Come meet our spotlighted Dame for this week!
Dame Susan M. Delbert joined the National Press Club as Executive Chef in 2009 after working in Washington DC restaurants: The Old Ebbitt Grill, Oval Room, BeDuCi and Gerard’s Place. She trained at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, NY.
We sat down with her to find a little bit more about this very accomplished chef and found out that a smile goes a very long way.......
My first job was and the greatest lesson I learned from it was: First job is tough to nail down, as I am a tax attorney by training and long experience, but I was also a cook, navigator, salesperson and owner of a one year old Golden Retriever. Sometimes I'm not sure where jobs, vocations and past-times begin and end. But a lesson I have taken from most employment is that a smile helps most situations, keeping calm goes a long way in diffusing volatility and doing one's homework also helps when tackling a new challenge
If I were a kitchen tool, I'd be a: Calling oneself a tool is somewhat funny, given the slang use of the word. The indispensable, of course, the sharpest chef knife in the block....
The most pressing food issue facing the world today is: (1) clean water and adequate protein for exploding populations; (2) the effect of climate change on vegetation mutation and animal extinction; and (3) the inability to eat anything one wants, as often as one wants and still fit into last year's suit (joke).
My favorite DC restaurant is: The Press Club has a restaurant open to the public, The Fourth Estate. Only a select 1% of Washington seems to know it is open to all. We serve seasonal, flavorful classic American cuisine. It's the restaurant in which I get to present my food, and my ideas of seasonality. How could this not be my favorite?
The funniest/most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me on the job was: I'm much too clumsy to ever have just one embarrassment. My life is about comic relief.....
The legacy I wish to leave is: This is tough: Good food, good friends, sharing time? Love lasts forever? Living well is the Best Revenge? A good friend is a friend indeed?
One of the best things about being a DC Dame is the opportunity to really give back to the community! Here is the October 26th gathering of the Dames at DC Central Kitchen giving all their efforts to produce delicious food for the community in need. We also learned all about DC Central Kitchens mission through a well done video. Projects like this are a win-win for everyone! Go Dames!
Opening General Session Keynote speaker Chef and DC Dame Carla Hall welcoming us to Charleston. Reminding us to "own your power" and representing the DC Dames!
DC Dames volunteered at DC Central Kitchen's Nutrition Lab on October 26 to help celebrate Food Day 2015 and prepare meals for the Fresh Start program which delivers home-cooked meals to DC school children.
DC Dames Nancy Hart, Katherine Newell Smith, Joan Nathan, Ann Stratte, Drew Faulkner and Patricia Jinich at the Julia Child Award Gala.
Today we are featuring another fabulous new Dame, April Fulton. April is a contributor to the Salt, NPR Food Blog. Follow her on Twitter @fultonhere
I wanted to become a DC Dame because a space like this where women support other women in their endeavors is critical to the future success of the human race.
My favorite thing about the DC dining scene is the endless variety -- I can have banh mi for lunch, puttanesca for dinner and buckwheat blueberry pancakes for breakfast, all within walking distance from the Metro. (Do I like carbs or what?)
I think the biggest challenge in the world of food today is figuring out how to feed 50 billion people in the not-too-distant future. But the good news is, even one person with one idea can make a difference. My goal is to find them and tell their stories.
If I were a kitchen utensil, I'd be tongs because they can do anything!
My advice to people wanting a culinary career is just do it.
My motto is: You're a leader. The world is waiting for your instruction.
We are honored to spotlight Susan Barocas, one of our new Dames! Susan was inducted a few weeks ago and we had the privilege of sitting down with her to find out a little bit more about this very busy culinarian. We did discover that she only needs about two things to make an extraordinary meal........ I'm so excited about being a new member of Les Dames d'Escoffier because..........it's such an amazing group of women--so warm, welcoming and talented! I love that the other Dames "get" how I feel about food without much explanation. I look forward to learning, connecting, sharing and giving back. By the way, when I showed one of my friends my new membership pin (yeah, I was pretty excited to get pinned), she said it's like the college sorority I never joined, but even better. Yup, and our meetings have much better food!
My very favorite kitchen utensil is........ either my go-to 5-inch Cuisinart knife that I use for nearly everything or my trusty wooden spatula that I've had for years. Between them, I can make many good meals!
My inspiration to be in the culinary field started..... with my family's cooking traditions and my very own copy of Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys and Girls that I got when I was 7. It's the first and only cookbook I totally "cooked through." I cherish still having it, although my cookbook collection has grown exponentially since then.
My favorite thing about being a culinarian in the DC area is............ the diversity, innovation, openness and talent of the food community. New places, new tastes are coming our way constantly. As challenging as it is to keep up, it's also fun and such a delicious, place to live.
If I were a wine, I'd be Prosecco because then my grapes would have spent wonderful time soaking up the Italian sun, and my bubbles would bring smiles to those who enjoy me.
The legacy I want to leave as my mark in the culinary world is........ that I helped people feel the creativity and love of being in the kitchen as well as encouraged connections to personal identity, family, friends, history and culture through food. I want to know that I helped people remember the past and build new traditions by coming together over food.
Les Dames is proud to have 10 new members! One of these member is the fabulous Jennifer Farley - cookbook author, chef, culinary instructor and food blogger of the very popular Savory Simple!
We sat down with this fine culinarian and discovered a few fun things you should know about her....
Congratulations Dame Farley!
What are you most excited about in becoming a Dame?
I’m very excited to be surrounded by so many talented and unique women in the industry. I want to connect, learn, and find ways to get involved.
If I were a kitchen tool, I'd a be...
I’m extremely clumsy, so probably something that helps prevent or clean up messes. Paper towels or parchment, maybe?
The highlight of my culinary career so far is.....
Visiting the White House with my culinary school classmates and listening to Michelle Obama speak about her Let’s Move campaign. There have probably been bigger career highlights since then but that was this awe-inspiring moment when I realized how much my life was about to change.
The most embarrassing/ funniest thing that has happened to me in my career so far is......
Anytime I try to speak in front of a large group usually winds up being embarrassing. So lets just say all public appearances.
I think the DC dining scene is......
Underrated. We have so many amazing restaurants and chefs.
The person I'm most inspired by is......
Julia Child. ‘My Life in France’ inspired me to change my career path.
My motto is......
Follow your instincts and make your own happiness
Les Dames d'Escoffier DC
LDEI is the premier organization of influential professional women who are committed to the advancement of education and philanthropy in food, beverage and hospitality for the good of the global community.