The Chaîne in South Africa
35 years of good food, good wine and good company!
In the early 1980’s the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs was not represented in Africa. The International executive decided to establish a Bailliage in South Africa and called on the services of Patrice Crozier, Bailli Délégué of Mauritius.
He contacted Marc Guebert, who was receiving a lot of publicity for his induction as the youngest chef into the Association de Maîtres Cuisinier de France. Together with the late Leslie Richfield, they prepared the foundation of the South African chapter.
The inaugural dinner of Chaîne de Rôtisseurs in South Africa was held at Marc Guebert’s restaurant, La Français, in The Mall of Rosebank on 25 October 1981. Each of the 5 courses served at the dinner was prepared by a different chef – Billy Gallagher, Marc Guebert, Kurt Amman, George Germann and Manfred Muellers.
Eighty founder members shared this auspicious occasion, together with the Guest of Honour and first South African patron, Dr D. J. De Villiers, Minister of Industries, Commerce and Tourism.
Today, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in South Africa has grown to six Bailliages, each headed by a Bailli and other officers who plan the Bailliage activities. The six Bailliages are overseen by the Bailliage National d’Afrique du Sud, headed by the Bailli Délégué and the National Board.
Each Bailliage has monthly functions and one of the major benefits is that a member can attend a function anywhere in South Africa and if traveling abroad a member can attend functions in the country they are visiting. All functions are paid for by the member. There is a special member fee at each function.
The Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs (OMGD) welcomes members of good standing to join them, internationally and nationally to savour the delights of the vine, spirits and liqueurs. South Africa formalised this association in 2005 and Roger Smith, the Echanson now heads this section.