How to Taste Beer Like a Certified Beer Judge! Exploring Beer Through Four Main Ingredients

October 28, 5:30 – 6:30 Zoom Meeting

Join us for an educational (and fun!) tasting of six unique beers, each a great representation of beer’s four main ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. Our instructor, Chris Kolodziej, is the Training Manager for Lakeshore Beverage and a certified Cicerone (beer sommelier!).  We will learn how to taste and analyze beer, and also explore some of the bigger current trends  – hazy IPAs and sour beers.  To complete the tasting experience,  Dame Wei Fraser, (also a Cicerone)  has curated a selection of different cheeses to pair with the beer!
The House of Glunz invites you to purchase this assorted 6-pack at a special price of $14.00 (plus sales tax). Beer will be available for pick-up at the shop starting Tuesday, October 12. House of Glunz is open daily Noon to 8:00pm.  Delivery is available for a  fee anywhere in the city of Chicago and via UPS overnight for suburban deliveries.  Please order your beer no later than Monday, October 26.   Open to Dames and non-members too!

  • Trumer Pils (water)
  • Founders Porter (Malt)
  • Bell’s Two Hearted (Hops)
  • Boulevard Tank 7 (Yeast)
  • Goose Island Lost Palate Hazy IPA
  • Ommegang Rosetta

Optional cheese selection can be purchased on your own from Whole Foods:

  • Ossau Iraty (to pair with Trumer Pils)
  • Point Reyes Original Blue (to pair with Founders Port)
  • Jasper Hill  Cloth Bound Cheddar (to pair with Bell’s Two Hearted)
  • Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog (to pair with Boulevard Tank 7)

Date:  October 28, 2020
Time:  5:30 PM to 6:30
Place:  Zoom from home!
Sign up:  Here  (online event is free to attend but you must sign up to get the Zoom invitation)
To Order Beer Package ($14 plus tax):  click House of Glunz 

Let’s Welcome the Class of 2020!

Monday, November 2, 6:30 Zoom Meeting

Please join us in welcoming the Class of 2020 at a special virtual induction and reception!  We will be meeting each of our wonderful and resilient new Dames, hearing their stories, and toasting them.  Though we are unable to gather in person, we know  we can give them a really warm welcome; let’s show them exactly how Chicago Dames support each other!

Date:  Monday, November 2, 2020
Time: 6:30 PM
Place:  Online Virtual Tasting
To sign up and receive your Zoom link click here 

Support Chicago Women Restauranteurs – Last Weekend, October 23 & 24Image of Savor the World showing dish, food, cuisine, ingredient, meal, and casado

A group of woman restauranteurs, many of whom are Dames, have teamed up to present four special differently themed tasting dinners. Each dinner includes four courses, and can be picked up at one of the restaurants or delivered within limited boundaries. The pricing, at $25 – $27.50 per person, is an outstanding value. Why not take it easy this weekend while still serving an amazing meal with unusual flavors that might be new to you.

Read more at Eater. For reservations, visit Tok.


Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago offers a variety of events during the year, many of them open to the public.  For more information, email

Past Events

Dames Who Read Choose . . .


James Beard award–winning author Adrian Miller will be joining us!

Scheduled earlier this year, but cancelled due to Covid, we are happy to reschedule this as our fall 2020 book!

We will meet via Zoom and though we cannot gather around the same table, we have an added bonus – we will be joined by the author, Adrian Miller.  The theme is still timely during this turbulent election season – but all of the politics discussed will center on the kitchen!

THE PRESIDENT’S KITCHEN CABINET: The Story of the African Americans Who have Fed our First Families from the Washingtons to the Obamas.
James Beard award–winning author Adrian Miller vividly tells the stories of the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington. Miller brings together the names and words of more than 150 black men and women who played remarkable roles in unforgettable events in the nation’s history.

A treasury of information about historical cooking techniques and equipment, the book surveys the labor of enslaved people during the antebellum period and the gradual opening of employment after Emancipation. Miller highlights how food-related work slowly became professionalized and the important part African Americans played in that process. His chronicle of the daily table in the White House proclaims a fascinating new American story.

All proceeds from the registration will go to the author to cover a modest honorarium for him  – we are so grateful that he will be joining us and we know his presence will add so much to our discussion.

Get Your Groove on with Garnacha!

Thursday, Sept. 24  6:30 -7:30 p.m.
You Are Invited to an Online Wine Tasting with
“Dame Somms” Liz Barrett and Veronica Hastings!

Garnacha is one of Spain’s greatest gifts to wine drinkers. During this delicious educational tasting, you’ll sample three Spanish Garnachas  – a light, breezy white, an appealing, floral rosé and a robust red – and learn about the Catalan region of Spain where these wines grow, east of Madrid. And in case you’re wondering, yes, Garnacha is the same grape as France’s Grenache.

The Wines:

  1. Celler Xavier Clua Illusio White Terra Alta 2018
  2. Acustic Rosat, Monsant 2018
  3. Celler Xavier Clua Illusio Red Terra Alta 2016

Garnacha is one of the most versatile wines for food, so we invite you to sip and snack during the tasting! Consider these classic Spanish bites and you can also visit La Tienda for more inspiration (no Dames affiliation, but a great resource for Spanish foods and recipes).

  • Jamon Iberico
  • Manchego Cheese
  • Pan con Tomate (grated fresh tomato on toasted bread that has been rubbed with a cut garlic clove)
  • Sautéed shrimp in garlic-kissed olive oil
  • Spanish olives

Dame Somms Present: Les Dames Wine School – Spring 2020
Join us for a series of four in-depth beginner-level wine classes taught by our Chicago “Dame Somms”!

Each class will offer eight expertly chosen wines for your education and enjoyment, focused on a specific category: white, red, sparkling, and rosé. You will taste the regional and stylistic differences of the wines as your guides explain how to taste and how to identify aromas and flavors and offer tips and recommendations on pairing food and wine. All your wine wonders and questions will be answered!

Whether you are new to wine, or already a wine enthusiast, these classes are designed to expand your knowledge and appreciation of wine.

Classes are limited to 12 participants and will be held at Birch Road Cellar, located at 1113 W. Armitage Ave. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A light selection of cheese accompany each tasting.

Tuesday, March 3: Popular White Wines  Explore eight styles of four popular white wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris/Grigio, and Riesling. Presented by Dames Kimberly Keslin and Gina Voci. $35 for members, $45 for non-members. Purchase tickets here  Registration closes on March 2, at 12:00 noon.

Wednesday, March 18: Popular Red Wines  Explore eight styles of four popular red wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Sangiovese. Presented by Dames Veronica Hastings and Kimberly Keslin. $35 for members, $45 for non-members. Purchase tickets here  Registration closes on March 17, at 12:00 noon.

Wednesday, April 8, Sparkling Wines of the World  Get to know eight styles of sparkling wine including Prosecco Superiore, Franciacorta and Lambrusco from Italy, Cava from Spain, California Sparkling, French Crémant and of course, Champagne! Presented by Dames Liz Barrett, Veronica Hastings, and Rebekah Graham. $45 for members, $55 for non-members. Purchase tickets here  Registration closes on April 7, at 12:00 noon.

Wednesday, May 6,  Rosé All Day!:  Dry rosé has shot to the top of the hit list in the last 10 years and this class will let you explore styles of rosé from all over the world: Provence (where it all began), Spain, Italy, the U.S. Discover why great rosé is one of the most food-friendly and versatile wines in the world (you can sip it from happy hour all the way through dinner and on to dessert!) Presented by Dames Veronica Hastings and Liz Barrett. $35 for members, $45 for non-members.  Purchase tickets here  Registration closes on May 5, at 12:00 noon.

Our first class – Wine 101 – sold out quickly, so hit that ticket link while you still can!

  • Tuesday, Feb. 25 Dames Who Read: “Women on Food” by Charlotte Druckman
    Winter in Chicago is the perfect time to snuggle up with a great book. Join Dame Judith Hines in a discussion of  Women on Food, a collection of the shared  experiences of 115 women in the culinary world offering insight and perceptions of what it means to be female in the food arena in 2020. This “original collection of voices, stories, impressions, opinions and hot takes on the questions we would ask, or answer, about the role food plays in our careers and our lives” is a big book, but filled with short essays and quotes, so it’s easy to read parts or all of it. There will be plenty of food for thought when we meet to discuss and compare our own experiences over a great meal.
    Date & Time: Tue. Feb. 25, from 6-8 p.m.
    Location: ERIS Brewery & Cider House, 4240 W. Irving Park Road
    LDE Members: $40; guests: $45
  • Sunday, Feb. 23 From Spark to Stores:  Bringing a Singular Idea to Market!
    Have you ever had a tightly focused niche idea that just might be worth pursuing?  Nearly everyone has had that one idea that feels like it fills a hole in the marketplace.  But how do you take it from idea to reality?  That entrepreneurial spirit runs in the Lock Family.  New Dame, Stephanie Lock, is the founder of Ready to Roll Dough, a super-premium pastry crust business with her sweet and savory versions of an all-butter crust available in Whole Foods Market.  She comes by her drive right; her mom, Joyce Lock, is the creator of the trivia game, “Foodie Fight.”  We will hear both of their stories in this conversation about what it means to have an idea for a single focused product and what it takes to get that idea into a marketable reality.  After the discussion, participants will snack on some sweet and savory pies and play a few friendly rounds of Foodie Fight!  Just in time for the holidays, every ticket includes one disk of Ready to Roll Dough and your own Foodie Fight game!
    Date:  Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020
    Time:  3:00 to 5:30 PM
    Location:  Home of Dame Stacey Ballis, 2819 W Logan Blvd,  Chicago
    Limited to 16 AttendeesLDEI Member ticket price – $40;  non-member ticket price: $50
  • Sunday, Feb. 16, Dames Who Tell Stories
    Back by popular demand, Dame Elizabeth Donovan will host an afternoon of story-telling, laughter and friendship. This years’s theme:  Was It a Pothole or a Speed Bump?As we travel on our own unique journeys through life, we all encounter challenges. Share a story about a challenge you faced, professionally or personally, and how you overcame it.  When you hit that bump in the road, was it a pothole, that ultimately led you to choose another route? Or was it a speed bump, that kept you on the same highway but required a course correction? What did you learn from facing this challenge?
    This is a great event for getting to know other Dames. Be prepared to laugh, cry and be inspired!When: Sunday, Feb. 16, from 3-6 p.m.Where: The home of Dame Elizabeth Donovan, 159 W Burton Place, 3rd floor (walk up), Chicago.
  • Wed., Feb. 12: Dames Wine School
    Do you like wine, but don’t know your chard from your chenin? Do terms like tannin, body and balance confuse you? Do you find yourself overwhelmed in a wine store, gazing at thousands of labels, not knowing where to begin?Industry professionals Dame Gina Voci and Dame Rebekah Graham will reveal all, through a tasting of eight wines, focusing on four key components  — tannin, acid, alcohol and sugar .This is about learning about wine through tasting. You’ll learn how to identify aromas and flavors, understand what balance means, and how to describe wine. You’ll figure out your own palate as we learn about popular wine styles and grape varietals.  We’ll even touch on deciphering a wine list and how to talk to a sommelier.When: Wed., Feb. 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at
    Where: Birch Road Cellar, 1113 W. Armitage Ave. Chicago
    Member tickets: $35; non-member tickets: $45
  • Sun., Dec. 8:  “BonBons and Bubbles” at Cocoa + Co. Usher in the holidays as we sip sparkling wines and enjoy savory tidbits and hand-crafted chocolates and cookies! Dame Kim Hack, owner of Cocoa + Co. and Dame Veronica Hastings of H2Vino will present special pairings of sparkling wines (including a non-alcoholic option) and bonbons. From 5-6:30 p.m. at 1651 N. Wells Street. LDEI members: $35; non-members: $45.
  • Mon., Nov. 4:  Town Hall Meeting at The Glunz Tavern. Light bites, drinks and the meeting, from 6-8 p.m. No cost. Open to members only.
  • Wed., Nov. 6: “Dames Somms” Cider Smackdown Dinner at Eris  Brewery.  Guests will enjoy a multi-course fall harvest menu paired with a variety of ERIS ciders and beers. Dame Rebekah Graham, a certified sommelier and cicerone, will guide guests through each pairing.  $65 for Dames; $75 for non-members; $45 for non-alcohol pairing.

Upcoming Board Meetings

  • Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago Board Meetings – open to members only. Members who would like to sit in on a board meeting can email Portia Belloc Lowndes at
    • June 29, 2020
    • July 13, 2020
    • August 10, 2020
    • September 14, 2020
    • October 12, 2020
    • November 9, 2020
    • December 14, 2020
    • January 11, 2021
    • February 8, 2021
    • March 8, 2021
    • April 12, 2021
    • May 10, 2021
    • June 14, 2021 – Annual Business Meeting
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