Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality

Our Newest Members 2019

Each spring, our members identify professional women in the New York City area who meet our membership qualifications and are interested in becoming Dames. Each prospective member is nominated by two members of the New York Chapter who are in good standing. The Membership Committee then interviews each candidate and presents its recommendations for new members to the Board for its approval. The number of accepted candidates varies from year to year.



Alison Price Becker has been in the restaurant business for more than 25 years and was the owner of the legendary Alison On Dominick Street. Presently she is a restaurant consultant, product developer, writer, and event manager. Alison is passionate about fundraising and mentoring. 
Sponsors: Kathleen Squires & Rozanne Gold.

Dara Bliss Davenport wears many hats as the Corporate Chef, Special Events Director, and Private Dining/Catering Manager at Loi Estiatorio. Among her interests are mentoring, scholarship, Green Tables, and programs. 
Sponsors: Maria Loi & Joan Brower.

Erica Duecy is the editor-in-chief of SevenFifty Daily, an online magazine for wine and spirits industry professionals. She is a trailblazer in digital media and would like to share her expertise with LDNY’s social media committee. 
Sponsors: Julie Hartigan & Kathleen Squires.

Elana Effrat works for Blackened American Whiskey, which is an exciting a new endeavor between Master Distiller Dave Pickerell and Metallica. With her strong organizational skills, Elana hopes to be an asset to LDNY programs. 
Sponsors: Dames Francine Cohen & May Matta-Aliah.

Rebecca Ffrench has authored six cookbooks. She is the founder of The Upstate Table, which produces pop-up dinners and food-related events in the Catskills to connect the community to local producers. Rebecca is interested in Green Tables and mentoring. 
Sponsors: Sharon Franke & Carrie Bachman

Ann Ogden Gaffney founded and does groundbreaking work with the charitable organization, Cook for Your Life. Its mission is to teach healthy cooking to people touched by cancer. In particular she is looking forward to working on Green Tables. 
Sponsors: Melanie Young & Corinne Trang

Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW As one of the few female Masters of Wine in America, Mary is the North American Market Advisor for the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB). She is also a wine consultant and educator. Her interests lie in fundraising as well as being active in Green Tables. 
Sponsors: Linda Lawry & Melanie Young

Victoria James was selected as one of Forbes “30 under 30” in 2018 and named the 2018 Food & Wine “Sommelier of the Year.” Currently, she is the Beverage Director of the Michelin-starred restaurants Cote and Piora as well as the author of Drink Pink, a Celebration of Rosé. Social media is one of her strong suits. 
Sponsors: Rita Jammet & Aileen Robbins

Dalia Jurgensen is a Chef Instructor in pastry technique at the Institute of Culinary Education. She also works with the Insurgo Project, which educates Bronx and Manhattan middle and high school students about food and restaurants. In 2009, Dalia’s memoir Spiced was published. Dalia is an activist in culinary sustainability. 
Sponsors: Sabrina Sexton & Kathryn Gordon

Pascaline Lepeltier, MS was well respected for her work as Beverage Director at Rouge Tomate. In 2014, she became a Master Sommelier. Pascaline is currently Managing Partner at Racine restaurant but also finds time to make wine in upstate New York and study for the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France in the sommelier category. As a staunch supporter of the natural wine movement, she is interested in working with Green Tables. 
Sponsors: Marilyn Krieger & Rita Jammet

Robbin Massee has her own communications and media company which focuses on gastronomy. In the past she has worked for the French government and embassy. She has deep experience as a fundraiser for nonprofits and a special talent as a videographer which she can share with LDNY. 
Sponsors: Joan Brower & Ariane Dauguin

Janet McCracken is the Test Kitchen Director for Rachael Ray Every Day. Prior to that she was an Associate and Deputy Food Editor at Bon Appétit and has taught at the IACP annual conference. Social media expertise, mentoring, and team management are all strengths she brings to LDNY. 
Sponsors: Tara Bench & Aileen Robbins

Lisa Mendelson is the Director of Public Relations at AvroKO Global, an award-winning international design & concept firm specializing in the hospitality field. With her PR experience she hopes to work on our communications committee. 
Sponsors: Shari Bayer & Shelley Menaged

Odila Galer-Noel has over 35 years of experience in food and wine public relations having most recently headed the communications department at Frederick Wildman, a major national wine importer. She loves everything French and Latin, having been born in Argentina. As she has lots of creative ideas for events for our chapter, she plans to be active on the program committee. 
Sponsors: Karen Goodland & Nora Favelukes

Jessie Riley is an adjunct Instructor at New York City Technical College, CUNY and is co-founder and partner in the Food Start Up consulting firm foodstartuphelp.com. She is also Chef/Owner of the catering company, Constant Cravings. Jessie is passionate about mentoring. 
Sponsors: Joan Coukos & Susan Lifrieri-Lowry

Katie Workman is an award-winning food writer, educator, and media personality. She is also founder of cookstr.com. Currently, she contributes to many food publications including Cooking Light, Eating Well, Every Day with Rachel Ray, The Wall Street Journal, Food52.com, and Food & Wine Magazine. Her blog, The Mom 100, won the BlogHer Voices of the Year award in 2013. Her popular cookbooks are Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook. She plans to share her expertise in communications. 
Sponsors: Susan Westmoreland & Jennifer Baum

Amy Zavatto has been a wine, spirits, and food writer for 18 years and has contributed to such publications as Gotham, Details, SevenFifty Daily, and Edible Manhattan. She has also authored five books. As the former director of the Long Island Merlot Alliance, Amy created a scholarship for eastern Long Island students headed to Cornell to study viticulture and enology. Archives and scholarship are among the LDNY committees in which she hopes to participate. 
Sponsors: May Matta-Aliah & Jennifer O’Flanagan


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