41st Annual Induction Dinner – A Return to the Gilded Age
May 19, 2019
By Desirée A. Farley, Chargée de Presse
On May 19th, the Confrères of the Albany Bailliage gathered at the Franklin Plaza, an historic and elegant ballroom located in the heart of downtown Troy, NY on the scenic Hudson riverside to convene for its annual induction ceremony.
The evening was met with great anticipation as the all-star lineup of chefs—Maître Rôtisseur Traiteur Michael A. Cocca, Jr., Chef Rôtisseur Adam Foti and Maître Rôtisseur Traiteur Robert Hare–have established themselves as some of the Capital Region’s foremost providers of fine dining, elegant catering and event planning services over the past five decades. The hosting chefs in symphony with The Franklin Plaza Ballroom’s classic luxury and modern comfort was guaranteed to make the 41st Annual Induction Dinner themed “A Return to the Gilded Age” a truly spectacular evening.
The event commenced with a chic modern décor rooftop champagne reception (no less than Veuve Cliquot) with a lavish shellfish tower leaving members and their guests feeling as rich and decadent as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and Cornelius Vanderbilt. Delectable butler passed hors d’oeuvres were also offered as well as an open bar. A talented string trio offering light classical works added to the ambience. As the reception concluded, the huddled masses were ushered to the first floor for a very charming induction ceremony ably officiated by Bailli Provincial Mont Stern who had made the arduous journey from Buffalo. Seven new members were inducted and another three were elevated, all beaming with pride. Additionally, the prestigious Officier Commandeur badge was awarded to Chevalier Victor Gush, Chambellan Hon. Frank A. Tate, Jr., Vice Chargé de Presse Hon. R. Charles Roemmelt and Vice Chargée de Missions Carmela R. Daubney for 30 years of membership.
Downstairs in the beautiful Grand Ballroom the nearly 70 dinner guests were met with (now extinct) Tennessee pink marble, the original steel conning tower (used as the gun turret), and other grand features. As guests eagerly awaited the great richness soon to be before them, they wandered about the ballroom embellished with twinkly lights and opulent décor.
The first course of rich lobster bisque with thyme shortbread buttons and edible flowers paired with a JanotsBos Meursault, Burgundy 2012. The wine displayed notes of mango and citrus, made the mouth water and complimented the richness of the course. The second course, a softer flavor dish, Dover sole meuniere with fried capers and fresh lemon paired with the Alexandre Monmousseau Vouvray, Loire Valley 2016 calmed the taste buds. The wine being from a cooler part of France was not as acidic as the Burgundy and the sweeter tasting notes went well with the fish. The standout of the third course of veal loin galantine was the accompanying sweetbreads, spinach, sauce Bercy, cauliflower purée and Brussels sprout petal confetti. The Chaîne pairing committee aligned this course with the Bouchard Pere & Fils Vosne Romanée, Burgundy 2005 which kept changing in the glass – a wonderful amount of fruit. Next, guests’ palates were tantalized with a pink grapefruit sorbet that left behind no remnants of tastings past and well prepared for the main course.
For the main course, foie gras crowned filet medallion was served with Madeira demi glace and the most interesting textured Parisienne gnocchi, hericot verts and baby carrot with a Chateau Tour-Pibran, Bordeaux 2010 described as “the vintage of the century”. The beautiful dark fruit matched up with the goliath of foie gras creating a hedonistic experience only to be shown up by the creamy, decadent, stunning, show-stopping desserts – the whole thing just sang!
At the conclusion of the meal, the servers and culinary staff were introduced and received warm and well-deserved recognition from members and guests as the experience of being immersed in tradition and elegance with exquisite and lavish décor and “Returning to the Gilded Age” with opulent style was surely a night for the history books.