Beginning with Elaine Sherman, each president has led Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago with enthusiasm and dedication. During Elaine’s tenure, the Chicago Chapter’s first fundraising auction was held. It was Elaine’s idea, and she talked Nancy Kirby Harris into chairing the event that would become a distinctive tradition through the years. Auctions and other fundraising activities have supported annual scholarships to women in Chicago for culinary education since the first auction and remain an important aspect of meeting the Chapters educational mission.
Fundraising auctions flourished with Carol Haddix (1985-7), Nancy Kirby Harris (1987-91), and Nancy Brussat Barocci (1991-3). Under the leadership of Rita Gutekanst, the Chicago Chapter returned to the Ritz-Carlton with Soiree 2002. At that elegant auction, the co-chairs Nancy Brussat and Nancy Harris laid the financial foundation for a thriving scholarship endowment and continued support of the Green City Market.
Since it’s inception, the Chicago Chapter has offered hundreds of educational and networking events for members and the community; provided over $300,000 in culinary scholarships to women; and donated approximately $200,000 to a variety of community organizations and projects that further the mission of Les Dames d’ Escoffier International.
To read about recent recipients of scholarship moneys go to: