La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
Bailliage de Victoria ~ Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Review of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel event, February 7th 2016
Gail Gabel, Vice Chancelier and Argentier
Our first Black Tie event in 2016 was at Oak Bay Beach Hotel. On arrival lady guests were met with a lovely cream rose and pink flower corsage. The dining area was literally glittering. The serving staff were obviously excited and eager to begin the evening. The decoration was really beautifully done with shimmering gold sequinned cloths on alternate tables and cream cloths and gold sequinned runners on the others. Each table had a gilt candelabra holding several candles and their flickering flames added to the entire ambiance. With a small group of 24 Chaine members and guests plus the assistant GM, Philip Trot, and his wife Amy, the 26 were seated at three tables of six and two tables for four. The mood was quite intimate and actually a larger number might have made the room a little crowded.

The printed dinner menu was really well done and not at all traditional. On the backside of the menu, OBBH had highlighted the various farms which were providing the ingredients for the dinner. Amy and Philip Trot, who was representing OBBH`s General Manager Michelle Lesage, actually had their new baby girl upstairs with her Grandpa. The Trots are a delightful couple and joined in welcoming us on arrival at the hotel. Philip introduced his key team members before dinner which was a nice touch. It was clear that everyone was really enjoying the evening and I have already had very positive feedback from several members who were present.

The food and wine pairings were excellent, kudos to Larry Arnold for his excellent wine choices. The Chef's menu selections and plating presentation were first class and the service team was well trained and carried out their responsibilities effortlessly. Some of Larry's wine introductions were hilarious but as usual, very informative. Chef Kreg was right on time with his explanations of each course. Feedback was that the long pauses between courses were perfect, but personally I think there was one too many courses (virtually two main courses with the delectable chicken followed by the beef). The plating was such that several Members were taking pictures as courses arrived at their place. David Izard was our photographer at the event and between the pictures he shot on Sunday night and at the pairing, we should have some really good material for the newsletter and to send on to National. Scott Hoadley did the accolade and presented the Chaine Certificates to the OBBH team. It was a slightly longer evening than most Chaine dinners, and to further underscore how much everyone was enjoying themselves, half of those present were still sitting at their tables chatting for some time after the formal part of the evening came to an end. All in all, a superb event to start off 2016.