Dames Chicago Award Scholarship to 14 Deserving Women



Sept. 20, 2019: The Chicago chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier was thrilled to present scholarships to 14 amazing women who are pursuing careers in food and beverage, the culinary arts, and/or hospitality industries. The recipients are:

Camila Ambriz, Joliet Junior College

Nedrianna Brunt, Washburne Culinary and Hospitality

Kristin Dula, French Pastry School

Maisie Elias, French Pastry School

Gianina Gomez Cabrera, Kendall College

Keeley Collins, French Pastry School

Khatera Jackson, Kendall College / National Louis

Renee Lewis, Joliet Junior College

Khadija Malik, Kendall College

Maria Ramirez-Gregg, College of DuPage

Emma Daryl Richards, French Pastry School

Destini Williams, Robert Morris University

Naamee Yisrael, Washburne Culinary and Hospitality

Alsonye Ugbebor, Washburne Culinary and Hospitality

Congratulations to these outstanding women. We can’t wait to see their careers evolve! If you are interested in more information about the Les Dames Scholarship program, please click here. Applications for 2020 scholarships are due March 10, 2020.


2015 Scholarship Recipients Reception

Scholarship recipients 2015

Mike Riley and his team at Le Cordon Bleu culinary college hosted our Les Dames Scholarship reception Tuesday September 15. They provided an enticing assortment of charcuterie, assorted vegetables and sauces, augmented by several member’s donations of exquisite cheese, seafood, and fabulous pastries. All of this was complemented by a thirst quenching Prosecco cocktail, made with raspberry cardamom syrup. Thanks go out to Patty Erd, Sofia Solomon, Anne Kauffmann, Melissa Yen and Veronica Hastings.

Lovely vegetables

Cheese Array by Sofia Solomon

Many Dames turned out to congratulate the scholarship recipients, all of whom attended except one whose kitchen duty had not yet ended. Many of the newly assigned mentors were also present and it was a festive evening. Patty Erd made nice certificates which she handed out as she introduced this year’s recipients and they each spoke for a few minutes about what they hoped would happen in their future in the culinary world. This year’s group is comprised of many interesting international components. One lady is about to embark on a 6- month stage in France; another is a Russian national who plans on settling in Chicago to establish a career in hospitality. Another is American raised in China and is inspired to fuse both cultures into her love of cooking, and yet another lady originally from Mexico is tempted to do further studies for baking in Italy before opening her own store in Chicago. Compared to past years the applications, this year’s were not many, 30 in all. Eleven applicants stood out and after the interviews seven scholars were chosen. All of the Scholarship committee members were inspired to choose a recipient as a mentor, which was a great natural progression in the whole process.

Macaroons!One of our ladies, Jessica Pamonicutt, had just given birth to a baby, premature by five weeks, and has been in the hospital with her baby every day. She was determined she was going to make it in spite of that. During the reception we received a call that she could not make it. Imagine our surprise, when right as Patty was introducing the ladies, she walked in with her husband. They had been living at the hospital for the last week, and told us how happy they were to eat some good food, because the hospital food was just awful. We asked the chef to pack up a big goodie bag for them, and when Anne saw Patty adding a few pastries to the bag; she went back to the kitchen and got them a whole tray of beautiful macaroons to take along. Jessica’s husband, Antonio, works third shift at a hospital near where their baby is, and was so excited to take those to work and share them.

Our favorite moment of the party was when Anne handed him the tray and he said “I knew I was gonna love these ladies!” Jessica wrote this to Patty: “It was a well needed break for both of us… walking into an applause was a priceless moment for me. It really made me feel good after a really hard day at the hospital. You ladies are amazing. And I am so honored to have been selected and to be part of your group.” Jessica Pamonicutt really caught the committee’s attention through her passion to pass on healthy and tasty food habits to her Native American Reservation, as if having a pre-mature baby was not enough she is already developing this program for her Reservation.

Veronica Hastings will head the Scholarship Committee next year, if you are interested in working on this rewarding committee, or would like more information please call or email her: 773-366-9463 or Veronica@H2vino.com.

2014 Scholarship Recipients

A lovely champagne reception was held September 2 at Kendall College to introduce our membership to the recipients of the 2014 Scholarship Awards. We were very proud to be able to offer $30,000 in scholarships this year due to our successful Swank-a- licious fund raiser this past spring. Eight ladies from seven different schools were chosen and happily, all were present. We had a nice turnout of about 40 and it was an enjoyable opportunity to mingle with our recipients and each other. A big thank you to Barbara Glunz for the delicious wine, Sofia Solomon for her stellar cheese selection, Julie Chernoff for the antipasto platter, Anne Kaufmann and the French Pastry School for their sweet treats, Patty Erd for organizing and Kendall College for hosting. The Scholarship committee was made up of Patty Erd, Polly Peters, Melissa Yen, Sofia Solomon, Dana Benigno, and Portia Bellow-Lowndes, we thank them for their contribution.

If anyone has a desire to be on this very rewarding committee for the 2015 scholarships, please contact Patty Erd at spices@thespicehouse.com. Thank you also to our scholarship recipients for having the courage to take the microphone and tell us a little bit about themselves. In addition to the scholarships we are providing, it is also our goal to provide each woman with a mentor. If you have any interest in taking up one of these important mentorship roles, please contact the Mentor Chair, Melissa Yen, whose email is melissa@josnowsyrups.com. For those of you not in attendance, below is more information about each of these talented ladies who are sure to go far. Congratulations to each of them.

Back row, Graciela Guzman, Kristin Gleeson, Miranda Kidd. Anna Piech, Stephanie Klafert, Caitlin Waite. Front Row, Regina Torres, Katherine Storm
Back row, Graciela Guzman, Kristin Gleeson, Miranda Kidd. Anna Piech, Stephanie Klafert, Caitlin Waite. Front Row, Regina Torres, Katherine Storm

Kristin Gleeson is enrolled in the Patisserie and Baking program at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Continue reading “2014 Scholarship Recipients”