Les Dames d’Escoffier British Columbia Chapter (LDBC) is thrilled to announce its 2023 Scholars with a total of $23,250 awarded to support the advancement of their careers in B.C.’s hospitality, food and beverage sectors.

2023 Les Dames d’Escoffier British Columbia Chapter Scholars:

  • Elizabeth Boyle, Kelowna
  • Kayla Brent, Saanich
  • Stephanie Chan, New Westminster
  • Jessica Collins, Vancouver
  • Alessandra DiMattia, Kelowna
  • Christine Godlonton, Ladysmith
  • Janet Gyenes, Vancouver
  • Sydney Hamelin, Vancouver
  • Lydia Lambert-Bailey, Vancouver
  • Chris MacKay, Vancouver
  • Sonya Patrick, Penticton
  • Jill Singleton, Chilliwack
  • Breanne Smart, Vancouver

The LDBC Scholarship Committee is co-chaired by Karen Dar Woon, chef/owner of Your Secret Chef, and Rossana Ascencio, chef at Encanto Culinary Services. The two recently announced that LDBC received 55 applications during the 2023 intake period of January 1 through February 13, 2023 from women residing throughout B.C. who were in various stages of their career development. The Scholarship Committee reviewed and scored each application based on four criteria: dedication and commitment, ability, goals, and merit.
Dar Woon shares, “We are pleased to have received very strong interest in our scholarship program, from such a diverse group of women of all ages and from many regions of the province. From women who are enthusiastic to start their career in the hospitality, food and beverage sectors to women who are passionate about further expanding their current knowledge and skills, we are proud to support their goals and journey. We’re grateful to all of our sponsors and donors, whose support allows us to continue to foster strong women leaders.”
Ascencio adds, “Our applicants expressed high levels of dedication and drive to develop their career goals. We are fortunate to have so many talented women committed to positively impacting the future of our hospitality, food and beverage industry.”

Kayla Brent, one of the 2023 LDBC Scholars, is from the Cowichan Valley and recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Studies. During her program, she learned about the history, science and culture of wine which led her to a research role studying the intersections of soil quality, product quality, and farmer health. She found her passion and immersed herself in formal wine education and employment. Kayla’s goal is to further her education to help advance research in soil-carbon capture in B.C., and ultimately owning a vineyard on Vancouver Island. The LDBC will support Kayla’s pursuit of a Vine, Wine and Terroir Management Master’s degree at L’Ecole Supérieure des Agriculture in Angers, France.

Kayla shares, “Having an organization like Les Dames tell you that they support your career choice and want to help you along your journey is an incredible affirmation. It is truly an honour to be joining the ranks of all the amazing women this organization has promoted throughout its history. So much can be accomplished through women empowering one another. Any woman with drive and dreams in this industry should connect with [the LDBC]. Their resources and wisdom can surely help you along your journey!”
The Les Dames d’Escoffier, British Columbia Chapter 2023 Scholars will be recognized during a private virtual event on June 12th, 2023 at 6 p.m.
Scholarships are open to all women of any age and at any stage of their career who are looking to either refine or expand their expertise at a credible educational institution of their choice anywhere in the world.

The intake period for 2024 scholarships will be announced soon.
Throughout the year, LDBC will continue fundraising to support their scholarship program and their outreach programming that currently includes Growing Chefs! and the Okanagan Chefs Association’s Chefs in the Classroom program.