The flowers of May were in full bloom as we returned to the pastoral setting of Kenwood Country Club for a milestone event. Our Bailliage met to celebrate our 25th Induction Dinner and welcomed many new members during this season of rebirth and renewal. As we started with a glass of Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Brut, an array of tantalizing appetizers were presented. Highlights included duck pate made into a tiny rich treat, and caviar imaginatively served on edible tuile spoons with a hint of sweetness adding to the fun.
Ceremonies commenced with Bailli Honoraire Peter Hainline welcoming all as his final official act before the featured moment of the formal elevation with decorations of our new Bailli Irwin Weinberg by Midwest Regional Chambellan Peter Hanowich. We were happy to induct nine new members into the Chaîne, three of which have professional titles. Vice Chargé de Missions Clint Haynes was formally elevated to officer status and Vice Chargé de Presse J.T. Mayer had the honor to receive the Bronze Star of Excellence from our Bailli. Following this was the more jovial Mondiale induction with officers in robes and use of a giant ancient grape vine to touch the shoulder of the new member. The chorus to the Boar’s Head Carol was sung by the group with many new verses to be composed through the evening.
Our appetizer came as tuna done in three styles making for a beautiful presentation and highlighted by peppercorn seared medallions with a crispy strip of plantain. This was served with a red Savigny-le-Beaune Burgundy from Maurice Ecard that had a nice even cherry fruit complementing the tuna preparations. An imaginative salad featuring dried figs, fennel, Parmesan, and dressed with a Mexican chocolate balsamic vinaigrette came next and some thought this an even better match with the wine.
The meal progressed with seared sable on risotto, dressed with an thick egg-like carrot broth that brought all the components together with soft buttery textures. This was paired with a fabulous Verget Chablis that had complex notes of floral, lemon, and mineral leading to a rich fruit flavor and dry finish that cut through the rich food to a beg for a taste of one after the other. After an imaginative lychee and jasmine sorbet, we came to the featured dish of veal tenderloin with hash of veal cheek supported by root and spring vegetables. Substantial deep flavors were complimented by a Barolo from La Spinetta. Better known for Barbaresco, this wine had great fruit and deep earthiness that stood shoulder to shoulder with the dominance of the food. The subject of veal cheeks has been controversial and verses of the Boar’s Head Carol were composed to both praises and disdain for this uncommon cut of meat which brought much merriment to the group.
We ended the meal with a beautiful and delicious dessert course that appeared to take flight as continued battles of verse gave way to harmonious agreement that another successful induction was achieved bringing old friends and new members together in our confrérie.
J.T. Mayer, Vice Chargé de Presse