Renowned interior designer Chevalier David Millett, his wife Martha, and their sons Mark and Matthew welcomed the Cincinnati Bailliage to their summer home at the Ryland Lakes Country Club on a beautiful Monday night of August 19, 2013. The evening started with sparkling wines and appetizers at their Scandinavian inspired home which overlooks shimmering Crystal Lake in Northern Kentucky, 20 minutes south of downtown Cincinnati.
As Chaîne members passed through the massive 10 foot antique door, an elevated foyer allowed a breathtaking view out the back of the house through circa 1850 stained glass windows and onto the lake. Guests were encouraged to wander through the three stories of their museum quality home with wine in hand and admire numerous pieces of art emphasizing David’s passion for marble statuary, antiques, and American cut glass while sampling lobster rolls, liver pâté crostini, and baked brie with caramel and roasted apples. Of special interest to many of us was the lower level of their home which contained a Viking ship pool table light and a 15th century English onyx fireplace. We then stepped out onto the Millett’s gorgeous wood deck and admired their meticulously manicured gardens with the sun setting on the calm, quiet lake. What a breathtaking scene!
We next embarked on a short drive to the Ryland Lakes Clubhouse where celebrated Chef Eddie Smain and his staff ushered us into the next phase of our evening. Upon entering the dining hall, we could see that Mr. Millett honored the French roots of our organization by displaying a large Chaîne des Rôtisseurs sign surrounded by a bronze statue, loaves of French bread, fresh flowers, colorful ribbons, and of course, rows of glimmering wine glasses. Everyone selected a wine glass and sampled bottles of fine wines that were brought by each guest of this “dine around” event.
When we had made our wine selection for our first course, we were ushered to tables decorated with more exquisite flowers and ribbons to match. Chef Smain painstakingly prepared a sumptuous meal starting with a salad of heirloom tomatoes and gorgonzola with bacon and sherry vinaigrette. This was followed by a three station buffet consisting of braised short ribs with cabernet demi-glaze and a dauphinoise duet of sweet and Yukon gold potatoes, grilled leg of lamb with grilled marinated vegetables, and pan seared Chilean sea bass with pineapple and mango chutney, summerhouse haricot vert, and fresh corn slaw. We all enjoyed the opportunity to pair these elegant entries with various wines that were brought by our members to see which ones enhanced our dishes the most. Many winning combinations were discovered throughout the evening. To round out our incredible meal, Chef Smain served a flourless chocolate cake with fresh raspberries and cream. What a sensational way to bring a perfect event to a close! Bailli George Elliott spoke for all of us when he congratulated the Milletts, Ryland Country Club, Chef Smain, and his incredible staff for an evening that will be remembered for years to come.
Graig Smith, Vice Chargé de Presse