The Source - A Reimagined Roasted Feast: La Chaine Des Rotisseurs Returned to Its Roots with Chef Scott DrewnoNovember 6, 2014
By Vice Chargée de Presse Claudette Veronica Ferron
Born in medieval France, flourishing through the Renaissance and five centuries, reborn in the 20th century, cultivating standards befitting a royal table, the roasting mastery of the first Chaine des Rotisseurs was reimagined this fall through the culinary realism of Executive Chef, Maître Scott Drewno1, at Wolfgang Puck’s, The Source, in Washington D.C. At this magnificent autumnal dinner the members and guests of the Greater Washington, D.C., Bailliage experienced a contemporary roasted feast reminiscent of the first days of La Chaine at one of the cities quintessential culinary landmarks.
Although the utensils, cooking implements, ovens and the setting may have been 21st-century, under the creative direction of Chef Drewno’s, Sous Chef, Russell Smith endeavored to recreate the primal epicurean decadence of roasting -- food caressed by the untamed flame.
Through Chef Drewno’s roasted feast, Chef Russell provided diners with a taste of the royal table of the Sun King, Louis the XIV. The dinner was a sumptuous, edible historical essay on the culinary mastery of the founding Chaine Des Rotisseurs and the game that was their tableaux des arts.
Ensconced in the contemporary aesthetic restaurant, filled with clean lines of gleaming chrome and luminous glass, members and guests were seduced with wickedly delicious roasted appetizer -- mouthfuls of exquisite temptation, embellished by J. de Temont Brut NV Champagne (Champagne, France), a soft luscious, fruity, but clean Champagne, with a peach perfume. As they engaged in congenial repartee, members and guests embarked on a gastronomic pilgrimage to the roots of the La Chaine des Rotisseurs. Beginning with roasted cumin and chili eggplant skewers - an unexpected explosion of succulence, and delicately flavored velvet pouches of roasted Squash and Shrimp Sui Mai, followed by roasted Dynamite Rolls, savory burst of Asian delight and delicious, stream-fresh roasted Trout Toast, diners were unashamedly enticed by a stunning epicurean display of inspired roasting mastery.
Moving to a private interior dining room, members and guests continued on their culinary sojourn back to the future. Following a brief intermezzo, diners were favored with the Chef’s Amuse Bouche, an exquisitely sensuous roasted Blue Point Oyster in a palate-waking ocean spray of Thai chili and Kafir lime compound butter, paired with a 2012 Suavia, Soave Classico Riserva Monte Carbonare (Vento, Italy), a full-bodied white wine, with beautiful Mediterranean citrus notes, deep volcanic minerality and a creamy palate. In addition, during the intermezzo, diners were also delighted to learn that they were sharing in the engagement anniversary of a visiting couple Aneesh and Naina Singla, guests of Jurisconsult des Etats-Unis, Paul Haar.
The ambitious dinner was punctuated by Chef Russell’s illuminating commentary on each course, providing all with a culinary treasure map to guide them through their rendezvous with gastronomic history.
The first course showcased an inviting autumnal roasted Kaboucha squash soup with roasted lobster and mushroom dumplings— a fabulous hot and sour soup with a hint of spice and sweetness accompanied by a 2012 Max Ferd Richter Kabenitt Graecher Himmelreich (Mosel, Germany) – a bright fruity mid-palate wine, with a satisfying wild berry and spice finish.
The second course was a succulent epicurean triste with perfectly roasted ocean fresh Chilean Sea Bass, attended by delicious miso roasted root vegetables in a rich herbaceous sesame sauce, and served with a luscious 2013 Graywache Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand) – a clean, refreshing wine with a hint of pineapple and spice, and an exotic passion fruit nose.
Next, members and guests were guided through a culinary adventure of roasted mixed game – a four course contemporary take on a medieval feast. Roasted quail, Peking duck, abundant goose, luscious steak and succulent, crispy skinned pork sated every meat lover’s appetite, as the 2000 Montevetrano (Colli di Salerno, Puglia, Italy) flowed – a dark crimson, loamy, round wine with silky tannins and a long finish.
Ushering in the close of the meal, diners were charmed by the Pastry Chef’s prelude, an exquisite roasted coconut sorbet – a delicious, velvety smooth, fluffy cloud of tropical delight recalling warm, moonlight ,white palm-lined beaches, paired with a bright, fruity and celebrative 2013 Massolino, Mascato d’Asti (Piedmont, Italy). Finally, following the prelude was the fourth course, the last punctuation to the contemporary feast of flame favored fare – warm and delicious roasted petite cappuccino mandelines, playfully presented with a citrus Devonshire cream finished with an joyfully, complex, 2012 Heller Estate Late Harvest Riesling 2012 (Monterey, California).
Ultimately, through the creations of Maître Chef Scott Drewno as executed and presented by Sous Chef Russell Smith, at their night at The Source, members and guests of the Bailliage reveled in the rich and flavorful epicurean history of the world’s oldest gastronomic society, in a reimagining of the unparalleled culinary artistry of La Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Next up for the Greater Washington, D.C., Bailliage – its crowning annual event of culinary and sartorial splendor, the Black Tie Holiday Gala at the historic Willard Hotel. Come join the members in your finest attire and full regalia as they elevate officers, induct new members and feast in one of the most beautiful venues in Washington, D.C., surrounded by unsurpassed winter holiday decorations and joyous festivities.
1. Unfortunately Maître Chef Drewno was called out of town at the last minute by Chef Wolfgang Puck, and could not be present at the dinner, although he imagined and created the menu and dishes that were ably executed and presented on short notice by Sous Chef Russell Smith.