened in Atlantic City, Jonathan enlisted their support which they gave enthusiastically.
In 1993, Preben Wulff, Sr. VP Food & Beverage of Caesar’s Hotel & Casino became Bailli, and under his guidance, our culinary experiences were raised again to an even higher level. Again, as more casinos opened, Preben helped to involve them in our events.
Ted Lippman became Bailli in 1996, and, with an active group of officers, has seen membership grow to over 100 members, making Atlantic City one of the largest bailliages in the country. We just celebrated the 10th annual Nouveau tasting at the local culinary school for which we’ve raised over $25,000. We have an annual summer event overlooking either the back bay or ocean, and continue to get great support from the South Jersey culinary scene. Our Société Mondiale du Vin is active, and has featured wines from Spain, Champagne, and California at recent dinners.
The Atlantic City chapter prides itself in following the credo of the Chaine – with emphasis on camaraderie and great fun, juxtaposed to incredible food and wine quality and presentation. Our only formal event is our annual Induction Dinner, while all other functions are more casual, and we always try to accommodate members from other chapters.
History of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
It was in the year 1248, under Saint Louis, King of France, that the Guild of Rôtisseurs was formed. Originally limited to roasters of geese (“Ayeurs”), the Guild expanded in scope and in numbers, and in 1610 it received the present coat of arms by royal warrant. (Note the crossed broches, or turning spits, on this seal. A symbolic broche is used during the Chaîne’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. Gastronomically 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 Confrèrie 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 Government.
The Chaine Today
Today La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the oldest and largest gastronomic organization in the world. Tens of Thousands of people have participated in Chaine events annually in its activities throughout the world with 6,000 members in the USA alone. Bailliages (Chapters) in more than 80 countries coordinate their programs through La Chaîne’s international headquarters in Paris. In the United States, La Chaîne has approximately 130 local chapters. The National office is located in Madison, New Jersey on the Farleigh Dickinson University Campus. Underlying La Chaîne’s growth is the organization’s sense of purpose. A key criterion which distinguishes La Chaîne from other organizations involved in wine or food is the interrelation between amateur and professional. In La Chaîne we strive for balanced membership representing professionals involved in food preparation, service in hotels, private clubs 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.
National Competitions & Further Learning
Visit our national website for competitions or more general information.