Ko mākou mo`olelo (Our History)
Established in March 1973, the Honolulu Chapter was the first bailliage in the State of Hawaii and the 28th chapter in the United States.
The Honolulu Chapter is a dynamic and effervescent organization with an expansive membership composed of professionals chefs, hoteliers, sommeliers, and other business professionals along with non-professional members with a passion for food and wines. The organization has grown from its original sixteen members to its present 90+ members.
As additional hotels were developed on the neighboring islands, more professionals were hired and the opportunity to establish new bailliages arrived. The first regional bailli, Lyle Guslander, formed the Maui Chapter in 1977 and the Big Island of Hawaii Chapter in 1978.
Then regional Bailli Hans Strasser organized a Kauai Chapter in 1986. However, following Hurricane Iniki’s devastating impact on the Kauai hotel and tourist industries, the national headquarters granted permission to permit Kauai to host their functions on Oahu. The chapter was officially renamed the Kauai/Oahu chapter.
E hele mai e’oli’oli me mākou (Come celebrate with us)
In 2000, the Honolulu Chapter hosted the National Assemblage Honolulu 2000 Ho’olaule’a (Celebration) under the guidance of Bailli Provincial Fred Honda and Chambellan Provincial Robert Lee. It marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in the United States and the International Chaîne’s 50th anniversary. Our 50th state was the perfect setting for this special celebration.
The Chapter organizes about four casual events per year at fine dining hot spots or other unique venues with two black tie events during the fall and winter “seasons”.
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.