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

Upcoming Events

* Wed., Feb. 12: Dames Wine School

unnamed-13Do 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    Purchase here.
Limited to 12 attendees. All are welcome including significant others, friends, & potential future Dames! Sign up early to reserve your seat!
(Note: This is not a dinner or food/wine pairing; a light offering of cheese and crackers will be provided)

* 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.
The home of Dame Elizabeth Donovan, 159 W Burton Place, 3rd floor (walk up), Chicago.  (There is limited street parking in the area but permits are available; Clark & Division Red Line stop is a short walk away)
This event is limited to 20 attendees. Appetizers provided. Bringing a bottle of wine to share would be appreciated. Ticket price: $10 available here.

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 Attendees

Tickets available here  LDEI Member ticket price – $40;  non-member ticket price: $50

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

Tickets available here. LDE Members: $40; guests: $45

Past Events

  • 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.
  • Wed., Nov. 6: “Dames Somms” Cider Smackdown Dinner at Eris  Brewery. Get your tickets here! $65 for Dames; $75 for non-members; $45 for non-alcohol pairing.
  • Wed., Jan. 22: “Leveraging Social Media to Engage with Audiences Online.” Social media can provide valuable insights from target audiences — be they consumers, the trade or media. Tickets are $25 for members and $35 for non-members (sparkling water and light snacks provided).
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