Grand Chapitre Archive – 2007
A triumph for the Solent Bailliage
Our Grand Chapitre held in October 2007 was hosted by the Solent Bailliage. Based in Southampton and Portsmouth, there was a definite nautical theme. Jenny Handscombe, Bailli for Solent, together with Chris Lewis and the National Officers, pulled out all the stops to provide three days of excellent dining and enjoyment. Some 170 members and their guests, many from overseas, enjoyed the fine weather and bracing air!
Friday night set the scene with a dinner aboard HMS Warrior in Portsmouth’s historical dockyard. Built in 1860, HMS Warrior was Britain’s first iron-hulled armoured battleship, lovingly restored and now a major tourist attraction. Dinner held on the half-deck, was in honour of the winner of Britain’s Young Commis Chefs Competition, Will Weightman of The Yorke Arms, near Harrogate in Yorkshire. County Caterers, a leading event caterer, headed by Maître Rôtisseur Chef Darren Lunn, produced an excellent traditional menu.
The following day and in keeping with the nautical theme, members were treated to a tour of HMS Victory, HMS Mary Rose and the old Gun Wharfs. The De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton was the venue for the evening’s intronisation ceremony which saw a total of 83 new members intronised and 20 new members intronised into the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs. After the traditional champagne reception, a superb six-course dinner was served, prepared by Clifford McCrea, the head chef, with his very able team.
The farewell lunch on Sunday brought the nautical theme right up to date with a tour of P&O’s flagship cruise liner, MS Oceana. A magnificent lunch hosted by Neal Martin, Maître de Table, P&O’s Director, Hotel Services & Entertainment and prepared for us by head chef, Maître Rôtisseur, Trevor Glass and his team. P&O, one of the world’s leading cruise ship companies, boasts many Chaîne members among its culinary brigade and they always look out for fellow members who are passengers on their fleet of liners.
There was much praise for Jenny Handscombe and the team for a memorable and flawless Grand Chapitre.