The holidays are a time for tradition. The Bailliage of Greater Washington, D.C., continued its own as it returned for the seventh time to the Willard InterContinental Hotel for its holiday gala on Dec.11, 2019.
Just two blocks from the White House, the Willard has been a Washington landmark since 1818. Each December the hotel envelops all who enter with the sights, smells, and sounds of a classic Christmas as no other Washington location can – an elegant Christmas tree reaches to the 25-foot (7.6 meter) ceiling of the hotel’s Beaux-Arts lobby while the rich red of poinsettias, the aroma of mulled wine, and harmonious voices of local choirs singing carols fill the grand space.
Maître Hôtelier Commandeur Markus Platzer, the Willard’s General Manager, welcomed the sixty‑six confrères and guests to this Washington institution. He noted that hosting the Chaîne is a highlight of the season for the Willard team.
Champagne and a harpist’s delightful holiday music set the festive mood in the opulent Crystal Room as confrères mingled with friends old and new and servers passed delectable hors d’oeuvres. The evening’s dinner was inspired by the Mediterranean flavors of Executive Chef Maître Rôtisseur Luca de Marchis’ native Italy.
De Marchis, Chef de Cuisine Gyo Santa, and Executive Pastry Chief Jason Jimenez delighted the gathering with six superbly executed courses, each paired with an exceptional wine from the bailliage’s cellar.
As the evening concluded, Bailli Judy Mazza thanked the kitchen brigade and service staff, presenting each with a Chaîne pin. She congratulated Chef de Marchis on yet another unforgettable culinary experience and gave him a commemorative bailliage coin. Mr. Platzer received a Chaîne wine coaster, which he laughingly said would be put to frequent use.
The evening of outstanding food, wine, and Chaîne camaraderie was certainly a highlight of the festive season for all.
Escargot & Lentil
Coconut Lobster Lollipop
Stilton, Quince Paste, & Candied Pecan on a Macaron Shell
Octopus & Prawn
Braised Octopus & Poached Prawn
Celery Root Panna Cotta, Red Beet Reduction
Gonet-Médeville 1er Cru Cuvée Blanc de Noirs NV
Chestnut Soup & Foie Gras
Cream of Chestnut, Seared Foie Gras, Marron Glacé
Charles Orban Brut Cuvée Spéciale Millésime Troissy 2006
Lyonnaise in the Tart
Frisée, Lardon, Haricots Verts, Poached Quail Egg
Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis “Les Vieilles Vignes de Sainte-Claire” 2017
Ruby Chocolate-Dipped Lychee Sorbet Popsicle
Domaine de la Bélière Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancestrale NV
Seared Red Mullet Filet
Black Trumpet Mushrooms
Artichoke & Boursin Cheese Stuffed Rigatoni
Truffle Butter Sauce
Domaine Philippe Charlopin Morey St. Denis 2012
Grilled Radicchio, Hibiscus Glaze
Bodegas Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia Rioja Macán 2011
Mediterranean Valrhona Chocolate Bar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Apricot Ice Cream
Orenga de Gaffory Rappo Vin de Liqueur NV
Patrimonio, Corsica, France