Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality


Media inquiries, contact:
Rachel Litner: rachell@lotus823.com
Aileen Robbins (LDNY Scholarship Committee Co-Chair): arobbins@dunnrobbinsgroup.com
May Matta-Aliah (LDNY Scholarship Committee Co-Chair): may@inthegrape.com
Photos available upon request.

Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY) Presents Scholarship Awards for Women Pursuing Careers in Food, Wine and Hospitality 
23 Winners Honored at NYU Reception

New York, NY, August 25, 2017 – Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY), which supports women leaders in the food, wine and hospitality industries, recently awarded almost $82,000 in scholarship funding to 23 students. A gala was held in their honor at New York University’s Rosenthal Hall in New York.

The LDNY Scholarship Awards event drew more than 100 people, including LDNY members, award winners and benefactors from major corporations, educational institutions, and food, wine and hospitality organizations.

“The annual scholarship awards epitomizes the core mission and longstanding values that have defined LDNY since its founding,” said Dame Joan Brower, president of LDNY. “As we continue to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our organization, LDNY remains true to its mission to promote education, advocacy and philanthropy in food, fine beverage and hospitality.”

As part of the evening ceremonies, Dame Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health at New York University, gave an inspiring speech, drawing on her own life, and explaining how she herself could never have gone to college - no less completed two doctoral degrees - without scholarships. She and Krishnendu Ray, Department Chair of the Food Studies Program, were on stage to congratulate the four NYU students who received scholarships this year.

Dames Aileen Robbins and May Matta-Aliah, Co-Chairs of the Scholarship Committee, presented the awards to the 23 students, who represented 10 different culinary, wine and hospitality educational institutions. Scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 were awarded to individuals for their achievements, skills and career goals. In addition to the cash awards, each winner was given the opportunity to be mentored by an LDNY member whose experience complements the recipient’s career goals.

The 2017 event Corporate Benefactors were Whole Foods Market, Dunn Robbins and Melitta®.

In partnership with LDNY, culinary and wine scholarships were given by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the International Culinary Center (ICC), the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), and the International Wine Center (IWC).

In addition, a number of scholarships were donated by LDNY members, including: the Abigail Kirsch Scholarship for the Culinary Institute of America (CIA); Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship for CIA; and the Ruth Fisher Scholarship for NYU.

There were also two memorial scholarships: The Edna Lewis Grande Dame of Southern Cooking Scholarship, in honor of Jonell Nash, longtime food editor of Essence Magazine (for ICE), and the Florence Griffin Memorial Scholarship. The latter was selected by the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).

The event was catered by NYU, with generous food and wine donations from Winebow Group, Gerolsteiner Water, Mezcal Artesanal Bruxo, Bittersweet New York City, Loi Estiatorio, Dos Caminos, and Sahib Modern Indian Cuisine. An event raffle and silent auction rounded out the evening festivities.

The proceeds from the sale of tickets are added to the available monies for the 2018 scholarships.


LDNY 2017 Award Recipients:

  • Jennifer Ojito, IWC, The Dunn Robbins Wine & Food Scholarship
  • Diana Zhu, NYU, LDNY Future Leader Scholarship
  • Malika Ikromova, City Tech-CUNY, LDNY Future Leader Scholarship
  • Deborah Ni, NYU, LDNY’s Whole Foods Market Leadership Scholarship
  • Pamela Fernandez, CIA, The Abigail Kirsch Scholarship
  • Mikayla Deruchia, CIA, The Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship
  • Taylor Bischof, CIA, The Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship
  • Jordan Werner, NYU, The Ruth Fisher Scholarship
  • Danette Dundee, ICE, Edna Lewis Grande Dame of Southern Cooking Scholarship in honor of Jonell Nash
  • Ashley Jarett, CIA
  • Rachel Smallwood, CIA
  • Arabella Green, ICE, Professional Pastry Arts
  • Andrea Reina, ICE, Professional Culinary Arts
  • Aili Pusker, ICC, Wine Studies
  • Jessica Leon, ICE, Baking & Pastry Arts
  • Nell Jocelyn, ICE, Culinary Arts
  • Dia Bennani, ICE, Hospitality Management
  • Jessica Newton, IWC



LDNY Presents Scholarship Awards for Women Pursuing Careers in Food, Wine and Hospitality LDNY General Fund Members Scholarships:

  • Rebecca Yellin, Montclair State University, Nutrition
  • Ximena Diz, NYU, LDNY Founders Scholarship
  • Ceikar Ng, Kingsborough College, LDNY Scholarship
  • Ana Nicole Uribe, Cornell University, LDNY Scholarship




  • Diamond John, Florence Griffin Memorial Scholarship, selected by C-CAP


About Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY):

Les Dames d’Escoffier is the preeminent organization of women who are leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The New York chapter (LDNY) is the founding and largest of the 38 chapters in the United States and abroad. Established in 1976 by Carol Brock (food reporter for the Sunday New York Daily News at the time), LDNY has 160 members. The organization is celebrating its 40th year with a host of activities that pay homage to charter members and showcase the evolution and achievements of women in the industry as a whole, among other initiatives. For more information, visit www.ldny.org.

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