Call for Entries: Awards to Honor Women in Food, Beverage, and Hospitality

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Women working in food, beverage, and hospitality industries are eligible to enter the 2018 Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) Legacy Awards. The winners will be announced on April 21 with the mentorships taking place in the summer and early fall of 2018.

LDEI is offering six awards in a range of experiences, including:

  • A week in New York City at the historic James Beard House, former home of the Dean of American Cookery, experiencing the planning and logistics behind these famous dinners and assisting guest chefs;
  • A week at America’s oldest, continuously operated, family-owned winery, Wente Family Estates east of San Francisco, discovering the secrets of their award-winning hospitality and wine-making at its best;
  • A tour through the New England Food System overnighting on a fishing vessel, exploring food hubs, cheesemaking, oyster farming, and more from Boston to Maine, tied together by the seasoned experts of the New England Dames;
  • A week of creativity in New Orleans at Coquette, alongside Dame Kristen Essig, cooking, sourcing, planning a new restaurant, and enjoying the Southern Food and Beverage Museum from the inside;
  • A week in Honolulu alongside Dame Abigail Langlas at Cake Works, where wedding cakes, wholesale baked goods, and custom cakes have won her both the Best of Hawaii and the People’s Choice Awards; and
  • Four days at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State’s oldest winery, experiencing the winery and wine tourism from vineyard to bottle to vineyard concerts, and exploration of Seattle with that chapter’s Dames.

The Legacy Award Program is supported by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, and is one of Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s most important philanthropic initiatives.

The Legacy Awards were established in 2009 to provide highly defined mentored opportunities for women in food, beverage, and hospitality. A minimum of four years’ professional experience is required to apply, and LDEI members are not eligible. Each Legacy Award winner is sponsored by an accomplished LDEI member (Dame) who offers a workplace experience at her business.


Todd Schulkin, executive director of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, says, “Year after year the LDEI Legacy Awards program delivers. It delivers exciting career development opportunities; it delivers on providing enriching personal experiences; and, it delivers life-changing moments. In 2018, an established program of women mentoring other women to take their professional pursuits to the next level, is exactly the kind of initiative the Foundation is proud to continue to support.”

“The Legacy Awards Program provides an invaluable mentorship experience for women to learn from Dames,” says LDEI President Hayley Matson-Mathes. “The program enables Dames at the pinnacle of their professions to make a significant impact on the next generation through sharing passion, expertise, and wisdom. LDEI is honored to partner with The Julia Child Foundation to continue our legacy of supporting the future of our profession.”

Award winners will be reimbursed for airfare, hotel (if needed), and other pre-approved expenses for the week up to $2,000. Winners will be announced by April 21, 2018 and experiences must be completed by Oct. 1, 2018. In addition to the Legacy Award experience, each winner is invited to attend the LDEI Annual Conference in Seattle, Wash. from Oct. 11-14, 2018 where a luncheon in the winners’ honor will be held. Travel, hotel, and conference attendance will be reimbursed.

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