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

Please check back for a list of our upcoming events!

Past Events

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.

Tuesday, April 14 Dames Who Read: “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet” – CANCELLED
The spring book for DAMES WHO READ has been chosen for its timeliness 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.

Through a happy coincidence of scheduling, we will be treated to a visit – and dinner made especially for us using the book as reference  — by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, of Atlanta, who is a classically trained chef and cookbook author. She graduated with honors from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Paris, France, is a Georgia Grown Executive Chef, and the Culinary Explorer for the Georgia Department of Tourism. (She will have some copies of her books available for purchase, cash only.)

Sparkling and still waters provided; BYO if you prefer alcoholic beverages.

DATE: Tuesday  April 14,    6 pm – 8 pm
$40 Members,  $45 non-members, Purchase tickets here

LOCATION: Dame Stacey Ballis’ home    2819 West Logan Boulevard  Chicago
Street parking available but limited.   Consider taking Public Transportation.

Friday  4/10 at noon, no refunds after that time

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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