Events

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

Current Events

West Shore Dames Dinner Gathering August 5, 2021

43087101_2097309626954242_5584873883409842176_o.jpg   When is the last time you spent some time out in the country?  Do you know you only have to drive to the lovely nature filled Western suburb of Geneva to feel like you are worlds away from Chicago? Our Dame members there would love to have you join them for a casual dinner meet-up. The restaurant is Preservation. From their website, “Preservation is a destination for creative dishes, artisan cheese/meats, eclectic cocktails and a first-class wine list – all enjoyed in a laid back scene featuring outdoor dining and a hip mix of diners and sippers.”  They also feature nightly live music. We will each pay for our own dinners. Limit 10.

Date – Thursday, August 5

Time – 6:00

Place – Preservation Restaurant, 513 3rd Street, Geneva, Il.

RSVP – Please RSVP to Jean True by August 3rd, jeanstrue@gmail.com

 

Past Events

Dames Who Read  choose Dirt, by Bill Buford

You may know Bill Buford’s writing from his previous book Heat, or from his years as editor of the New Yorker. Now go along for the ride as he recounts his adventures and misadventures when he, spontaneously packs up his knives and his family and moves to France to spend time in culinary school and restaurant kitchens!

The subtitle tells it all:  Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking.”

Those adventures may make you long for a nice long vacation in France, one of the things we’ve had to forego this year.  But the foods and markets will certainly have your taste buds longing for a nice truly French meal.  No recipes here, but good descriptions that can lead you along in your own kitchen. Besides being delicious, it’s a good read!

So settle in for a long winter’s spell and enjoy the trip, even if it must be from your favorite chair!

AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  When you are buying this book, be sure you get “DIRT” by Bill Buford, and not another book by a similar title, two of which were recently released!

Date:  Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Time:  6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Where:  Zoom from your favorite location

 

As we seek ways to keep our fundraising coffers healthy, we are turning first to our members. While some members are facing challenges, ranging from lay-offs to furloughs to salary reductions, other members have been fortunate to weather less impact.

Virtual Fundraiser – Requesting Realtime Donations, Please

We are asking you – if you are able – to make a donation to our chapter. In the absence of a fund-raising gala, an annual dinner and other events, we ask you to consider a donation in an amount equivalent to what you would have spent had we been able to get together. Would you have bought a new dress, shoes, a hat, a new piece of jewelry? Would you have bid on an auction item, contributed to the wonderful cake walk for your table, or taken a chance on the wine pull? We hope you will give this some thought and donate a like amount. 

If each of us donates $100 we will reach our $10,000 goal. For those of you in a position to make larger contributions, your dollars will be used to fund our chapter’s coveted grants and scholarships – needed now more than ever.

Donations may be sent to:
The Ladies of Escoffier, Ltd, 516 North Ogden Avenue, #240 Chicago IL 60642-6421
or by logging into our chapter website and clicking the blue “Donate” button at the bottom of the Scholarships page here.

If each of us donates $100 we will reach our $10,000 goal. For those of you in a position to make larger contributions, your dollars will be used to fund our chapter’s coveted grants and scholarships – needed now more than ever.

In the face of so many challenges, our philanthropic mission and vision have not changed. When the Covid-19 pandemic forced shut-downs across so many sectors of the food, beverage and hospitality industries, we assisted our local restaurant community with a one-time $5000 grant to The Lee Initiative, which served free meals to struggling restaurant workers.

On top of this, we found ways to connect, inspire and educate through Zoom events, video cooking lessons for Boys & Girls Clubs members on our new YouTube channel and recipe sharing via Green City Market newsletters. Many of our Zoom events have been free while some have come with a ticket price, usually in exchange for goods (wine, beer, dinner kits).

As a private non-profit organization, we rely on our members to help us support women in our industries. The scholarships and grants we award are entirely dependent on our fundraising initiatives – which have been largely curtailed this year.

We are excited about our future and so grateful for the ongoing involvement and support of our members.  We are brimming with ideas to celebrate and support the women who are the future of our industry, and we raise a glass to you and toast to better days to come

Vip Woman with Champagne Glass Celebrating Holiday Party, Retro Lady in Rich Gold Dress, Sparkling Diamonds NecklaceDames Sip and Sparkle – December 17

• There will be a trio of sparkling wines for purchase and pickup from House of Glunz! (To keep the cost friendly, we’ll be offering half-bottles of three sparklers from three renowned regions).

• Barbara Glunz and Liz Barrett will team up to take you through the tasting and share a little insider expertise with you.

• There will be a pastry demo by Jessica Ellington, of two delectable savory snacks that positively sing with sparkling wines, including cacio e pepe crackers and prosciutto palmiers.  Of course, Jessica will use Ready-to-Roll dough by our own Stephanie Lock and you’ll be able to add a package of Ready-to-Roll dough to your wine order if you choose!

• Wear your sparkliest outfit and accessories! Have a tiara? Wear it! Crazy costume jewelry? Pile it on!  More is better when it comes to sequins and rhinestones, because there will be prizes for the sparkliest stars of our Sip & Sparkle!

This will be a fun and casual event to celebrate the season.  

Dames Who Read Dive into “The School of Essential Ingredients”

Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 6-8 p.m. on Zoom – no charge!

Dames Who Read will hold a bonus book club meeting to discuss

This charming novel introduces us to Lillian, who teaches cooking classes in her restaurant on Mondays when it is closed. You’ll meet all of her students and their various personal stories. And you’ll “learn” along with them, but not just about cooking and ingredients. With Lillian’s guidance, you may even head to your own kitchen to whip up something delicious.

Let’s face it: there has been plenty of turbulence and drama in our lives over the past year-  so as we read and prepare for this month’s discussion, let’s focus on what is truly essential and hopeful! This event is limited to 20 attendees and open to non-members.

Sign up here – you will receive the Zoom link after you RSVP. This event is limited to 20 attendees and open to non-members.

Let’s Welcome the Class of 2020!

152,862 Welcome Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

 

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!

 

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!
 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

Dames Who Read Choose . . .

THE PRESIDENT’S KITCHEN CABINET

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 portia.belloc@gmail.com
    • 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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