Every three years the Chaîne begins anew as elections take place and new officers begin their roles with innovative ideas while still maintaining the beloved structure that makes the Chaîne the Chaîne. This year the Austin Bailliage had reason to celebrate three new levels of leadership at the National, Regional and Bailli level, promising bright new beginnings for all lucky enough to be involved. After Zooming through spring and summer with happy hours and wine tastings, it was with great anticipation that members gathered in person on October 17th to celebrate the introduction of Southwest Bailli Provincial Cheryl Kenny, and the elevations of Austin Bailli Lael Hasty and Southwest Conseiller Gastronomique Sue Rondini.
With a mind to Austin’s Covid restrictions, the elevation took place in Vice Chancelier-Argentier Charles and Dame Patsy Eppright’s peaceful outdoor courtyard on a beautiful fall evening. After rejoicing in being back together and dispensing with masks to sip some bubbly, Bailli Provincial Kenny gave a warm and inspiring elevation talk, new ribbons were presented and the officers officially “equipped” to do their new jobs. Linda Esper and Desta Selassie were also inducted as Dame de la Chaîne. Although unable to make it to Austin, former Bailli Provincial Bill Salomon awarded Chargée de Presse Provincial Kathy Shay with the Gold Star award for her five years of leading the Region’s communication efforts.
Since no Chaîne event would be complete without creative food and tasty wine, the group of 30 adjourned to the Eppright’s side “park” to enjoy an evening of substantial appetizers created by Iron Chef Competitor and La Corsha Hospitality Executive David Bull, and Chefs Kevin Donovan and Keegan Andrew of Second Bar + Kitchen. Kevin was Austin’s Young Chef finalist in the national competition in 2019 and Keegan was scheduled to compete for the Region’s top honor in 2020 and plans to compete again in 2021. From Hamachi to Pork Belly bites, the appetizer offerings featured an Asian flair and were accompanied by California wines – a Balducci Chardonnay, a Lincourt Pinot and Stryker and Foley Johnson Cabs that were perfectly aged in the Bailliage cellar.
There were no black ties at this year’s elevations, no high heels that might catch in the grass, but the spirit of the Chaine was ever-present on this starry, starry night in the Eppright park as friends gathered once again to continue the traditions of the Goose Roasters.