Community Table, New Preston, CT



Join Dame Chef Jessie Riley as she teaches a course at NYU Technical College Continuing Education Division on Cooking with Cannabis!



  • Congrats to Dame Shari Bayer on receiving the Best Host Taste Award. Shari’s program explores behind-the-scenes talent within the hospitality industry. Experienced restaurant and hospitality professionals reveal their stories and expertise through a lively and reflective conversation about the industry. 
  • Brava to Grande Dame Lidia Bastianich who will receive the Andrew Zimmern Discovery Awards which honors the mission to discover new cultures, new flavors, or new talent. Lidia receives this year’s award, based on years of contributions to culinary, television, and entrepreneurial talent as chef, TV host and producer, author, and founder of Eataly.
  • Kudos to Dame Linda Pelaccio and A Taste of the Past program featured on Heritage Radio Network. A weekly journey through the history of food, A Taste of the Past is one of three programs to receive the Special Achievement Honoree Spotlight Award.

Find the full awards list HERE.

Dame Alison Awerbuch will be an honoree at this year’s An Evening in Good Taste, Feeding Westchester. Westchester’s top chefs and drink purveyors will come together on April 20, to show their support for this essential local non-profit, with an evening of exquisite cuisine, fine wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails, and have an opportunity to network with fellow Feeding Westchester supporters. All event proceeds remain in the community, helping to bring healthy, nutritious food to neighbors in need. Learn more HERE

Delighted for new member, Dame Courtney Schiessl Magrini, on her appointment as Editor-in-Chief of SevenFifty Daily and Beverage Media! Courtney shared, “We have a truly amazing team at these publications, and we’re working every day to bring new, timely, engaging beverage industry content to you online and in print.”

When you get your hands on a copy of Dame Shari Bayer’s first book–CHEFWISE, Life Lessons from Leading Chefs Around the World(@phaidonpress, Spring 2023)–it will no doubt inspire those in pursuit of culinary success, featuring salient advice from 117 outstanding chefs from around the world. Available for pre-order at, and Barnes & Noble. Congratulations, Shari!

Did you catch winemakers, Dame Robin Epperson McCarthy and Alie Shaper on News 12 Long Island?  Reporter Doug Geed stopped by their tasting room and wine shop, Chronicle Wines, to meet and talk about their winemaking philosophy, commitment to local sustainability and the community. It’s part of his East End series. Watch the interview HERE.

Congratulations to Dame Karen Tenenbaum, who has been named to the Long Island Business News’ Book of Long Island in Business Influencers list as one of the most powerful women on Long Island. This is a well-deserved recognition!

Brava for the following NY Dames, making the James Beard Awards semi finals: Joann Makovitzky’s Community Table in Washington, CT (For Best Chef – Christian Hunter). Victoria James (Cote, Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program) and Melissa Rodriguez (Al Coro, Best New Restaurant). A great showing for LDNY members! Details HERE.

SevenFifty Daily explores the changing landscape of wine education and its expanding resources with two of the industry’s finest, Dames Mary Gorman-McAdams and Deniece Bourne. Read the article in its entirety HERE.

Dame June Hersh’s new book, Iconic New York Jewish Food, a History and Guide with Recipes will be released on February 6, 2023, by The History Press/American Palate imprint. The book has been reviewed by a number of professionals, including three of our own: Dames Ellie Krieger, Silvia Baldini, and Rozanne Gold. Grab a nosh and your copy at

In February 2019, NOLA Dame, Liz Williams, founder of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (soFAB) and the National Food & Beverage Foundation presented the idea to the LDEI Board to create The John and Bonnie Boyd Hospitality & Culinary Library, a repository for all the works and archival materials of Dames past and present, and located at the Nunez Community College in Chalmette, Louisiana, outside New Orleans. NY Dame, Bonnie Tandy Leblang – an LDEI board member at the time – was inspired to donate her vast, personal collection – literally a truckload of papers, books and artifacts – which are now part of that library. Liz recently interviewed Bonnie on Tip of the Tongue podcast, about her ever-evolving career in food, and her contribution to the new repository. Listen to the podcast, as well as many others, HERE

Hispanics In Wine–founded by Dame Lydia Richards and Maria Calvert–amplifies the strong voices and stories of the Hispanic/Latinx communities in wine🍷. In this Thrillist article, they share how the community is working to improve, strengthen and revolutionize Latinx representation in wine. Read it HERE.

There are so many reasons you’ll want to read the Dec/Jan issue of The Somm Journal cover to cover, including this wonderful column written by Dame Wanda Mann which features Dame Melissa Rodriguez (page 18). Read it HERE.

Lovely thoughtful piece in the current issue of Flamingo Magazine, highlighting Dame Victoria James’ amazing journey from waiting tables at 13, to becoming the youngest person to receive sommelier certification, to partner of the award-winning Cote Korean Steakhouse (NYC and Miami). Find it HERE.

Dame Sharon Franke shares her practices on how to arrange kitchen equipment, utilizes the mise en place theory for her appliances, plus tips and tricks on managing kitchen equipment on this episode of On The House: Household Management Insights Podcast, with host Gabriella Joustra. Sharon also manages to get in a mention of LDNY’s Living the Dream podcast, too! Listen HERE.

Dame Adrienne Cooper is internationally published! This is Adrienne’s first non-local byline highlighting many of the wonderful tours happening in NYC. Friends and family in the UK and Ireland can pick up the latest National Geographic Traveller Food from newsstands now, and for us, Adrienne shares a copy of the story HERE.

We thought everyone would enjoy access to this very cool tool, authored by Dame Rita Jammet and created by NYC & Company, for the LDEI lesdamesnyc22 conference. Download it HERE.

Scholarships Create a More Inclusive Industry

By Kristen Hartke

Kristen Hartke is a veteran food journalist with more than 25 years experience covering the culture of food, restaurants, and cooking.

“My scholarship from Les Dames d’Escoffier allowed me to take risks, pursue my dreams, and embrace curiosity early in my career. This set a foundation that I can now see guided my professional life.”– Amanda Hesser

From tackling food insecurity to sustainability to providing more professional opportunities for BIPOC women, the recipients of the Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY) scholarships, both past and present, are actively shaping a hospitality industry where women are more than employees: they are leaders.

“This is an opportunity for women to lift each other up,” says Karen Goodlad, a member (also known as a Dame) of LDNY who is also an associate professor specializing in food and beverage management at City Tech, CUNY’s New York City College of Technology. “College or certificate students are the future; if we can help them start with a  little less debt, then it might help them reach higher goals faster and make a bigger impact in the industry more quickly.”

Since 1977, LDNY has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to over 1000 women, allowing those students to not only pursue careers in the food and beverage industry but also pave the way for more women to follow in their footsteps. This year’s goal is to raise $45,000 by December 31st in honor of the fund’s 45th anniversary. But while the money is key to helping these scholarship recipients lower their personal financial debt, it’s also mentoring from the Dames themselves that provides necessary support and guidance while they build their careers.

Indeed, for Peggy Zhang, who was awarded an LDNY scholarship in 2014, the money was essential to completing her Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management at City Tech. The connection with Dames in New York was equally essential.

“I was introduced to Dame Rosa Ross and we met in SoHo’s Harney & Sons tea house for the first time,” says Zhang. “It was lovely and she made me very comfortable when I told her that, honestly, I still wasn’t sure what path I truly wanted to enter in the Hospitality Management world.” Learning from Ross about the twists and turns of her own storied career, which included catering, teaching culinary classes, writing cookbooks, and running a successful restaurant, helped Zhang recognize that a successful career does not always follow a straight path.

“I had worked since I was 14 years old, always in customer service atmospheres,” Zhang says, “so I knew working with people was my passion.” The Brooklyn native, now 29, is currently the Conference Services Manager at The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, where she has worked in a variety of roles since 2016.

At LDNY, the drive to keep making those connections for women pursuing hospitality-focused careers has become even stronger after nearly half a century, and particularly as the industry has struggled to hire and retain employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. “With the cost of college often cited as the most significant reason students drop out,” says LDNY president Jennifer O’Flanagan, “we’re recommitted in this 45th milestone year to building a more robust scholarship program that ensures access to education for women pursuing degrees in the food, beverage, and hospitality fields.”

Women in particular have been impacted by employment insecurity during the global pandemic, making it even more critical to provide opportunities for them to not just have a job, but to build lasting careers. “Whether these scholarship recipients are getting college degrees or seeking a certification that takes them to the next level at work,” says Goodlad, “the combination of financial assistance with mentoring is something that can actually lift many of them out of poverty.”

A 2022 study by the National Restaurant Association shows that while women hold 55% of all restaurant industry jobs, the vast majority of them are entry- or mid-level workers — and just 38% hold executive positions. The same study, which was conducted in collaboration with the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance also identified a clear lack of diversity in the industry, another issue that the LDNY scholarship committee has actively focused on in its work, by supporting candidates who bring important and wide-ranging perspectives to the table.

Certified sommelier Lia Jones, recipient of the 2020 LDNY Founder’s Scholarship, is on a mission to promote diverse viewpoints within the food and beverage industry, completing her certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University while also studying to become a master sommelier in a field where there are few women of color working at that level. “Hospitality has always been my life,” says Jones. “As I grow and time passes, I realize there are certain paradigms that need to be addressed. My goal is to create a more inclusive community for those that advocate for equity and equality in the hospitality industry.”

Les Dames d’Escoffier was founded in New York City in 1976, by a group of 50 female food professionals led by the late food writer Carol Brock, with the purpose of providing gender equity in an industry dominated by men in leadership. The volunteer organization now boasts 2400 members among 38 individual chapters in the United States and 5 international chapters in British Columbia, France, London, Mexico, and Ontario. The LDNY scholarship program was established just a year after the organization was founded.

Amanda Hesser, co-founder of Food52, was an early LDNY scholarship recipient, saying now, “My scholarship from Les Dames d’Escoffier allowed me to take risks, pursue my dreams, and embrace curiosity early in my career. This set a foundation that I can now see guided my professional life.”

“These scholarships are about women helping women,” says Goodlad, “and creating a legacy for the organization that has a substantial impact on the future of women in our industry. It’s actually life-changing.” 

LDEI Past President Beth Allen Passes Away

It is with great sadness that we share New York Dame Beth Allen passed away after a fall. Beth was very special: a gentle lady, southern through and through, ever so polite, always ready for a good time, and generous to a fault. Her full name was Elizabeth Alva Allen and she often referred to herself as Mrs. Allen.

Beth was the president and owner of Beth Allen Associates, Inc. A cookbook producer with over 40 years of experience, she produced over 22 books for major publishing houses. Beth was highly respected for her attention to detail. Her books were top-quality illustrated books that were well researched, professionally developed, always a great read, and renowned for the reliability of the recipes.

Beth coauthored Junior’s Home Cooking and several Junior’s cookbooks, including Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook. She also produced The Quick Cook cookbook series and wrote the Good Housekeeping Great American Classics Cookbook. Other books included Readers’ Digest Perfect PiesA Cozy Book of Tea Time Treats, and Down Home CookingThe New Healthier Way. She also contributed to The New York TimesWoman’s Day, Self, and Chef Magazine, just to name a few.

Beth was a president of Les Dames d’Escoffier International and the New York Chapter. She was also president of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance and a member of its board of directors for nine years. Beth was a member of the American Book Producers Association and an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She had a master’s degree in advertising from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in food science/home economics and consumer food business from Iowa State University. She studied culinary science at Ecolé de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France and at the Antoinette Pope School in Chicago, Illinois.

Beth was one-of-a-kind. She never forgot a birthday, was always dressed to the nines, was bubbly and enthusiastic, and a devoted friend to many. She was a regular at Carnegie Hall, saw every Broadway show, and was an avid concert goer—the best seats in the house were a must. She was also a superb Southern cook and baker. Beth didn’t know what it meant to cook up a meal for just a few. Cooking for her meant a whole delectably juicy ham basted with cherry brandy, a mound of melt-in-your-mouth biscuits served on one of her mother’s silver trays, piles of crispy fried chicken, and featherlight lemon-glazed angel food cake. She and her husband, John, tooled around in a baby blue 1986 Cadillac named Blue Bonnet, a gentle nod to her Texas roots. She will be greatly missed.

LDNY recently hosted a successful induction event at Al Coro restaurant for new LDNY members.

Raise money for the LDNY Fortify at 45 Fundraising Campaign in a delicious hands-on cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education

Monday, November 7th 6 to 9 pm

Eventbrite link coming soon! To hold your spot or any questions, please email Dame Kathryn Gordon at

2022 Scholarship Award Recipients
Les Dames d’Escoffier 2022 Scholarship Award Reception in New York City, on July 13, 2022. Photo by Cynthia Carris Alonso

Les Dames d’Escoffier New York Awards 2022 Scholarships Breaks $2 Million Raised For Future Culinary Leaders

Annual Scholarships to 14 Women in Culinary and Beverage Studies

NEW YORK, NY, August 4, 2022Les Dames d’ Escoffier New York (LDNY), the nonprofit educational, scholarship, and advocacy organization serving women in the culinary and hospitality industry, announced 14 meaningful scholarships for 2022 that were awarded to recipients enrolled in accredited culinary and pastry arts, nutrition, food science, hospitality, and wine and spirits/fine beverage programs in New York and New Jersey.

The students were recognized and celebrated for their current achievements and promising futures at the annual LDNY Scholarship Awards held last month.  Food Network star Chef Grace Ramirez, host of Destino con Sabor, used her keynote address to discuss leading by example and her work at Jose Andres’s World Central Kitchen, empowering people to take an active role in society and create a global sense of connection beyond borders.  

She shared her own experience with scholarships’ impact, “If it wasn’t for the scholarship that the French Culinary Institute (FCI) gave me I would have not been able or had the guts to leave my tv producer/ directing job and go to culinary school. I was still in debt trying to pay off my student loans at that time. Thanks to the FCI scholarship, I was able to change careers and become a chef.”

Because the cost of college is often cited as the most significant reason students drop out the LDNY scholarship program exists to ensure access to education for women who wish to pursue a culinary education. Since its inception in 1977 the organization has awarded more than two million dollars to over 1,000 recipients.

This year’s class of 14 recipients will find doors opened to them where barriers once stood. Today’s world is far different than it was 45 years ago when LDNY founder Carol Brock broke the Pyrex ceiling to empower women in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries, filling a void in the male-dominated fields. There’s a lot of opportunity coming out of the pandemic for our scholarship recipients. We are dedicated to helping them overcome obstacles by investing in their education and their futures as leaders in the industry.  Ultimately, we are building a better industry, and better neighborhoods, by helping women who want to be part of the broader hospitality community,” explained Jen O’Flanagan, President of LDNY.

This year’s awardees represent a bright future. They are committed to their course of study along with building a better hospitality industry that recognizes success is properly measured when diversity is embraced. According to 2015 scholarship recipient Alicia Ngai Jordan, City Tech Alumna and now Director of Revenue Management at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the LDNY scholarship is a powerful tool, “The scholarship strengthened my belief that dedicating time and effort towards my education was valuable. It was an important step in helping me overcome uncertainty, and it motivated me to work to be the best of my ability.”

LDNY 2022 Scholarship Recipients

  • Hazel Alvarado—Beam Suntory Scholarship, $380, International Wine Center
  • Augi Anagnostos—Beam Suntory Scholarship, $380, International Wine Center
  • Erin Breton–Kerrygold Baking & Pastry Making Scholarship, $2500, Culinary Institute of America
  • Elizabeth Delong–Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, $5,000, Culinary Institute of America
  • Jenna Greco–Carol Brock Scholarship, $3000, New York University
  • Elisa Horne– Linda Lawry Scholarship, $1000, International Wine Center 
  • Chayil Hyland–Hospitality Management Scholarship, $3000, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration
  • Nijae Lawrence–Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)/LDNY Scholarship, $1500, Harry Truman High School
    Kristen Leger–Culinary Arts Scholarship, $1500, Kingsborough Community College
  • Taelor Mitchell–Culinary Institute of America Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, $5,000, Culinary Institute of America
    Mya Organisciak–Culinary Institute of America Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, $5,000, and In-Kind Scholarship, $5,000, Culinary Institute of America
  • Zevanya Sibarani–Hospitality Management Scholarship, $2000, New York City College of Technology
  • Stephanie Simoulis–Alison Awerbuch & Abigail Kirsch Scholarship, $5000, Culinary Institute of America
  • Danielle Sykora–Nutrition Scholarship, $3000, Montclair State University

About Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY)

LDNY is the founding and largest chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), an experienced 501c3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to advance and support aspiring professional women in food and beverage, as well as to champion critical industry issues. LDNY’s vision is guided by three objectives: Education, Advocacy and Philanthropy.

Since 1977, LDNY has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to over 1,000 recipients. Help Les Dames d’Escoffier New York continue with 45 more years of awarding scholarships that fund freedom; freedom to pursue an education, and freedom to pursue professional dreams. Supporting our Fortify at 45 campaign is easy, just click here to give generously.

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Press Contact:
Joyce Appelman

Chef Grace Ramirez
Chef Grace Ramirez, Les Dames d’Escoffier 2022 Scholarship Award Reception in New York City, on July 13, 2022. Photo by Cynthia Carris Alonso

fortify at 45

45th Annual Scholarship Drive Supports Emerging Female Leaders in Food, Beverage, and Hospitality 

To Date More Than 1,000 Recipients Have Received Over $2 Million in Funds

NEW YORK, NY (JULY 2022) – Les Dames New York (LDNY) is proud to announce its Fortify at 45 campaign – a new fundraising initiative designed to celebrate 45 years of scholarship awards and increase the number and types of scholarships it presents to women pursuing careers in the thriving fine food, beverage, and hospitality industry.  The goal for Fortify at 45 is to raise a minimum of $45,000 by year-end. 

The LDNY Scholarship Program was instituted one year after the group’s launch as the founding chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International.  With founding principles of philanthropy, advocacy, and education, LDNY’s aim is to raise the image and presence of women in food, wine, and hospitality, as well as build professional relationships for career success.  As such, scholarships have played a key role in the organization’s mission, with funds raised each year through event ticket sales and generous individual and corporate sponsor support that benefits the next generation of women leaders.  

“Since 1977, LDNY has bestowed over $2 million in funds to over 1,000 women, and more work must be done.  With the cost of college often cited as the most significant reason students drop out, particularly during the pandemic, we’re recommitted in this milestone year to building a more robust scholarship program that ensures access to education for women pursuing an education in the food, beverage, and hospitality fields,” reflected LDNY President Jennifer O’Flanagan. 

In 2022, while career opportunities expand and evolve in these growing industries, women continue to face many of the same hurdles that existed when LDNY was founded. Creating supportive spaces and alliances remains a constant goal for LDNY, to be a key partner to women pioneering new paths, attaining equal rights, and achieving leadership roles in these fields. 

Karen Goodlad, Chairperson, Department of Hospitality Management, New York City College of Technology, has seen this positive impact firsthand and said, “The Les Dames d’Escoffier New York scholarship program is intentionally designed to help students with the cost of education but also provides access to women business leaders. It is the formal mentoring component of the program which makes the financial award exponentially more effective. Our students quickly learn that having a supportive network includes peers, mentors, and advocates. This organization provides access to women they would need to work for years to meet. City Tech students are fortunate to be recipients of Les Dames scholarships.”  

Over 1,000 students, from City Tech and other schools, have benefitted from the program, Amanda Hesser, Co-Founder of Food52, being one of them.  She said, “My scholarship from Les Dames d’Escoffier allowed me to take risks, pursue my dreams, and embrace curiosity early in my career. This set a foundation that I can now see guided my professional life.” 

Recent recipient Lia Jones, Founder and Executive Director of Diversity in Food & Beverage, noted, “having received my scholarship during such unprecedented times, while life was seemingly harder to navigate, I found support through the mentorship that accompanied this opportunity. Les Dames hadn’t just given me an opportunity but rather a gift that, in turn, made the weight of the world less cumbersome, and I am forever grateful.” 

Help Les Dames d’Escoffier New York award its largest pool of scholarships during this milestone anniversary and at a crucial time.  This money funds freedom: freedom to pursue an education, and freedom to pursue professional dreams.  The Fortify at 45 campaign embraces all donors, offering robust engagement with today’s Dames and tomorrow’s future leaders; a connection that strengthens the entire hospitality industry.  Supporting Fortify at 45 is easy, just click here to give generously.

Participating Schools and Programs: Careers Through Culinary Arts Programs (C-CAP), Cornell University School of Hotel Administration; Culinary Institute of America; Institute of Culinary Education; International Wine Center; Kingsborough Community College; Montclair State University; NYC College of Technology, New York University.

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

LDNY is the founding and largest chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), an experienced 501c3 non-profit organization. LDNY’s mission is to advance and support aspiring professional women in food and beverage, as well as to champion critical industry issues. Our vision is guided by three objectives: Education, Advocacy, and Philanthropy. Since 1977, LDNY has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to over 1,000 recipients. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn at @lesdamesny.

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Follow @lesdamesny

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The Next Big Sip


  • Tuesday, June 6, 2023
  • Members $60 / $75 General Public
  • The Cornell Club New York, 6 East 44th Street, NYC 10017 (please see Club dress code below)
  • 6:00 pm Reception / 6:30 pm Panel Discussion / 7:15 – 8:15 Walk-Around Tasting

Join Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY) for The Next Big Sip! Our fourth annual discussion about important fine beverage trends will focus on Sustainability in the Wine Industry.

As climate change impacts agriculture worldwide, The Next Big Sip will explore the environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability.  A walk-around tasting of wines produced following sustainable practices will follow the discussion.

Founded in 1976, Les Dames d’Escoffier New York is an unparalleled collective of forward-thinking and successful female leaders in all sectors of the food, beverage, and hospitality industries. LDNY empowers the next generation of women leaders through our scholarship and mentorship programs. LDNY is the founding and largest chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), a 501c3 non-profit organization.


  • Susan Kostrzewa (Moderator) is a wine, food, and travel writer. She is the founder and editor of Resplendent Ink, a content strategy consultancy. Kostrzewa is the former editor-in-chief of Wine Enthusiast Media and has co-authored numerous books.
  • Jenny Lefcourt is the co-founder and sole owner of Jenny & Francois Selections, one of the first import companies to focus on natural, organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wines in the United States.
  • Courtney Schiessl Magrini is the editor-in-chief of SevenFifty Daily and the Beverage Media Group Publications. She has held sommelier positions at some of New York’s top restaurants.
  • Rachel Martin is the founder, president, and vintner of Oceano Wines, which produces sustainable wines in the coastal area of San Luis Obispo, California. In her home state of Virginia, Rachel established Middleburg as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2012.

Cornell Club Dress Code. Appropriate dress is mandatory at all times in The Club. Smart casual dress includes collared shirts, slacks, blue jeans, sneakers, and knee-length shorts. Not permitted: t-shirts, athletic apparel, flip flops, torn/tattered jeans, and ball/casual caps. Smart casual attire is required at all times. Business attire is always welcome.

Warm regards,

Dames Susannah Gold, Francine Kowalsky, and Wanda Mann

Co-Chairs, THE NEXT BIG SIP / /