Lacs et des Bois Chapter of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
About the Chapter:
Welcome to the Bailliage des Lacs et des Bois of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest gastronomic society.
We are in The Woodlands, Texas, 25 miles north of Houston.
The Woodlands, TX Bailliage has 30- 40 members who partake in local fine dining, wine tasting, and related events – about six a year.
Chaîne Lacs et des Bois Wine Cellar Collection
The Woodlands Chapter maintains a small wine collection that was started in 2006. The collection, currently consisting of approximately 200 bottles of about 7-10 different types of fine and quality wines, are stored in secured, temperature and humidity controlled wine refrigerators. Each year we look for opportunities to grow our cellar inventory.
We are building depth and breadth in our cellar so that over the years, we will be able to enjoy well-aged wines with well-crafted cuisines at reasonable costs. With foresight, through intelligent and selective purchases – buying them when the price is reasonable and aging them into their prime, des Lacs et des Bois Bailliage hopes to perpetuate the vinous pleasures of its current and future members for decades to come.
Vive La Chaine!
History of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950. It is devoted to promoting fine dining and preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table. The Chaîne is based on the traditions and practices of the old French Royal Guild of Goose Roasters. The written history of the Guild of “Les Oyers” or “Goose Roasters” has been traced back to the year 1248. At that time King Louis IX, later to be Saint Louis, assigned Etienne Boileau, the Provost of Paris, with the task of bringing order into the organization of trades and guilds, developing young apprentices and improving the technical knowledge of guild members. He gathered together the charters of more than 100 of these trades, among them the Goose Roasters. Over the years, the activities and privileges of the Goose Roasters Guild were extended to preparing and selling all kinds of meat, including poultry and venison. In 1509, during the reign of King Louis XII, some new statutes were introduced, which resulted in the change of the name of the Guild to “Rôtisseurs” and its activities were restricted to poultry, game birds, lamb and venison. In 1610, under King Louis XIII, the guild was granted a royal charter and its own coat of arms. The original coat of arms consists of two crossed turning spits and four larding needles surrounded by flames of the hearth on a shield. For over four centuries the “Confrérie” or Brotherhood of the Roasters cultivated and developed culinary art and high standards of professionalism and quality – standards befitting the splendour of the “Royal Table” – until the guild system was disbanded, together with all others, in 1793 during the French Revolution. The Rôtisseurs were almost forgotten until 1950 when Dr. Auguste Becart, Jean Valby and “Prince” Curnonsky (elected Prince of Gastronomes*), and chefs Louis Giraudon and Marcel Dorin resurrected the Society and created La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
The Chaine Today
The current day Confrérie logo is based on the original coat of arms which is now encircled with fleur-de-lis and two chains, between which the new name of the Society and the founding dates of 1248 and 1950 were written. The inner chain represents the professional members; the outer chain the non-professional members and the bond, which unites all of the members. Since its rebirth the society has grown dramatically, spreading its influence and presence worldwide. Today, the Chaîne brings together professional (such as chefs, restaurant and hotel owners and managers) and nonprofessional members from around the world who share in the “spirit” of the Society and who appreciate and enjoy fine dining. This association of people dedicated to fine cuisine now devotes itself to promoting and developing the gastronomic values. Membership in the Chaîne offers the opportunity for new members to meet people who share a common interest in fine dining and good fellowship. For the professional members it offers opportunities to demonstrate their exceptional skills and creativity to a discerning appreciative audience. The international headquarters (Siege Mondial) remains in Paris where the society was founded. The present day Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is still based on the traditions and practices of the ancient French brotherhood but now in a truly international and contemporary context.
The first United States Chaîne des Rôtisseurs bailliage was created in New York City in 1960 after American gourmet and journalist Jeanne Owen, attended the 1959 Grand Chapître in London. As a result, we now have about 6,000 members in the USA represented in approximately 130 local Bailliages (Chapters). Worldwide there are approximately 80,000 members in more than 80 countries. International headquarters are located in Paris and the USA National office is located in Madison, NJ.
Footnote: *Curnonsky was the pen name of Maurice Edmond Sailland, a French writer, novelist, biographer and gastronome. He was known as the “Prince of Gastronomes”, a title he was awarded in a public referendum in 1927, and a title no one else has been given since. At the height of his prestige, eighty restaurants around Paris would hold a table every night in case he arrived.
National Competitions & Further Learning
Visit our national website for competitions or more general information.