Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality

Our President's Latest Letter

September 2017

Dear Dames:

A warm welcome back from summer vacations and travels. I hope the summer months have been restful, restorative and fun. With the fall season upon us, we anticipate a different kind of renewal - one of meaning and new beginnings. For Les Dames d'Escoffier's New York Chapter, this promises to be a year filled with friendships, fun, education, and contributions.


The LDNY Class of 2018 was inducted on Monday, September 25th at a spirited ceremony and dinner for 65 guests at Little Park restaurant in Tribeca. Our 13 new members are energetic, enthusiastic professionals who are dedicated to LDNY's volunteer and committee work, and already contributing their creativity and talent to strengthen the organization. We are thrilled to have them with us. Please welcome: Patricia Clough, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Terry Frishman, Julie Hartigan, Colleen Jezersek, Keri Levens, Lori Jean Levy, Nirmala Narine, Jo-Ann Makovitzy, Megan Neisser, Stefanie Sacks, Gail Schoenberg, and Sabrina Sexton. Much gratitude goes to event co-chairs Dames Sharon Franke and Joan Coukos, as well as to sponsors Franciacorta and Armagnac (courtesy of Dame May Matta-Aliah), Chocolat Moderne (courtesy of Dame Joan Coukos), along with KitchenAid, Le Creuset, and Mauviel. You can view the many lovely photos HERE.


LDNY and LDEI chocolate lovers learned about "Fair Trade Chocolate from Bean to Bar" during the Green Tables committee's webinar on September 26th, organized by co-chairs Dames Nancy Jessup and Lynn Fredericks, supported by Dames Lynn Fredericks, Kathryn Gordon, Rhonda Kave and Joanne Lamb Hayes. Engaging and informative, it shed light on the issue of sustainability and its impact on chocolate production. A panel moderated by Dame Alexandra Leaf included panelists Clay Gordon, Amy Guittard, Jenny Samaniego and Dame Rhonda Kave. Looking ahead, LDNY plans to host additional webinars on timely topics offered free to members. A link to the webinar for viewing, will be posted to LDNY website shortly, under Green Tables.


For the third consecutive year, LDNY's highly anticipated and consistently sold-out event is scheduled for October 16th from 5:30 PM-8:30 PM at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). This year's panel includes sommelier/wine educator Pascaline Lepeltier; chef/owner of Lilia restaurant Missy Robbins; Top Chef host and author Padma Lakshmi; The New York Times food reporter and cookbook writer Melissa Clark; James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro, and Executive Chef/Grand Banks restaurant Kerry Heffernan. Moderating the panel is noted culinary authority Dana Cowin. Open to the public, this is a must-attend reception and panel discussion for anyone interested in learning about hot topics and emerging food trends. We hope to see you there. For more information contact co-chairs Dames Bonnie Tandy LeBlang (bonnie@biteofthebest.com) or Francine Cohen (francinecohen@mindspring.com). Tickets can be purchased HERE.


Hosted by the LA/OC Chapter from October 26-29, this year's annual LDEI conference is themed "California Dreaming," celebrating the best the state has to offer in food and lifestyle. At the gala farewell banquet, LDEI will bestow its prestigious Grand Dame Award to the New York Chapter's very own Lidia Bastianich. Dame Lidia is to be awarded this honorary title in recognition of her extraordinary charitable contributions and professional excellence within the culinary, wine, and hospitality field. LDEI will also welcome the organization's two newest chapters -- Charlotte and New Orleans -- bringing to 40 the number of chapters in our organization. More are waiting in the wings. If you are planning to attend this year's conference, please do let me know so that LDNY Dames can all raise a glass (or more) together!


One of the most important events of the year is LDNY's annual business meeting. Open to members only, the 2017 meeting is scheduled Tuesday, November 14th, at the Fales Library at New York University. Fales Library is the repository of LDNY's historical archives, and is therefore a fitting location for coming together to review accomplishments of 2017, preview activities for 2018, and approve the slate of officers who will be leading the charge in the coming year. During October, each of you will be receiving a notification from the "Election Buddy" voting system asking you to vote the board slate. Please make sure to participate in this important process.


Let the festivities begin!! Holiday cheer and fabulous food will be plentiful as we celebrate together on Monday evening, December 4th, at the swanky Jenn-Air Showroom in Manhattan's D&D Building. Preparation is underway by co-chairs Dames Eleanor Sigona and Michele Scicolone and their committee members. The evening's theme is a high-end Pot Luck cocktail party. Please plan to attend what will surely be a fun event and consider offering up a culinary contribution to the party.


Imaginative and inspiring programs are already being planned for the coming year by new Program Committee Chair Dame Janeen Sarlin and her team. With many more activities to be offered in 2018 - both formal and casual/structured and spontaneous - we hope that all of you will find appealing reasons to attend many different LDNY events. Please consider this a call-out to Dames who can recommend or offer venues of all types and sizes where LDNY can hold its events. If you have venues to offer or suggest, please contact Janeen at jasarlin@gmail.com.


Dames are fun. And smart. And talented. And we can do wonders when working together in each other's excellent company! Please think about how YOU can help LDNY's mission and engage with other Dames by contributing a bit of time and talent. There are opportunities for contributing in the areas of Archives, Communications/Public Relations, Fundraising, Green Tables, Membership, Mentoring, The Next Big Bite, Scholarship, Induction, Programs, and more. Send a note to lesdamesny@gmail.com and you will be contacted.

Let's move forward together in the coming year to build on our organization's great heritage while constructing tomorrow's LDNY community. Thank you for being part of the journey.

With warm regards,
Dame Joan Brower

Joan Brower

President, LDNY
E-mail: Brower180@aol.com

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