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March 31 – April 2, 2022, Midwest Provincial Chapitre & Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition, Des Moines, Iowa – After a short hiatus due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of the Des Moines, Iowa took center stage to host the Midwest Chaîne Chapitre and show the true colors of Midwestern hospitality.

Front row: Greg Wallis, Bailli Provincial Mid west; Bertrand de Boutray, Bailli Délégué des Etats-Unis; Dean Luttrell, Bailli of Des Moines. Second row: Officers of the Bailliage de Des Moines.

 

Dan Glisky, Bailli of Michigan; Dean Luttrell, Bailli of Des Moines; Greg Wallis, Bailli Provincial Midwest; Glenn Balsamo, Vice-Echanson Indianapolis.

The host hotel for this year’s Midwest Chapitre was the AC Hotel which is part of the Marriot Bonvoy family of properties. It is situated in the heart of the East Village, an urban neighborhood surrounded by shops and restaurants on the east bank of the Des Moines River and a short walk from our gold-domed state capitol. The Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs (young chefs) Competition featured four Midwestern competitors at the Iowa Culinary Institute, the crown jewel of the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).

The event was led by Bailli Délégué des Etats-Unis Bertrand de Boutray and Midwest Bailli Provincial Greg Wallis. The importance and impact of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition was highlighted by both Monsieur de Boutray and Mr. Wallis: “The Chaîne plays a crucial part in the sponsoring and planning of this event which is a wonderful opportunity for young up-and-coming culinary professionals.”

Exploring Des Moines, Iowa

The 2022 Midwest Provincial Chapitre and Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition highlighted some of greatest attractions Des Moines has to offer.

Guests arriving early to start the weekend enjoyed dinner at Bubba Southern Comfort restaurant, an establishment committed to bringing a little bit of Dixie to Des Moines. Chef Courtney Oberender gave us a true taste of good southern comfort food.

The next morning, an officers’ brunch featured an array of amazing flavors. Chef Dean Luttrell, CEC, Bailli of Des Moines, and Greg Wallis worked closely with Chef Peter Kieger of the AC hotel to offer attendees a superb experience.

Friday afternoon, attendees could choose from a range of creative options to explore Des Moines that included lunch at Purveyor, a modern European style market; a chocolate tasting at Kitchen Collage, a cozy neighborhood store known to be a preferred spot for renowned chefs visiting the metro area; and a tour of Revelton Distilling Co. that included a three-course lunch hosted by proprietors Rob and Christi Taylor, both of whom are active members of the Des Moines Bailliage.

That evening, guests gathered for a wonderful dinner celebrating Iowa food products at the Embassy Club on the 34th floor of the RUAN building with magnificent panoramic views of the Des Moines city skyline. The dinner featured an array of Iowa’s finest products selected by Des Moines Bailli Honoraire Chef Michael LaValle. Following the tradition of La Paulée de Meursault, where winemakers and cellar workers celebrate the end of the grape harvest by sharing their best bottles of wine to impress favorite clients, guests were encouraged to share a bottle of wine from their personal collections.

Saturday afternoon provided participants with an optional free afternoon to visit local shops, explore the statuary surrounding our state capitol building, learn about the rich history of the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, or attend a wine and food pairing seminar presented by Iowa native John Teeling, a Certified Sommelier currently serving as hospitality manager at Asuncion Ridge Vineyards in Paso Robles, along with students from the Iowa Culinary Institute.

Competitor Alex Rosch, Des Moines

The Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition

The highlight of the weekend was the Midwest Provincial Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition on April 2. The event featured four talented chefs from the Midwest who were challenged to prepare three courses from a mystery basket of wonderful fresh ingredients including pike, clams, dandelions greens, rhubarb, and a center cut pork loin from Jones Dairy Farms, a main sponsor of the event.

The four competitors did not disappoint, impressing judges with their repertoires of techniques and unique menus. The kitchen judges were Chef Karla Boetel, CEC, CCE, from the Iowa Culinary Institute and Chef Rob Hertel, CEC, CCE, AAC from St. Louis Community College. Chef John Coletta, Conseiller Culinaire Provincial, Midwest, and Chef Rolando A. Molina, Vice Chargé de Presse for the Des Moines Bailliage, served as kitchen managers.

The competitors were:

• Phil Gentry from Cincinnati,
• Isaiah Harris from Indianapolis,
• Steven Rice from Des Moines, and
• Alex Rosch from Des Moines.

All four participants finished on time after completing their required kitchen checkouts. The judges and kitchen managers critiqued performance, safety, and flavors. Chefs Terry Boston (DMC, CFPP), Casey Schiller (CEPC, CCE, AAC), Diego Critelli (Executive Chef at Grand Living Management), and Adam Gillaspey (Executive Chef at Urbandale Country Club) offered professional assessments of the finished dishes.

 

Induction of new Chefs Rôtisseurs (Juene Chef competitors).

And the Winner Is …

The pinnacle of the weekend of Chaîne activities included a Champagne reception, induction, Société Mondiale du Vin induction, and the Gala Award dinner. Upon arrival at the Iowa Culinary Institute, guests sipped Collet Brut NV Champagne and nibbled on hors d’oeuvres. Bailli Délégué Bertrand de Boutray conducted the induction and elevation of Chaîne members.

Following the induction ceremony, guests were escorted into the Institute’s impressive lakeview dining room for the Gala dinner and announcement of the 2022 Midwest Provincial Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition Winner: Phil Gentry standing for the Cincinnati Bailliage.

George Elliott, Bailli de Cincinnati; Phil Gentry, winner of the Midwest Juene Chef Competition; and Alan Neace, Chef Rôtisseur and Cincinnati coach.

Gentry shows great passion for his trade. I had the pleasure of observing the young chefs at work. Phil’s methodology was impressive (and perhaps overwhelming to some), but the young chef had a purpose for all the tools in his repertoire. The talented young chef graduated from the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College. He currently serves as chef de cuisine at Fausto, a “California cuisine restaurant & café focusing on seasonal local ingredients” owned and operated by Austin and Tony Ferrari. Fausto is located in the lobby of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.

The wonderful five-course gala dinner was prepared by Iowa Culinary Institute students under the expert direction and tutelage of Chef Michael Dell, CEC, the program’s culinary professor. Guests were treated to a magnificent menu and perfect wine pairings orchestrated by Mr. Daniel Divine, Vice Echanson of the Des Moines Bailliage. The exemplary food and wine menu included:

  • Shrimp Idaho with a citrus tarragon caper sauce (Grambazan Ambar Albariño 2020)
  • Tomato onion soup served tableside with a canelé of herbed goat cheese and fresh micro basil (Elisa Gueneau Sancerre Blanc Les Griottes 2020)
  • Dover Sole with a pistachio herb crust and velvety saffron butter sauce (Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Santa Barbara 2020)
  • Lamb in a Cage—a rack of lamb complemented by lamb jus and roasted morels (Domaine du Cayron Gigondas 2019)
  • White Chocolate Raspberry Panna Cotta (Oremus KFT Tokaji Late Harvest)
L-R Jim Stick, Vice-Conseiller Culinaire (Des Moines); John Andres, Vice Chancelier-Argentier (Des Moines); Dean Luttrell Bailli (Des Moines); Greg Wallis, Bailli Provincial Midwest; Bertrand de Boutray Bailli Délégué des Etats-Unis.

Supporting the Culinary Trade

Bailli Délégué Boutray and Bailli Provincial Wallis presented a check in the amount of $12,000 to support student scholarships at the Iowa Culinary Institute represented by three Des Moines culinary leaders: Dean James Stick, Vice Conseiller Culinaire and Dean of Liberal Arts for the Des Moines Area Community College; Chef John Andres, Vice Conseiller-Argentier and Program Chair for the Iowa Culinary Institute; and Chef Dean Lutrell, Bailli of Des Moines and Culinary Professor for the Institute. Maura Nelson, Vice Chargée de Missions and French program coordinator for the Iowa Culinary Institute, emphasized the importance of scholarships, also highlighting the Institute’s partnerships with chefs from the Loire region of France and Des Moines’ sister city of St. Etienne, France

The event concluded with Bailli Provincial Wallis presenting the Silver Star of Excellence to Chef Dean Lutrell, CEC, Bailli, and Chef Lutrell presenting the Bronze Star of Excellence to Nancy Landess, Dame de la Chaîne, each for invaluable collaborations and great success of the Des Moines event.

Vive la Chaîne!

Inductees at the Midwest Chapitre.

Featured photo: National, Regional and Local Chaine Officers, Juene Chefs, and Inductees at the Midwest Chapitre.

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