Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality


Media inquiries and images, contact:
Rachel Litner: lesdamesny@gmail.com
Scholarship Co-Chair: Dame Aileen Robbins at arobbins@dunnrobbins.com 

Les Dames d’Escoffier New York 2018 Scholarship Awards:
26 Winners Honored at NYU Reception

For Immediate Release. New York, NY, July 19, 2018 – Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY), which supports women leaders in the food, fine beverage, and hospitality industries, recently awarded $63,000 in scholarship funding to 26 students. A gala was held in their honor at New York University’s Rosenthal Hall in New York, with breath-taking views of iconic Washington Square Park.

The LDNY Scholarship Awards event drew more than 120 people, including LDNY members, award winners and benefactors from major corporations, educational institutions, and food, fine beverage, and hospitality organizations.

“The Awards Ceremony is the culmination of our goal to bestow annual scholarships on talented young women selected for their high achievements and professional goals”, said President Joan Brower. “Since 1977, we have awarded over $2 million to over 1,000 women, to help them become leaders in their chosen fields.”

The theme of the evening, “Scholarship & Mentorship Life Lessons”, was introduced by Dame Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Paulette Goddard Professor Emerita of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health at New York University. She in turn introduced two LDNY past winners, Dana Jeanette Mortell and Francesca Zani, who spoke about how their experience as LDNY scholarship winners and mentees had helped them on their professional career path.

Dames Aileen Robbins and Susan Westmoreland, Co-Chairs of the Scholarship Committee, presented the awards to the students, who represented 10 different culinary, fine beverage and hospitality educational institutions. Scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 were awarded to individuals for their achievements, skills and career goals. This year, for the first time, The Whole Foods Grand Award Scholarship of $10,000 was awarded. In addition to the cash awards, each winner was given the opportunity to be mentored by an LDNY member whose experience complements the recipient’s career goals.

The 2018 event Corporate Benefactors were Whole Foods Market, The Dunn Robbins Group and Melitta®.

In partnership with LDNY, in-kind culinary and wine scholarships were given by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the International Culinary Center (ICC), the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), and the International Wine Center (IWC).

In addition, a number of scholarships were donated by LDNY members, including: the Abigail Kirsch Scholarship for the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, also for the CIA.

There were also two memorial scholarships: The Edna Lewis Grande Dame of Southern Cooking Scholarship, in honor of Jonell Nash, longtime food editor of Essence Magazine, and the Florence Griffin Memorial Scholarship. The latter was selected by the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).

Food and beverages were provided by generous partners: Babbo Ristorante Enoteca, Crepini, La Quercia, Loi Estiatorio, Our/New York Vodka, Spicegrove, Töst, Whole Foods and The Winebow Group. A raffle with high-ticket items from All-Clad, Dirt Candy, Fairway Market, SAAR Indian Bistro and Wolf Gourmet rounded out the evening’s festivities.

The proceeds from the ticket and raffle sales are added to the available monies for the 2019 scholarships.


LDNY 2018 Award Recipients:

  • Careers through Culinary Art Program (C-CAP)
    • Alyssamae Gadsden, The Florence Griffin Memorial Scholarship
  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, School of Hotel Administration
    • Gabriela Maria Diaz: LDNY Members’ Scholarship
    • Juliette Miettunen: LDNY Nutrition Scholarship
  • Culinary Institute of America (CIA): 
    • Bailyn Brink: LDNY Members’ Scholarship
    • Elora Duffett: The Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship
    • Cynthia Madden: The Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship
    • Julianne Parkis: CIA in-kind Scholarship
    • Britney Quillen: The Abigail Kirsch Scholarship
  • New York City College of Technology, CUNY 
    • Jessica Abate: LDNY Members’ Scholarship
    • Sevil Nimetullaieva: LDNY Members’ Scholarship
    • Kameisa Richards: The Edna Lewis Grande Dame of Southern Cooking Scholarship
    • Polina Savchenko: LDNY Members’ Scholarship
  • International Culinary Center
    • Molly Botnick: ICC in-kind scholarship, Culinary Arts
    • Natasha Guerrero: ICC in-kind Scholarship, Pastry
    • Lauren Piro: LDNY Members’ Scholarship
  • Institute of Culinary Education
    • Mary Grace Hardy: ICE in-kind scholarship, Pastry & Baking Arts
    • Sara Maria Heinzl: ICE in-kind scholarship, Culinary Arts
  • International Wine Center
    • Lydia Richards: The Dunn Robbins Group
    • Courtney Schiessl: IWC in-kind scholarship
  • Kingsborough Community College
    • Lauren McMahon, LDNY Members’ Scholarship
  • NYU Steinhardt School, Food Studies
    • Yvonne Cuaresma: LDNY Future Leader Scholarship
    • Alesha Hartley: Melitta Bentz Women’s Scholarship
    • Michelle Hughes: LDNY Future Leader Scholarship
    • Katherine Magruder: LDNY Founders Scholarship
  • Montclair State University
    • Kristen Matthews: LDNY Future Leader Scholarship
    • Ki Keys: Whole Foods LDNY 2018 Grand Award


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