Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality

Permanent Committees


Chair: Dame Joan Coukos
This committee gathers, categorizes, and retrieves items that document LDNY’s contributions to the nation’s culinary traditions as well as to the culinary history of New York City since the mid-twentieth century. Such items may include (but are not limited to) printed materials, publications, menus, photographs, videos and other mementos of events, press clippings, etc.


Social Media Cochairs: Dames Rita Jammet & Julie Hartigan
Public Relations & Website Chair: Dame Ronnie Campbell

This committee promotes LDNY’s members and their diverse expertise to multiple media outlets, as well as internal communication within the organization. This encompasses creating, maintaining and disseminating press releases and related materials to media contacts in the local, national/international trade and consumer sectors, for print, broadcast and web (including bloggers).

Other core activities include creating content and managing LDNY social platforms for LDNY’s website and Facebook/Twitter/Instagram accounts. This includes community engagement, tracking and measurement, and furthering ongoing internal correspondence with LDNY members. In the News

Green Tables

Chair: Dame Nancy Jessup
Our chapter’s mission is to share member’s culinary/hospitality skills to further Green Tables’ values.
* Promote community health and well-being.
* Build upon existing community food, gardening and agriculture efforts
Inspire focus on the value of local farmers and enhance the use of locally grown food.
* Teach/coach culinary or gardening skills through classes and demonstrations in community programs to further eating healthfully.
* Act as culinary advisors to develop or critique recipes, menus, food service operations, etc. for grass-roots projects connecting local, healthy food to populations in need.
* Professional development of culinary, gardening or recipe development skills for community-minded projects lacking these professional skills.

To date, our Green Tables Initiative has included educating NYC school children and their parents about healthful eating through demonstrations and community programs, in partnership with Wellness in the Schools and the National Garden Association. We are always exploring new partnerships that will further promote community health, environmental accountability, sustainability and zero waste initiatives. Read more: Green Tables


Cochairs: Dames Deborah Mintcheff & Marsha Palanci
This committee selects the future members of the New York chapter. The process begins in March when applications are sent out to all LDNY members. The committee collects and reviews all applications, interviews candidates and determines the viability of each applicant. The selection process is completed in July when the newest group of Dames is presented to the Board for approval. The committee also works with the induction chair to plan the induction ceremony, which takes place at the chapter’s induction event. Becoming a Member


Cochairs: Dames Amy Zavatto & Janet McCracken
Each scholarship recipient is offered the opportunity to participate in LDNY’s “Day in The Life” Mentoring Program. This program enables each mentee to spend a day with a Dame, focusing on the mentee’s field of interest. The mentor shares her vast insight into their profession and exposes her mentee to various aspects of her business. Often this leads to an on-going relationship between mentee and Dame mentor, who becomes a coach, advisor, networking advocate and friend.

How It Works
An overview of the Mentoring Program and the benefits of being mentored is presented at the Scholarship Reception. Every scholarship recipient is invited to become a mentee. If interested, she completes a mentoring application to identify her expectations and specific interests.

The committee reviews the applications , matches each mentee with a Dame mentor and notifies them of their pairing. Independently, they select their mentoring day. The Dame mentor is responsible for creating an informative and comprehensive agenda… the mentee is required to fill out a survey within two weeks to give feedback. Mentoring


Chair: Dame Janeen Sarlin
The Program Committee plans and executes (or facilitates others in planning) educational programs for LDNY members and guests. The committee schedules programs, approves content and budgets, as well as guides program chairs through the process of organizing and running 6 to 10 LDNY programs each year. Programs are generated by the committee or brought to the committee by LDNY and LDEI members or outside sources. The committee meets 6 to 8 times each year. Archive of LDNY Events


Cochairs: Dames May Matta-Aliah & Gloria Maroti Frazee
The Scholarship Committee is entrusted with selecting the talented young women who are awarded LDNY scholarships each year. The committee also acts as the primary liaison for all participating schools and scholarship donors. The committee member meets twice during the year (a shorter informational meeting in February and a longer selection meeting in late April). Crunch time for this committee is after the applications become due (late March) and prior to the selection meeting (late April. During this time, each committee member reviews and assesses each applicant. Committee members are strongly encouraged to attend the Scholarship Reception, which usually takes place in late July. Scholarship Program

Ad Hoc Committees

Annual Induction Event

Cochairs: Dames Patrica Clough & Lisa Mendelson
This committee plans all aspects of the Induction event, including: selecting the venue, planning the menu, creating the invitation, producing the program, ensuring that all runs smoothly. The committee also coordinates with the Membership Chair to plan the induction part of the event. LDNY Induction Dinner


Chair: Dame Sharon Franke (president, non-voting)
The committee consists of five voting members plus the LDNY president ex officio, who serves as a non-voting member. Of the five voting members, two are elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting and three are chosen from the Board of Directors at the first business meeting of the new year. This committee selects the slate of LDNY Officers and Directors at Large and presenting the slate to the Board for confirmation. Meet Our Board of Directors

Scholarship Reception

Cochairs: Dames Terry Frishman & Keri Levens
This annual event, which takes place in July, is one of our most important events of the year. It is open to the scholarship winners and guests, LDNY members, and school representatives. It is meant to honor the recipients, introduce them to LDNY, and connect them with possible mentors. The committee is responsible for finding a venue and creating the program. LDNY 2018 Scholarship Reception

The Next Big Bite

Chair: Dame Nancy Wall Hopkins
Discover the hottest culinary trends at The Next Big Bite, a Les Dames d'Escoffier's  premiere NYC event, now in its 5th year.

The Next Big Bite - which usually takes place early October - is dedicated to uncovering emerging food and beverage trends while giving exposure to timely industry topics, and features many distinguished influencers and leaders from the culinary and beverage world. 

Previous moderators and panelists have included Talia Baiocchi, Gesine Bullock-Prado, Natalka Burian, Melissa Clark, Dana Cowen, Amanda Cohen, Rozanne Gold, Dorie Greenspan, Carla Hall, Kerry Heffernan, Amanda Hesser, Kate Krader, Marion Nestle, Mimi Sheraton, Padma Lakshmi, Pascaline Lepeltier, Missy Robbins, Jacques Pepin, Lettie Teague, Martha Teichner, Christina Tosi, Susan Ungaro, Molly Yeh, and Joe Yonan. Listen Live! The Next Big Bite 2018 Panel

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