Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality

International Culinary Center, Professional Pastry Arts Scholarship-$5000
Sara Dreibelbis

International Culinary Center, Professional Culinary Arts Scholarship-$5000
Lindy Howell

International Culinary Center, Wine Studies Scholarship-$1500
Caroline Coursant

Institute of Culinary Education, Baking and Pastry Arts Scholarship-$2500
Hillary Valentine

Institute of Culinary Education, Culinary Arts Scholarship-$2500
Jenifer Pantano

Institute of Culinary Education, Hospitality Management Scholarship-$1500
Alicia Lopez

Culinary Institute of America, The Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship (2)-$5000
Elena Thomas
Josie Waisbrot

Culinary Institute of America, The Abigail Kirsch Scholarship-$2500
Francesca Zani

International Wine Center, The Dunn Robbins Wine & Food Scholarships-$5000
Larissa Lawrence

International Wine Center, International Wine Center Scholarship-$1500
Nicole Barrentine

International Wine Center, Society of Wine Educators Scholarship-$1000
Kristin Ma

New York University, LDNY Founder's Scholarship-$4000
Yvette Cabrera

New York University, LDNY Nutrition Scholarship-$4000
Gabriella Berkow

New York University, Edna Lewis Grande Dame of Southern Cooking Scholarship in Honor of Jonell Nash-$2000
Sara Franklin

New York University, The Meryl Rosofsky "Sustainable Food, Sustainable Life" Scholarship-$1800
Madeline Holtzman

Montclair State University, LDNY Education Scholarship-$1500
Ashley Mondragon

Kingsborough College, LDNY Education Scholarship-$1500
Cavene Clarke

New York City College of Technology, LDNY Education Scholarship-$1500
Anna Ye

Cornell University, LDNY Education Scholarship-$1500
Heather J. Mullen

Harry S. Truman High School, Florence Griffin Memorial Scholarship-$1500
Heidy Mota

2016 Scholarship Recipients

Through LDNY's stellar scholarship program, our society continues to fulfill the mission we established almost forty years ago - to bring recognition to, and carve a career path for, women in the food, fine beverage and hospitality industries. We are deeply honored to present this year's highly qualified recipients.

Sara Dreibelbis, International Culinary Center
Professional Pastry Arts Scholarship, $5,000

Awarded to a student that shows outstanding potential in pastry arts

Sara recently graduated from the International Culinary Center in the Professional Pastry Arts Program. Her passions are pastries, sustainability and creativity. She developed skills not only at ICC but also as a test kitchen intern with the Food Network, having learned about culinary sustainability developing an Emmy-Award-winning documentary on a small-scale farm. This all feeds into her goal to develop “recipes, relationships, and a business plan for a sustainable, nut-free bakery with products that utilize spent grain — the grains leftover from the beer-making process.” She plans to use the scholarship money to pay off her student loans, so she can focus on developing this business.

 

Lindy Howell, International Culinary Center
Professional Culinary Arts Scholarship, $5,000

Awarded to a student that shows outstanding potential in the culinary arts

Lindy recently graduated from the International Culinary Center with the Grand Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts. Her mission is “to make delicious, nutritious food and to educate consumers and producers about sustainability and protection of local food culture.” She has a wide range of culinary experience, from cooking for the Dave Matthews Band, to serving on the Board of the Slow Food Gulf Coast. Here, she helped create a funds-matching program to make local produce affordable for economically challenged families, and held workshops teaching multi-generational farmers current sustainable farming techniques. Her goal is to continue in community service and work in an establishment that supports sustainable food and social responsibility.

 

Caroline Coursant, International Culinary Center
Wine Studies Scholarship, $1,500

Awarded to a student that shows outstanding potential in wine and beverage management

Caroline is currently in the Wine Studies program at the International Culinary Center. She had initially pursued a legal career; has three law degrees, has passed two bar exams, and has worked with some of the top law firms in NYC. Before her career as a lawyer, she had taken a management degree in hospitality and a class in oenology, and her passion for these subjects never diminished. She recently decided that she would rather be a sommelier than an attorney, and is changing careers. Her short-term goal is to “work closely with producers from all around the world and high-end restaurants” to advance ideas of organic wine and counter-intuitive pairings. Her long-term goal is to become a Master Sommelier.

 

Hilary Valentine, Institute of Culinary Education
Baking and Pastry Arts Scholarship, $2,500

Awarded to a student that shows outstanding potential in pastry arts

Hillary is working towards her Diploma in Pastry and Baking Arts at the Institute of Culinary Education. Hillary has worked as a chef and cook throughout her entire life; her professional experience included working at Gramercy Tavern, owning a catering business, and serving as an Assistant Instructor at the French Culinary Institute. She volunteers often, working for God’s Love We Deliver, among other organizations. Her goal is to combine her culinary background with her new love of pastry, to “create a business which I can call my own…a biscuit and sandwich shop using products from local farmers.” She would use the scholarship funds to take classes in business management and enter into a new and rewarding chapter of her life.

 

Jenifer Pantano, Institute of Culinary Education
Culinary Arts Scholarship, $2,500

Awarded to a student that shows outstanding potential in the culinary arts

Jenifer has been working in restaurants since high school, working front-of-house for a small family-owned delicatessen, but didn’t discover that she had both an aptitude and a passion for the food industry until she was in college. Her goal is to run a café in an urban setting. “I am a member of the hospitality industry because I love talking to people and pleasing them…I love the boundless creativity that cooking and baking offers, where ingredients from all over the world can be combined to create a dish that offers pleasure, warmth, flavor and textural combinations. My passion is to make people happy, even just for a moment, through food and a smile.”

 

Alicia Lopez, Institute of Culinary Education
Hospitality Management Scholarship, $1,500

Awarded to a student that shows outstanding potential in hospitality management

Alicia is studying Hospitality Management at the Institute of Culinary Education. She had earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and has several years’ experience in management, customer service, office administration and real estate/private equity. After completing the Hospitality Management program, she will utilize her skills and resources in a career at a leading hotel, with the goal of becoming a Director of Events. Long term, she would like “to plan, manage and host large conventions and expositions for corporations, associations and groups.”

 

Francesca Zani, Culinary Institute of America
The Abigail Kirsch Scholarship, $2,500

Awarded to a student at the CIA who excelled beyond her curriculum and shows the qualities of leadership and creativity

Francesca graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in June 2016, with an Associate in Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts. Her life goal has always been to be a part of the food media. Currently, she writes for the school newspaper, has her own food blog, and posts culinary creations on Instagram. Working at a local gourmet catering company fueled her interest in large-scale event planning. This was reinforced by her volunteer work, organizing a Great American Bake Sale for Share our Strength Foundation, to help end childhood hunger, for which she received the Prims Award.

 

Elena Thomas, Culinary Institute of America
The Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, $5,000

Awarded to 2 students of the CIA who exhibit academic excellence, leadership, management skills and a “give back” attitude

Elena is currently in her third year of schooling towards her Bachelor’s degree in Baking and Pastry Arts at the Culinary Institute of America. She was born in Oaxaca, Mexico but was raised in New Jersey by her mother. Elena is interested in food science and applying the new techniques she is learning in her baking. She has been interested in baking from a young age. She views decorating pastries as a method of stress relief and enjoys the happiness that it brings to others. Elena is also interested in helping with food hunger and developing healthy eating habits. In time she hopes to find the perfect job that marries all her interests, baking, science and healthy eating, cohesively.

 

Josie Waisbrot, Culinary Institute of America
The Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, $5,000

Awarded to 2 students of the CIA who exhibit academic excellence, leadership, management skills and a “give back” attitude

Josie is a third term Baking and Pastry student at the Culinary Institute of America. She grew up in Ithaca, New York where she attended Ithaca High School and Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga County BOCES for culinary arts. Josie is currently externing at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs as a baking and pastry intern for part of her degree program. Josie hopes to be an inspiration to girls everywhere to follow their dreams and excel on their own terms no matter what obstacles they have to overcome.

 

Jessica England, Culinary Institute of America
Culinary Arts Scholarship, $5,000

Awarded to a student that shows outstanding potential in the culinary arts

Jessica is a candidate for an Associate in Occupational Studies in Culinary Art at the Culinary Institute of America. Her goal is “to study food and culture through knowledge of the culinary arts, paired with understanding of social interaction.” This would entail earning an M.A. or Ph.D., in order to teach food studies on a college level. She looks forward to establishing “connections of cultures, through our relationship with what we eat by seeking out distinguishable flavor profiles, foodways and cooking techniques.” Her immersion in other cultures includes living in New Zealand and New Orleans. As a volunteer for the Poughkeepsie Farm Project, she worked with farmers, to grow and harvest organic food to sell to the community and to donate to local families in need.

 

Faye Ransom, Culinary Institute of America
Culinary Arts Scholarship, $5,000

Awarded to a student that shows outstanding potential in the culinary arts

Faye is currently a candidate for an Associate of Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America. She is gaining experience in many fields at the CIA: in addition to serving as a Production Assistant at the CIA in the Media Department, she is assisting in food styling and preparation for commercial shoots, she is an Editorial Assistant in the Publishing Department, she assists Chef Sean Kahlenberg in Continuing Education classes, and is a student ambassador to the CIA leadership awards. Her interests include food writing, creating recipes and healthy products, teaching and working in food media. She created her own Flavor Forecast recipes, to be published on the McCormick website.

 

Larissa Lawrence, International Wine Center
The Dunn Robbins Wine & Food Scholarships, $5,000

Awarded to a woman who show understanding and love for the pairing of wine and food, and who has the potential for a successful career expressing her appreciation through writing and teaching

Larissa has completed the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Program (WSET) Level 2 Course, and will study for the WSET Level 3. Larissa’s professional experience included working at Christie’s Fine Wine Department and in Brand Management at Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, and her academic credentials include an MBA from Columbia Business School, where she built a Fine Wines Program. Leveraging her wine experience and business contacts, she intends to launch a wine-centric business in Mexico City, “bringing authentic terroir-driven wines to wine enthusiasts…creating a virtuous cycle whereby consumers learn about and enjoy new wines; producers penetrate an important market, and I make a living by following my passion.”

 

Kristin Ma, International Wine Center
Society of Wine Educators Scholarship, $1,000

Awarded to a student of the wine industry who shows potential in wine education

Kristin earned the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Advanced Certificate, passing with distinction, and is now working towards her WSET Diploma. Her goal is to be a sommelier “who makes the formidable world of wine approachable and engaging for consumers.” Her professional work in the wine world includes both restaurants and retail stores: at L’Artusi, she has gained practical experience with producers, and learned how to manage a beverage program; as a sales associate at September Wine & Spirits, she engages with customers and writes for the monthly Wine Club and staff picks. She is studying French, and hopes to learn Italian and Spanish as well.

 

Nicole Barrentine, International Wine Center
International Wine Center Scholarship, $1,500

Awarded to a student that shows outstanding potential in the wine and beverage industry

Nicole is presently studying for the WSET Level 3 Course having received a Merit Award for her performance in the WSET Level 2. Her professional experience includes working as a bartender and server at a range of restaurants; at Cull & Pistol, Larissa has completed the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Program (WSET) Level 2 Course, and will study for the WSET Level 3. she is currently responsible for wine selection, recommendation and service, as well as organizing and optimizing inventory and accessories and managing payments. She believes strongly that “formal study of wine will complement my practical experience.” Wanting to further her wine education, she will pursue the fourth WSET level, in preparation for the Master of Wine program.

 

Madeline Holtzman, New York University
The Meryl Rosofsky “Sustainable Food, Sustainable Life” Scholarship, $1,800

Awarded to a woman with outstanding potential as a leader in the “farm-to-table” social food movement, who exhibits academic excellence, personal integrity, and a passion for advancing a “sustainability” agenda and effecting positive food system change. The amount of this scholarship is a multiple of chai (represented by the number 18), the Hebrew word for “life”

Madeline is expected to receive her Master of Arts in Food Studies from NYU in December 2017. Her career goal is “to unify four things that usually don’t go together: rooftop farming, culinary training for vulnerable populations, food reclamation and fine dining.” Her work at The Nashville Food Project for two years taught her that it is possible to create beautiful meals with ingredients that otherwise would have been thrown away. With the scholarship funds, she will partner with Chef Gabe Kennedy, to pilot a program at The Kitchen in Williamsburg, preparing nutritious meals with recovered food and hydroponically grown herbs.

 

Gabriella Berkow, New York University
LDNY Nutrition Scholarship, $4,000

Awarded to a woman with outstanding potential in a career in nutrition

Gabriella is expected to graduate with a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from NYU in May 2017. She holds a Master of Arts in Applied Exercise Physiology from Columbia University’s Teachers College. She has taught exercise to both healthy and clinical populations, with experience in sports nutrition, eating disorders, cardiac rehabilitation and Pilates, in both medical and community facilities. She would like “to establish a practice blending nutrition counseling with exercise instruction, specializing in weight management, sports nutrition, and eating disorders.” With the scholarship funds, she will support a yearlong unpaid dietetic internship, a crucial step towards becoming a nutrition professional.

 

Yvette Cabrera, New York University
LDNY Founder’s Scholarship, $4,000

Awarded in honor of our founders and provided to a woman who shows innovation and a history of community service

Yvette graduated from NYU this spring with a Master of Arts in Food Studies. She interned at the Rockefeller Foundation this year, focusing on how to reduce food waste and assess viable solutions. Previously, she dedicated herself to sustainable development. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic for two years, focusing on women’s health, environmental sustainability and education. She and three of her fellow students are working to launch Ripe Markt, a web application “to reduce the amount of food waste by connecting recovered food from local farms to NYC restaurants.” She will apply the scholarship funds to support herself in order to devote full time to launch Ripe Markt.

 

Sara Franklin, New York University
Edna Lewis Grande Dame of Southern Cooking Scholarship in Honor of Jonell Nash, $2,000

Awarded to a student preparing for a career that preserves and nurtures Southern culinary tradition and its diverse contributing cultures. Farm-to-table advocacy also qualifies as a component of career focus for this award

Sara is currently a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Food Studies program at NYU. Her multifaceted career combines writing, museum exhibitions, radio, and classroom education to explore careers in food, particularly those of women. Her dissertation is based on a long form oral history project she conducted with legendary culinary editor Judith Jones, with a critical analysis of the women’s personal and professional networks. She is also serving as Editor of a volume of original essays on Chef Edna Lewis, her legacy and impact. She is currently working as a volunteer consultant with the Smithsonian’s food history program. Her scholarship funds would help support her during the completion of her dissertation.

 

Ashley Mondragon, Montclair State University
LDNY Education Scholarship, $1,500

In support of advancement in hospitality and culinary education

Ashley completed her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Service at Montclair State University. Her burning interest in nutrition originated in her experience with a family member who, hospitalized for a life-threatening disease, was served sub-standard food during her hospital stay, causing her to skip meals. This gave rise to Ashley’s belief that “every patient deserves a quality dish that is visually appealing, delicious and nutritious.” Her dream is “to initiate a national political movement that will hold dietary policies at higher nutritional and culinary standards in all healthcare systems” and will use the scholarship funds to pursue a Masters in Healthcare Administration.

 

Cavene Clarke, Kingsborough College
LDNY Education Scholarship, $1,500

In support of advancement in hospitality and culinary education

Cavene is completing her Associate Degree in Hospitality at Kingsborough Community College, with a concentration in Food and Beverage Management. She will then work towards her Bachelor of Technology in Hospitality Management at New York City College of Technology. Over the past 16 years, she planned events for non-profit organizations, private clients, families and friends. She has volunteered widely, including as Youth Director at her church. She will put her scholarship funds towards financing her Bachelor’s Degree, which will make it possible for her to work as a school food manager, eventually opening her own reception hall business and event planning service.

 

Anna Ye, New York City College of Technology
LDNY Education Scholarship, $1,500

In support of advancement in hospitality and culinary education

Anna is working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management, concentrating on Food & Beverage Management. She has worked as a barista, a member of the catering staff, a pastry cook, and most recently as a busser at Restaurant Daniel. By expanding her knowledge on how the food that we consume influences culture and shapes societies, she would like “to foster the careers of ambitious women who can provide leadership, educational opportunities and philanthropic events in culinary arts within their communities.” Having recently been selected by City Tech to study abroad in Paris, these funds will help finance this trip, deepening her understanding of French hospitality and gastronomy.

 

Heather J. Mullen, Cornell University
LDNY Education Scholarship, $1,500

In support of advancement in hospitality and culinary education

Heather’s major is Hotel Administration, with a minor in Information Science, at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. Heather’s experiences are varied, including positions as a busser, a hostess, a server, and a hotel’s front desk agent. These career-building jobs taught her the importance of excellent service and gave rise to her “innate desire to continually seek ways to instill genuine hospitality by exceeding guest expectations.” She is an active volunteer, both at a camp for children with cancer, as well as within Cornell’s local community. She will use the scholarship to fund her tuition, and work towards being a future leader in the hospitality industry.

 

Heidy Mota, Harry S. Truman High School
Florence Griffin Memorial Scholarship, $1,500

In support of a C-CAP student beginning her college education in the fall

Heidy graduated from Harry S. Truman HS in 2016 and will attend SUNY Cobleskill in the fall. From a very young age, Heidy has known that she belongs in the culinary field, where she has worked throughout her high school years, consistently demonstrating her dedication and perseverance. Heidy’s goal of becoming a restaurant owner is still her beacon, and she knows that she is “the creator of my own success.” In the past, while training for the C-CAP Cooking Competition for Scholarships; interning at Betony with Chef Bryce Shuman, and managing her school’s café, she showed ways of working that will continue throughout her life: pushing herself and those around her to do more and be more, in order that she and everyone around her reach their full potential.

 

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