Les Dames Names Winners for Women Culinary Professionals


Les Dames

Six professional women were chosen as this year’s LDEI Legacy Award recipients to be mentored by some of America’s leading female talent in food, beverage and hospitality-all distinguished members of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI). Chosen from the US and Canada and all having a minimum of four years of work experience, the winners will participate in a high-energy, labor-intensive and career-expanding week, learning how to take their respective careers up to the next level,working alongside a Dame woman-leader in their chosen fields.

Established in 2009 and supported by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, the Legacy Awards are hosted annually by LDEI, an international organization of women leaders in food, fine beverage and hospitality whose mission is education and philanthropy for the good of the global community.

This year’s winners will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with a top caterer in Seattle, help with the grape harvest for the oldest continuously operating, family-owned winery in California, or experience farm-to-table initiatives on farms in Hawaii and Georgia. The experiences are offered in catering, pastry, wine, food and wine journalism and farm-to-table.

In the “Culinary” category, Jennifer Bradley, senior production sous chef at Pier Sixty, a high-end catering venue in New York City, will travel to the Pacific Northwest to work under the tutelage of Dame Lisa Dupar at her catering company, Lisa Dupar Catering, in Redmond, WA. Dupar, named Seattle’s best corporate and wedding caterer for 25 years, is also president of the Pomegranate Bistro.

Lisa Ramsey, owner of a small bakery and a chef instructor at The Art Institute of Tennessee, Nashville, will study at the hands of Dame Shari Carlson of Dallas in the

“Entrepreneurship/Pastry” category. Carlson is chef/owner of Dessert Dreams, a large wholesale bakery which distributes upscale desserts to area hotels, restaurants, caterers, private clubs and convention centers.

Wente Vineyards in Livermore, CA will host Gretchen McKay of Pittsburgh, PA, a staff member at that city’s Post-Gazette newspaper, in the “Wine” category. She will spend a week in the California wine country during the 2014 harvest working with Dame Amy Hoopes, EVP Global Sales/Chief Marketing Officer, and Dame Carolyn Wente, CEO of America’s oldest continuously-operated family-owned winery.

Two LDEI chapters offered experiences in the “Farm to Table” area. Jane Anderson, pastry chef at Ella’s Restaurant and Bar in Sacramento, CA, will fly to Hawaii’s Big

Island to spend the week with Dame Lesley Hill, CEO of the Wailea Agricultural Group. Wailea Ag is the largest grower of fresh Hawaiian heart of palm in America along with a myriad of tropical and subtropical fruits.

The Atlanta, GA chapter will host Meghan Seradsky, a private cooking instructor and the National College Advisor and Alumni Coordinator for C-CAP, Careers through

Culinary Arts programs, in New York City. She will experience two farms: Dame Charlotte Swancy’s Riverview Farms, a 200-acre organic-certified family farm in

Northwest Georgia, and Dame Judith Winfrey’s five-acre farm, Love is Love, in the heart of Atlanta.

For the first time the Legacy Awards include a “Food and Wine Journalism” category. Good Housekeeping magazine Food Director Dame Susan Westmoreland and Dame Sharon Franke, Director of Kitchen Appliances and Technology Department of the Good Housekeeping Institute, will introduce Catherine Smart, a food writer and personal chef from Boston, to the world of magazine food and equipment.

The LDEI Legacy Awards Program is supported by a generous donation from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, which was created by Child in 1995 to support non-profit organizations which share her commitment to education and to encourage others to live well through the joys of cooking and eating well.

LDEI is an invitational organization of women leaders in the United States, Canada and the UK in food, fine beverage and hospitality whose mission is education, advocacy and philanthropy.

posted by: Eric Fujimori