Toledo Chapter of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
The Toledo Bailliage was established in 1984, with the core group originating from a devoted group of wine aficionados affiliated with the Toledo Club, one of the outstanding grand traditional city clubs in the nation. This group, the Toledo Club Wine committee, was appointed in 1980, and its ten members met regularly. Within a few years, formal dinners included spouses and guests. Members attending a black-tie dinner at the Toledo Club saw Manager William Diehl, formerly of the Fort Worth Bailliage, wearing an attractive and mystifying ribbon with a medallion attached. In explaining the significance of the ribbon and medallion, Mr. Diehl introduced the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs to Toledo. His enthusiasm became the impetus for the founding of the Toledo Bailliage.
At the Bailliage’s first event, twenty-four members were inducted, including the original members of the wine committee. Appointed officers included Bailli William Diehl, Vice Chancelier-Argentier John Burson, and Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Joseph Roshe. In 1986, membership was capped at fifty. Also in 1986, Dennis LeGolvan became Bailli, followed by Bailli John Burson in 1994, Ann Sanford in 2008, and Mary Martin in 2018.
Toledo Bailliage would like to thank Element 112 in Sylvania, Ohio and Rasa in Toledo Ohio for their support and membership.
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.