As we move into a very exciting 2017, it's always fun to take a glance back over the last year. So much has happened. We've inducted 10 new members in Wheeling, of which 6 are Gastronomes and 4 are Professionals. That brings us to a very healthy 80 plus members in the Pittsburgh Bailliage. In addition, we are the only Bailliage in the country to have nearly equal numbers of Professionals and Gastronomes. That's exciting!
If you missed one of the three "beta" test competitions this past spring and summer, make sure to put the upcoming ones on your calendar. Not only are they fun to watch but they are definitely not what appears on the Food Channels. Special thanks goes out to Vice Conseillier Culinaire Chef Rikk Panzera for working with all of the culinary schools, their instructors and their students to launch this program. In addition, many thanks to all of the Pittsburgh Bailliage Professional and Gastronome judges, Competition dates will be posted as soon as the locations have been determined. Anyone can attend and watch these competitions.
We have submitted numerous articles to the Gastronome magazine in the past months. You will begin to see us in print again shortly. So much goes into producing those articles and ensuring that they are appear in the correct place. Vice Chargee de Presse Ann Koliner has done a marvelous job in keeping up with all of them and you'll begin to see her work in the spring. In the meantime, I sincerely appreciate your patience as we have worked through some publication issues.
Mondial tastings this past year, have covered spirits, wines and micro brews since we really began working on that program. Vice Echanson Joe Bello was a tremendous help in getting those going. I have to say that the Italian Wine Tasting hosted by Chevalier Richard Teodori was off the chart amazing. That was followed by the Champagne and sparkling wine event at the Wheeling Island Hotel~Casino~Racetrack that featured Taittinger Prelude, Dom Ruinart 2004, Veuve Clicquot Rose 2008, amongst others and finishing with a 1985 Renee Lalou. Wow! In 2017, we will begin inducting existing Chaine des Rotisseurs members into L'Ordre Mondial. Looking forward to even more spectacular tastings covering the gamut of the crafted beverage world.
Our culinary classes, suggested by Chevalier Frank Yocca and beautifully executed by Conseillier Culinaire Provincial Midwest Honoraire Chef Norman Hart, were awesome! We completed 2 this past year beginning in the Fall. The first, a strudel making class, turned out to be so much fun that we added another class for croissants. We can definitely say that preparing Croissants and drinking Champagne is a delightful combination for a Saturday afternoon. Look for upcoming classes to include Pasta making, knife skills (as in how to properly use numerous knives) and much more.
In March of 2017, the Pittsburgh Bailliage will dedicate our first Chaine Kitchen at the American Academy of Culinary Arts located within Pittsburgh Technical College. We are so excited about this marvelous addition to the Chaine des Rotisseurs Pittsburgh Bailliage. Moving forward, we will have a "home" to train Jeune Commis Competitors, host Chaine "Culinary Days," and work with the school to assist students as they strive to complete their educations and start their careers.
Looking ahead, we have 4 Black Tie events planned, 4 Mondial Tastings, 4 competitions, our picnic and a full year of culinary classes planned for the Pittsburgh Bailliage. Busy, huh... All of that is happening while we prepare for the 2017 Midwest Regional Assemblage and Jeune Commis Competition in March!
While final details of the 2017 Midwest Regional Assemblage are being worked out, we can tell you this. Beginning Friday, March 24th, we will spend the evening at a magnificent private home of historical significance to Pittsburgh. This evening will be featuring numerous foods and libations highlighting Pittsburgh's wide culinary and beverage scene. The Midwest Jeune Commis Competitors and our out of town Chaine guests will also be introduced to everyone at this event.
We'll start Saturday morning at the American Academy of Culinary Arts with the 2017 Midwest Regional Jeune Commis Competition. Several special classes will be available for guests to participate in, a light lunch will be served and of course, the opportunity to watch the competition. That evening will find us at the Celebration Gala highlighting the Jeune Commis Competitors and of course, announcing the winner!
Whew! We’ve done quite a bit this past year and have so much more fun on the horizon. We’ll keep you updated through the website, emails and of course real invitations.
Please feel free to call or email with any suggestions, questions or even to say hello!
Chaine des Rotisseurs
State of the Bailliage