The Chaîne is 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. Its authority was gradually expanded to include the roasting of all poultry, meat and game. The written history of the guild of “Les Oyers” or “Goose Roasters” has been traced back to the year 1248.
Legend has it that King Louise the IX was so afraid of being poisoned that the brotherhood of the Chaine des Rotisseurs was created for his friends to taste the dishes and wines before the king would eat. These friends knowing that they could be poisoned anytime decided that they might as well enjoy the best that France could offer. The best food, wines, and the best services. Hence was the art of gastronomy born.. At that time King Louis IX, later to be Saint Louis, assigned Etienne Boileau, the Provost of Paris, with the task of bringing order into the organization of trades and guilds, developing young apprentices and improving the technical knowledge of guild members. He gathered together the charters of more than 100 of these trades, among them the Goose Roasters. Over the years, the activities and privileges of the Goose Roasters Guild were extended to preparing and selling all kinds of meat, including poultry and venison.
In 1509, during the reign of King Louis XII, some new statutes were introduced, which resulted in the change of the name of the guild to “Rôtisseurs” and 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.
For over four centuries the “Confrérie” or brotherhood of the Roasters cultivated and developed culinary art and high standards of professionalism and quality – standards befitting the splendor of the “Royal Table” – until the guild system was disbanded, together with all others, in 1793 during the French Revolution.
The Rôtisseurs were almost forgotten until 1950 when Dr. Auguste Becart, Jean Valby and “Prince” Curnonsky (elected Prince of Gastronomes*), and chefs Louis Giraudon and Marcel Dorin resurrected the Society and created La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
This tradition of knighthood is still carried until today, as those who are invited to become a member of the Brotherhood is inducted to become a knight of the order of the Chaine des Rotisseurs. Going with the time, and members are not only limited to men only, as it used to be, the women are inducted to become Dame de la Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Each of the member countries has its own National Administration, which co-ordinates activities within that country and is responsible for the overall development of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, Nationally.
The National administration also organizes the annual ‘chapitre’ which is the key opportunity for all members to meet together, and for newly appointed members to be inducted and receive their formal regalia.
There are two Bailliages in Costa Rica, one in San Jose, the Capital, which serves the central valley, and the other in playa Flamingo, which oversees the pacific Northwest of the country.
The goal of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is to bring
professional and non-professional members in over 70
member countries together to celebrate their passion
for fine cuisine and wines and to aid and encourage
the development of young chefs, and sommeliers
worldwide through its national and international
competitions as well as provide international food
support and aid to those in need.
Through such support and activities, the Chaîne is
unceasingly perpetuating its heritage, its philosophy
and its charity and assistance to others.