Throughout time, brave and spirited women have looked upwards to see glass ceilings. Their work has allowed future generations of women to smash through those ceilings. Women’s History Month honors these women. First recognized by the UN in 1975, close in date to the founding of Les Dames d'Escoffier, Women's History Month is now celebrated annually in March as a tribute to women's progress, and an acknowledgement of the work yet to be done. Our own efforts on behalf of LDNY exemplify women's achievements in the culinary, fine beverage and hospitality fields through our organization's commitment to education, donations for vital scholarship awards, volunteer work throughout the community, and networking support to our member Dames both on social media, and -- more importantly -- at in-person gatherings.
LDNY has had much to celebrate this month.
On March 23rd, in recognition of Women's History Month, the Friends of the Douglaston/Little Neck Library paid tribute to our own LDEI founder and Grande Dame Carol Brock, a longtime Douglaston resident and avid supporter of the community library. Speaking to an admiring audience, Carol shared highlights of incredible bounty from her life's work in the culinary arts. You'll find a photo album posted on Les Dames NY Facebook.
With such an outstanding roster of accomplished members, the LDNY Board was challenged with selecting our chapter's nominee for this year's Grande Dame Award. We are proud to have nominated our longtime member Dame Lidia Bastianich in recognition of her remarkable contributions to the culinary industry and outstanding community service. As Emmy Award-winning public television host, bestselling cookbook author and noted restaurateur, Lidia still finds time to undertake major philanthropic work while generously supporting the mission of LDNY. As each LDEI chapter submits its own candidates, our collective fingers are crossed that Lidia will be selected this year's Grande Dame by the LDEI selection committee.
All Dames who write food stories were invited to enter LDEI's 2017 M.F.K. Fisher Awards for Excellence in Culinary Writing. Food stories written by women and published in 2016 are eligible to win cash prizes and trip to the LDEI 2017 Conference in Newport Beach, CA. Deadline for submissions is March 31st. Enter HERE.
LDEI unveiled our very first Mobile Directory enabling members to login from personal cell phones to call up information from the membership directory. Scheduled to update quarterly, the directory is another wonderful technology enhancement, and follows the unveiling of LDEI's new user-friendly Website.
Whole Foods Market stores in New York City celebrated the retailer's 5% Community Giving Day on March 21st, with 11 stores donating 5% of the day's net sales to four organizations -- including Les Dames d'Escoffier -- that support mentorship, education and professional development in the culinary industry. LDNY will receive approximately $26,000 for the support of our organization and scholarship awards, thanks to the tireless work and support of many, including Dames Vanessa Trost, Suzi O'Rourke, Alison Awerbuch, Dame Maria Loi and her Executive Chef Dara Bliss Davenport, and the social media committee: Ronnie Campbell, Rita Jammet, Lori Tieszen, Janeen Sarlin, Tara Bench, and Corinne Trang.
Salon with Dame Marion Nestle: A fortunate group of Dames huddled with our own Dame Marion Nestle on March 13th for an intimate gathering who welcomed her return from the 2017 World Economic Forum at Davos. As Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at NYU, Marion was interviewed by Dame Linda Pelaccio -- a culinary historian and radio/podcast host of "A Taste of the Past" -- about her fascinating life and career.
ON APRIL 3: A unique program to support and celebrate LDNY's scholarship program, now in its 40th year, with current and former scholarship recipients including noted television personality and cookbook author Dame Sara Moulton at a 3-course dinner to be prepared by current students at New York City College of Technology.
ON APRIL 5: LDNY's Green Tables Committee presents an interactive webinar entitled "Head-to-Tail in the Kitchen: Zero Waste and Your Food Business," exploring NYC's Zero Food Waste Initiative, Moderated by Dame Nancy Jessup.
ON APRIL 20: The Art of Sourdough Bread-Baking, taught by Dame Suzi O’Rourke and Priscilla Martel from 6-8 pm at Cooking by the Book, 13 Worth St. Learn how to shape boules and baguettes while enjoying wine, cheese, charcuterie and Suzi’s famous focaccia. Go home with a goodie bag of bread-baking essentials, courtesy of Emile Henry and King Arthur Flour.
With all of these initiatives and much more coming up in the months ahead, it's fair to say that every month is Women’s History Month for the energetic and passionate members of Les Dames d'Escoffier's New York chapter. On behalf of the members of your Board of Directors, I thank you for your service.
With warmest regards,
Dame Joan Brower