It was in the year 1248, under Saint Louis, King of France, that the Guild of Rotisseurs 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 Chaine's induction
ceremony for new members and elevation in rank of deserving members.) One of the most prosperous of the Guilds, La Chaine 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 Chaine suffered significant loss of membership and was dissolved.
Gastronomically speaking, 160 uneventful years passed until the revival of La Chaine 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 Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs was officially incorporated, and the seal and Coat of Arms of the predecessor Guild were restored by Act of the French Government. Today La Chaine des Rotisseurs is the oldest and largest gastronomic organization in the world. More than 80,000 persons participate annually in its activities throughout the world with 7,000 members in the USA. Bailliages (Chapters) in more than 110 countries coordinate their programs through La Chaine's international headquarters in Paris.
The Bermuda chapter was founded in 1989 by hotelier John Jefferis. The first dinner was held at Elbow Beach Hotel in Paget where 40 new members where inducted. In 1994, an election was held and Josée Roy-Froncioni was nominated and became the youngest female to be ever elected as Bailli. Until 2002, the Bermuda chapter, was a Bailliage of the United States and dues were paid directly to its headquarter in New York.
In early 2002, Mrs. Froncioni convinced her committee and her 40 existing members to become independent, create a National committee and deal directly with Paris. This created such an enthusiasm amongst the members, that 34 new members were inducted by Mr. Hayo Maier, Bailli Délégué du Canada at the Chapter dinner held at the Fairmont Southampton Princess in April of 2002. The Bermuda chapter now has 76 active Chaîne members and 12 l'Ordre Mondial members.
The Chapter's organize events throughout the year, with the goal of creating a exceptional gastronomic experience accompanied fine and appropriate wines whilst at the same time creating an ambiance of camaraderie and fun and where possible furthering the education of the members in culinary arts. The mix of "professional" members (about 45%) who are active in local establishments and who are every day furthering and enhancing the reputations of the Hotels, Clubs, Restaurants, and Wine Stores. There are "Non-Professional" laymen gastronomes who support and appreciate the continually growing gastronomic scene.