The Modern Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society, was founded in Paris in 1950, but traces its origins back to 1248. At that time, the French King Louis IX (later canonized as Saint Louis) wishing to thank the trades which had contributed to the construction of Sainte Chapelle, ordered the establishment of several professional guilds, one of which was the “Oyeurs” or “Goose Roasters.” The vocation of this guild was to improve the technical knowledge of its members: apprentices, tradesmen and masters. Over the decades its activities and privileges were expanded.
Royal Charter and Naming of the “Rôtisseurs”
In 1509, during the reign of King Louis XII new statutes were introduced, which resulted in the change of the name of the guild to “Rôtisseurs.” 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.
Renaissance of the ‘Confrérie des Rôtisseur’
The Chaîne was originally based on the traditions and practices of the old French royal guild of goose roasters – the goose, a type of poultry, was particularly appreciated during the Middle Ages. The Chaine’s authority was gradually expanded to include the roasting of all poultry, meat and game.
For more than four centuries the ‘Confrérie des Rôtisseur’ cultivated and developed the culinary arts, meeting all the requirements of professionalism and quality demanded by the “Royal Table”, until 1793 when the guild system was dissolved during the French Revolution.
The Rôtisseurs were completely forgotten until 1950, when Dr. Auguste Bécart, the well-known journalists Jean Valby and Curnonsky (elected “Prince of the Gastronomes”), and chefs Louis Giraudon and Marcel Dorin revived the association and founded the modern “Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs”.
Today the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ coat of arms is its contemporary emblem. In 1610, when the arms were created, they featured two crossed spits and four larding utensils in the centre, surrounded by the flames of the hearth. In the present version, this historic shield is encircled by fleurs-de-lis and two chains, between which are the name of the association and the two foundation dates, 1248 and 1950. The inner chain represents the professional members, while the outer chain symbolizes the non-professional members and the bond that unites all members.
Today La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs – International Association of Gastronomy is a truly international society constantly developing and expanding. Represented in all five continents, the Association is dedicated to preserving the traditions and practices of the old guild in a completely contemporary and international context.
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs decided to take yet another active and positive role in the world of food by enlarging its area of activity beyond restaurants and hotels to that of ‘Caring and Sharing’. On January 2, 2008, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs officially registered a charity – the Association Caritative de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs – at the Paris Prefecture of Police. This made possible the launch of programmes in the field of social development aimed at nourishing and improving the living conditions of those in need, especially children.
The Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (OMGD) is a specific section of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ specializing in and concentrating on wines, spirits, liqueurs and crafted beverages. It was founded in Paris on 2nd September 1963 and is an integral part of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Its goal is to promote the enjoyment, appreciation and knowledge of fine wines, quality spirits, beers and mineral waters from around the world.
With a presence in more than 80 countries on 5 continents, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs has nearly 25,000 professional and amateur members.
- Nearly 18,000 Non-professional members who are passionate about culinary arts and fine wine.
- Nearly 7,000 prestigious professionals encompassing all disciplines of culinary arts
- Head chefs, young chefs of the future and sommeliers in more than 2,200 restaurants around the world, including famous names in the culinary world (2 and 3 stars Michelin, master craftsmen, Meilleurs Ouvriers de France)
- General Managers of some 3,000 high-end establishments around the world
- Nearly 180 Private Clubs
- More than 200 International conference, facilities & services companies and catering services companies
- More than 200 prestigious universities, hotel and cookery schools
- More than 250 vineyards in some of the most beautiful winemaking regions and wine wholesalers
- Nearly 90 cruise lines and airline companies