Les Dames d'Escoffier (LDEI) announced this year's six winners of The Legacy Awards, one of the organization's most important philanthropic initiatives, which is supported by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. Judged from a field of eighty-six qualified applicants, these six emerged as the women in food, beverage, and hospitality who most exemplified LDEI's tradition of excellence, career advancement and local community support. Only women who are not members of the organization with a minimum of four years of professional experience are eligible for these highly coveted mentorship awards.
The winners are:
- Farm to Sea to Table to Page Award (New England)
Elizabeth Teuwen, Culinary Instructor at Sur La Table in N. Bethesda MD, previously worked as a pastry chef at the Fairmont Hotel in Georgetown. Elizabeth started her professional career in law, becoming a partner and litigator in energy and utility law for Jennings Strouss & Salmon in DC before pursuing her culinary passions.
- James Beard House Culinary Award (New York City)
Helen Vass, from Glasgow, is the pastry chef-owner of Dulce, Scotland's first pop-up dessert restaurant. After winning BBC's Professional Patisserie Bake-Off in 2016, Helen has gone on to win four more esteemed culinary competitions while teaching, lecturing, consulting, and baking.
- New Orleans Culinary Award
Katrina Jazayeri of Somerville, MA was named one of Zagat's "30 Under 30" in 2014. Katrina then co-founded Juliet in Boston, which not only ranked among Bon Appétit's 2016 "50 Best New Restaurants in America" but also remains as Boston's only tip-free restaurant paying a living wage to all employees.
- Wente Family Estates Wine Award (California)
Ayja Alvarez from Victoria BC, is manager and buyer for Caddy Bay Liquor in Victoria as well as a previous recipient of LDEI scholarship winner in 2015. Having already achieved Italian Wine Scholar status, Avia is on track to also become a French Wine Scholar at the Master Level.
- Château Ste. Michelle Winery Wine Award (Washington State)
Sarah Pierre owns and manages 3 Parks Wine Shop in Atlanta, GA. Her background includes restaurant management, event planning, marketing, and bartending in Manhattan and Atlanta where she worked under Bacchanalia's Chef Anne Quatrano, the Queen of Atlanta's food scene. Sarah holds the Certified Specialist of Wine Certification, as well as Level 1 Sommelier Certification.
- Honolulu Culinary Award (Hawaii)
Emma Nemechek, from Arvada, CO, is currently the pastry chef for Omni Interlocken Resort and Spa having proven her talents earlier at several other large hotel kitchens around Denver. She holds the Certified Pastry Chef designation from the American Culinary Foundation where she sits on their board of directors, as well as that of the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.
The Legacy Awards provide a week in each location under the mentorship of a Dame and her chapter who provide next-step education and guidance for the winners. The program which began in 2009 is administered through LDEI and supported by a generous donation from the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.
Hayley Matson Mathes, President of Les Dames d' Escoffier International says, The Les Dames d'Escoffier Legacy Program offers life-changing mentorship experiences guided by Dames at the pinnacle of their professions who share their passion, expertise, and wisdom with the next generation of leaders. LDEI is honored to partner with The Julia Child Foundation on this exceptional program.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.