[British Columbia] If you’re a woman in food and hospitality who loves supporting other women and giving back, there’s an organization for you. Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter is now accepting membership applications until July 15, 2024. Join a vibrant international community of exceptional women leaders dedicated to inspiring and advancing female professionals in our industry.

Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) BC Chapter is a non-profit organization composed of women leaders in BC’s hospitality, food, and beverage industries. The organization is committed to fostering mentorship, collaboration, and growth among women in these fields.

The BC Chapter boasts 66 influential members who span all regions of the province and various stages of their careers. They are chefs, sommeliers, pastry artists, restaurant owners, farmers, teachers, dieticians, food producers, sales representatives, marketers, publicists, food writers, and philanthropists.

There are several benefits to becoming a member:

  • Advocate for all women in BC’s hospitality, food, and beverage industries
  • Collaborate and partner with fellow members
  • Generate new business opportunities
  • Network and establish valuable connections
  • Become a mentor
  • Contribute to the advancement of future female leaders

Vancouver food publicist Nancy Wong, who has been a member since 2001, says “membership in Les Dames has been a wonderful way to connect with women in our industry of all ages, and to share in our experiences, best practices and make lasting friendships.”

“Each time we award a scholarship,” she continues “I cannot explain the feeling of pride I get in knowing we are helping a woman make steps in her education and career. That’s what being in Les Dames is all about.”

Carolyn Hornell, director of community engagement for BC Dairy, has been a member of the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier for just over a year. She says “I joined because I hope to help the young women in culinary arts and hospitality as much as those before me have. I am proud to work with this illustrious group of women, creating space for young women in the industry to shine. I am thrilled to get involved and sit on the board of directors for the BC Chapter.”

Application Details Follow:
Membership is open to women and those who identify as female or non-binary who meet these criteria:

  • Have at least five years of professional experience during which they have demonstrated leadership, achievement and stature in the hospitality, food, beverage, agriculture and aquaculture industries.
  •  Support Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s (LDEI) mission, vision and basic values of education, advocacy, and philanthropy.
  • Have the willingness to contribute time and talent as a member (we have work to do).
  • Meet LDEI’s ethical standards and have no undisclosed conflict of interest associated with their membership.
  •  Live or work in British Columbia and do not live or work closer to any other Chapter of LDEI.
  • Receive at least one letter of recommendation from a member of Les Dame d’Escoffier International (BC Chapter or other).

Application Details:
Deadline: July 15, 2024
Membership application is available online at: Les Dames BC Chapter Membership Application
The BC Chapter’s Membership Committee will review all applications, and successful candidates will be notified by August 1, 2024.

The British Columbia chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International was formed in 1992 by a group of women with incredible vision and initiative including: Karen Barnaby, Diana Becker (Emerita), Cinnamon Combs, Diane Clement (Emerita), Christine Coletta, Eileen Dwillies (Emerita), Moira Fitzpatrick (Emerita), Janet McGuire, Caren McSherry (Current Member), Cindy Opsal, Barbara Watts (Emerita), and Pam Williams (Current Member).

Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) is an international organization of women leaders who create a supportive culture in their communities to achieve excellence in the fields of food, beverage, and hospitality. The organization’s 2,400 members in 44 chapters in the US, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy provide leadership, educational opportunities, and philanthropy.

Les Dames d’Escoffier, the first organization for professional culinary women, was created in 1976 by Carol Brock, a Sunday food editor at the New York Daily News. Inspired by the Boston group Les Dames des Amis d’Escoffier, a dining and philanthropic society formed in 1959, her goal was to raise the image and presence of women in food, wine and hospitality industries.

The organization is named after Auguste Escoffier (1846 – 1935) from France who is known as ‘The Chef of Kings’ and the ‘The King of Chefs.’ He is recognized as the most innovative chef in history, one whose philosophy, accomplishment and philanthropic deed serve as inspiration to culinary professionals today.

For images to share and help us spread the word please visit the Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter image gallery.