Les Dames d 'Escoffier Scholarship Programs

One of the most important ways that the chapters of Les Dames d'Escoffier give back to their communities is through their scholarship programs, which are unique to each chapter. This initiative enables talented young women seeking careers in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality to achieve their goals. Many of the chapters also mentor the scholarship recipients as a way of supporting, encouraging and keeping track of their progress. Giving back in this way is one of the most consequential things that we do.

Atlanta Chapter
Recipient: Cheryl Steep, MS, RD, LD
Scholarship: Individual Education Scholarship
Amount: $4,000
School Attended: Georgia State University
Current Position:Cheryl is the clinical Coordinator for BioMarin, where she prescribes very specialized diets for people undergoing treatment for a variety of illnesses. She works with patients to educate them in new ways of eating that is treatment for their individual diagnoses.

Quote: "The honor of being awarded the Les Dames d'Escoffier Scholarship has given me the unique opportunity to observe and be mentored by the highest level of professional women. Receiving this award has driven me to continue to strive for professional excellence because the positive example of members have set has enabled me to realize my own potential for success."

Atlanta Chapter

Recipient: Bree Bennett
Scholarship: Individual Grant
Amount: $3,500
School Attended: Le Cordon Bleu-Culinary Endorsement Course
Current Position: Bree begins her first year as a High School Culinary Arts Instructor in a rural area of South GA. Through our grant she was able to receive the required certification.

Quote: "I owe so much to your organization. Not only did it help me financially pay for the endorsement (which I had to finance completely on my own), it opened up so many opportunities for my personal and professional growth in the area of Culinary Arts. I have learned so much about the culinary field and how to prepare my students for the field of Culinary Arts. I often share how wonderful and generous all of you were to me. I also have shared how it will, in turn, bless so many students. (I will teach between 160-180 students per year). I am and will be forever grateful for the grant money and the support from all of you."

British Columbia

Recipient: Kimberley Jean Marchuk
Scholarship: Les Dames British Columbia Scholarship
Amount: $2,500.00
School Attended: Vancouver Pastry School
Current Position: Cake Designer, Decorator, and Instructor forCakenista

Quote: "I can honestly say that I think this scholarship saved my life. I was diagnosed with HER-2 positive breast cancer about a year ago and, at the time, this scholarship meant everything. It gave me a reason to get up. One other very awesome thing that came out of this was I found out about the Growing Chefs! classroom program, one of the Green Tables initiatives your Chapter supports and this year decided to volunteer for that. I am now happy to say that I am cancer-free. I credit the fact that I had something to look forward to as one of the big reasons. Thank you again, this really was life-changing."

Colorado Chapter

Recipient: Kalyn Taylor
Scholarship: LDEI Colorado Chapter Scholarship
Amount: $1,000
School Attended: Colorado State University, earning a B.S. in Soil & Crop Science, with a minor in Organic Agriculture.
Current Position: Graduate student at University of Wisconsin-Madison to study AgroEcology & Soil Science. Kalyn was among the 3% of 17,000 applicants for this NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program which provides 3 years of support while she earns her Master's degree and Ph.D

Quote: "The fact that I received scholarships such as this one from Les Dames d'Escoffier undoubtedly increased my chances of winning the NSF grant and certainly gave me the confidence to apply".

Dallas Chapter

Recipient: Elissa Underwood
Scholarship: Les Dames D'Escoffier, Dallas Chapter Endowed Presidential Fellowship in American Studies
Amount: $3500
School Attended: The University of Texas at Austin
Current Position: Doctoral Candidate and Assistant Instructor, Department of American Studies.

Quote: "I greatly appreciate this scholarship, as it will provide me with the opportunity to amplify the voices of formerly incarcerated women. With the support and generosity of Les Dames D'Escoffier in Dallas, I will be able to interview women in Texas about their experiences with food during and after imprisonment. I am thankful for the chance to share such powerful and important stories."

Dallas Chapter

Recipient: Stephanie Southall
Quote: "I am currently not employed and I am looking to transition into a more permanent career endeavor in a company where I can flourish and grow and help them to succeed! The Les Dame Scholarship for me was opportunity to be connected to something bigger than myself. I was immediately welcomed in fellowship and mentorship with a family of women who seek to not just be great women, but to give greatness to others through their work, their efforts, and their example. Les Dames D' Escoffier scholarship helped me to garner a more fervent focus on endeavors resembling those like of the women of Les Dames d'Escoffier. That as a woman, in my everyday walk, I should use, yes, their gift of scholarship to me but also my own gifts as resources to "pay it forward!", if you will, and give greatness to others, willingly with passion & love and in a phenomenal way to better and change the lives of those within my growing reach!!"

Dallas Chapter

Recipient: Kerry Knerr
Scholarship: Dames D'Escoffier, Dallas Chapter Endowed Presidential FellowshipDames D'Escoffier, Dallas Chapter Endowed Presidential Fellowship
Amount: $3500
School Attended: used the grant money to fund a research trip to New Orleans, which included visiting the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and the New Orleans Public Library
Current Position: Doctoral Candidate and Assistant Instructor, Department of American Studies.

Quote: "With your generous support, I will be able to access the archives at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, which houses an extensive collection of private recipes, published cocktail books, bar menus, and other ephemera. These sources will help me ground my analysis of gender and class in the early twentieth century in the actual experiences and environments of American bars."

Hawaii Chapter

The Hawaii chapter hosts scholarship fundraisers and donates the proceeds to the Good Eats Scholarship fund, which was founded by Dame Joan Namkoong. This fund was set up to nurture future professionals in the fields of agriculture and culinary arts who will hopefully return to Hawaii to enhance the quality of food in the islands. The scholarship is chosen and awarded by the Hawaii Community Foundation.
The chapter's 2015 event, a multicourse dinner that showcased Hawaii female farmers, raised $3,000. This event, held at MW Restaurant, was the creation of Chef Lee Anne Wong, Executive Chef/Partner Koko Head Cafe and MW Chef/Owner Michelle Karr-Ueoka.

New York Chapter

Recipient: Cassie B. Gupta
Scholarship: ICE Baking & Pastry Arts In-Kind Scholarship
Amount: $2,500
School Attended: Institute of Culinary Arts
Current Position: Banquet Event Coordinator-Prominent Private Women's Club on the Upper East Side of Manhattan

Quote: "The scholarship and mentoring that I received, starting in 2009, provided me with the support and guidance I needed in order to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. The scholarship, mentoring and friendship that I received as part of the Les Dames' program helped me to get through the difficult but necessary early years of a career in the food industry. The professional foundation that I established allowed me to grow into a job I find both rewarding and challenging. I am thankful for the support that Les Dames provided and I am even more thankful to be able to rely on Renee Marton as a friend and mentor these past seven years."

New York Chapter

Recipient: Veronica Rivera
Scholarship: LDNY Make a Difference Scholarship
Amount: $20,000
School Attended: New York City College of Technology
Current Position: Pastry Chef at Marc Forgione, NYC

Quote: "This scholarship was an important part of my life. Too many people in my family were not able to attend college, and I was given the opportunity to go with a paid scholarship at that. In the process, I was able to meet many women who to this day hold a place in my heart. I can honestly say that my success would be far-fetched without this scholarship and the women of Les Dames d'Escoffier New York."

New York Chapter

Recipient: Joanna Wyzgowska
Scholarship: The Dunn Robbins Wine and Food Scholarship
Amount: $5,000
School Attended: Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) at the International Wine Center inNew York
Current Position: Sommelier, Zuma Restaurants, NYC

Quote: "The scholarship I received two years ago, has tremendously helped me launch a successful career as a sommelier and further my wine education. Moreover, I had the incredible opportunity to benefit from the mentorship program, offered along with the scholarship, and the on-going friendship and advice of my mentor, Aileen Robbins. Many of my career goals have been achieved and dreams materialized more swiftly thanks to the generosity and support of The Dunn Robbins Wine and Food Scholarship."

Philadelphia Chapter

Recipient: Jenna Mclaughlin
Scholarship: Les Dames d'Escoffier Philadelphia Chapter Green Table Scholarship
Amount: $2,000
School Attended: Internship at Pennypack Farm & Education Center, Horsham, PA (a non-profit farm growing nutrient-dense vegetables using organic methods where I learned farming, youth outreach through education programs on the farm, and learned to market our vegetables)
Current Position: I currently work for Grayson Natural Farms, a locally owned and operated company which raises grass-fed cattle for local restaurants and grocery stores. My husband and I are also starting our own farm using Permaculture techniques to grow plants and raise animals.

Quote: "The scholarship from Les Dames d'Escoffier supported my internship at Pennypack Farm leading me to discover a way of life that I am truly passionate about and in which I continue to grow!"

Philadelphia Chapter

Recipient: Robin Kerber
Scholarship: Les Dames d'Escoffier Philadelphia Chapter Green Tables Scholarship
Amount: $2,000
School Attended: Drexel University, Pennypack Farm and Education Center
Current Position: Event Coordinator and Cafe Manager at Wolfe's Neck Farm < br/>
Quote: "The scholarship I received allowed me see if my interest and curiosity in growing food, rather than cooking it, was where my heart was. I discovered that your heart can be in two places at once, and have been pursuing a career in farming and cooking ever since!"

Seattle Chapter

Recipient: Catherine Jones
Scholarship: Les Dames d'Escoffier Seattle Endowed Viticulture Scholarship
Amount: $4,000
School Attended: Washington State University School of Viticulture
Current Position: Director of Viticulture Program at Yakima Community College

Quote: "The scholarship allowed me to participate in several clubs and research activities in WSU's College of Agricultural Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). The Les Dames scholarships allowed me to focus on my course and field work, present on topics related to my research project at an American Horticulture Society Annual meeting and a Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Annual Meeting, as well as make positive and long lasting relationships in Washington's wine industry"

Seattle Chapter

Recipient: Ellen King
Scholarship: Les Dames d'Escoffier Seattle Endowed Culinary Scholarship
Amount: $1,000
School Attended: Seattle Culinary Academy
Current Position: HEWN (Hand Foraged Artisan Bread) co-owner and head baker, Evanston, Il.

Seattle Chapter

Recipient: Lisa Nakamura
Scholarship: Les Dames d'Escoffier, Seattle Scholarship
Amount: $1,000
School Attended: l'Academie de Cuisine, Washington, DC
Current Position: Chef/Owner Gnocchi Bar in Seattle and a proud member of Les Dames d'Escoffier Seattle.

Quote: "When you set a goal, you start to open doors. My scholarship from LDEI's Seattle Chapter was a crucial key in unlocking a whole new culinary world for me. Thank you, LDEI, for giving me a boost up when I needed it!"

St. Louis Chapter

Recipient: Mary Bolling
Scholarship: Earth Dance Farms-Organic Farming Apprenticeship program
Amount: $3,500
Current Position: Nutrition Program Associate-University of Missouri Extension-St. Louis

Quote: "I recently moved from 63105 (Clayton, MO) to 63104 (St. Louis City, MO) and I learned that the life expectancy in my old zip code was 81 and in my new zip code was 65. A huge contributing factor to the health problems in the city of St. Louis is poor nutrition and lack of access to fruits and vegetables. I am in a position to help change that. With my limited gardening knowledge last year we were able to grow hundreds of pounds of produce in just a couple of small gardens. I can only imagine what could be achieved if I knew exactly what I was doing and I had the skills and knowledge to teach others how to garden at their homes."

St. Louis Chapter

Recipient: Whitney Linsenmeyer
Scholarship: STL- LDEI Academic Scholarship
Amount: $2,000.
School Attended: Saint Louis University
Current Position: Registered Dietitian and Faculty Member at Saint Louis University

Quote: "The LDEI scholarship allowed me to meet a group of talented, professional women holding a variety of culinary-related jobs. I was able to use the scholarship towards my master's in nutrition and culinary entrepreneurship, and am now on the last year of my PhD."

Washington, D.C. Chapter

Recipient: Ashleigh Pearson
Scholarship: Les Dames d'Escoffier Washington, DC Scholarship
Amount: $10,000
School Attended: Le Cordon Bleu Paris
Current Position: Ashleigh was a pastry chef at a high-end restaurant in DC with the goal of honing her skills even further. She looks forward to returning to DC with her augmented skills as a pastry chef, and also would like to do recipe development and write cookbooks.

Quote: "The scholarship from Les Dames d'Escoffier Washington, DC allowed me to study classic pastry techniques at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. This is an experience I would have never been able to achieve on my own. I now have the confidence to be a voice in my field and share my unique perspective with others through my food. The mentorship from women within the organization has given me a standard to strive toward. I'm truly grateful."

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