Many of you had the opportunity to meet nine of our ten new sister Dames at the General Membership Meeting on June 2 at Ris restaurant. The aim is to get them on committees and working with other Dames soon! For those of you who missed the meeting, here they are:
Deb Lindsey has been a photographer in the DC area since graduation from The University of Maryland. She was a photo editor at The Washington Post for 17 years and freelance photographer specializing in food and wedding, running her own business since 2007.
"I wish to work closer with the food community I've gotten to know over the last few years. I look forward to contributing with LDEI's educational outreach as well as mentorship programs. Other areas of contribution include event coverage, social media, promotion and food photography. Committee preferences include education, PR-communications, and website-social media."
Pastry Chef Erin Reed joined Park Hyatt Washington, D.C. in 2017. She leads all pastry operations at the hotel, including its landmark restaurant Blue Duck Tavern. Previously Chef Reed served as executive pastry chef of Daniel Boulud's DBGB in Washington, D.C. She has also served as executive pastry chef at Buddakan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as helped to launch pastry programs at various Kimpton properties. Erin has earned certificates in both culinary and advanced baking and pastry. Her Bachelor of Science degree is in Hospitality Management from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academy of Culinary Arts.
"Being a member of the Les Dames d'Escoffier would really help me to be involved in the female chef and hospitality community which I think is a great asset and opportunity for collaboration and growth. I think I could bring a unique perspective on creativity and style. I have a lot of opinions and will fight for things that I am passionate about. I also love what I do and have a wealth of knowledge that I would enjoy sharing." Committee preferences include educational programs, fundraising, leadership-strategic planning, website-social media, and scholarships-mentoring programs."
Johanna Mendelson Forman
In a wide-ranging career in international affairs, Johanna Mendelson Forman has built a reputation for addressing longstanding issues with new perspectives and innovative ideas. By recognizing the nexus between food, war, and civic engagement, she has become one of the leading voices in the emerging movement of Social Gastronomy. Mendelson Forman is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center, where she heads the Food Security Program. Mendelson Forman holds a J.D. from Washington College of Law at American University, a Ph.D. in Latin American history from Washington University, St. Louis, and a Master's of International Affairs, with a certificate of Latin America studies from Columbia University in New York. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
"Since I began my journey linking food with conflict and diaspora studies I have been privileged to have had many mentors and supporters. Among them have been members of Les Dames who have reached out to me and included me in many events. These programs and conversations have helped me become a better scholar. I have been honored to have been invited to speak at the national conference and also at the LDEI-DC Chapter. Meeting so many talented and extraordinary women who are engaged in all forms of gastronomy has been an important part of my education. It would be a great honor to become a member of such a distinguished group of women in the culinary field. If admitted for membership I would like to participate in a number of ways: in meetings, program planning and helping to bring some of my expertise as a scholar of food and social gastronomy to the membership. I would also enjoy participating in programs, sharing ideas, and learning from other members. Bringing my network into the already robust one of LDEI-DC would also be important in terms of engaging others in the field of culinary research to be part of the LDEI program." Committee preferences include educational program, scholarships-mentoring, and leadership-strategic planning."
After several years working as a business consultant, Katherine took time off to raise her family and start an edible school garden. In 2009 her love of simple soups and a desire to start a business led her to test market a variety of soups and broths with friends and family. The following spring, Katherine began selling soup at the Reston Farmer's market and by the fall, her company was in MOM's Organic Market. Nine years later, her company is proud to have their very own soup kitchen in Herndon, VA, selling directly from the retail store to more than a dozen small and mid-size grocery and specialty food stores. 100 Bowls of Soup is a soup and broth making company dedicated to creating truly nourishing and flavorful food. We are a team of home trained cooks and artisans, passionate about creating simple, delicious and nutritious food from scratch. We love experimenting in our kitchen, trying new ingredients, exploring new flavor combinations and creating wholesome, healthful soups, bone and vegetable broths that meet a variety of dietary needs. Ingredients are organic, locally grown, pasture-raised and grass fed and menu changes with the seasons.
"I am honored to be nominated to become a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier, LDEI-DC Chapter. As a member I believe I would have the opportunity to learn so much from such a talented and experienced group of professional chefs. I also believe I could share my perspective as an entrepreneur. At 100 Bowls of Soup, we love to partner with organizations who share our food and cooking philosophy. We also believe in supporting fellow food entrepreneurs. We have hosted cooking classes, community soup making events and most recently a Slow Food DC tasting evening in our Herndon kitchen. We would love the opportunity to host a LDEI-DC event, series of cooking classes or meal. We have also donated soup to local charity events and shelters."
Laura Kumin is a food writer, blogger, teacher of cooking-related topics, and a cooking coach for adolescents and young adults with learning issues. She writes a blog, Mother Would Know, aimed at those who want to become more confident and creative home cooks. Her first book, The Hamilton Cookbook, was published in November 2017.
"The LDEI-DC members I know are amazing women! When I meet women in the local food scene who I would like to get to know better, it almost always turns out that they are already members of the chapter. Having attended and enjoyed several LDEI-DC Chapter programs, I believe that I have a lot to learn from being in the chapter and a lot to contribute as well. I particularly appreciate the chapter's work with local schools and other organizations and would like to participate in that work to benefit our community.
I enjoy meeting new people and bringing people together, so I would like to maximize networking opportunities for Dames and other women in the food and hospitality industries. As an LDEI-DC member, I would bring that enthusiasm to chapter activities and my interactions with other members. In addition, I am a longtime volunteer/manager of volunteers for other causes and would like to bring to Les Dames my knowledge and experience organizing events and volunteers." Committee preferences include outreach, Global Culinary Initiative, Green Tables, and education.
Maru has been in the food industry for over a decade where she has held several leading roles including directing communications and public relations initiatives for Chef Jose Andres and ThinkfoodGroup; leading agriculture and food security communications campaigns at the World Bank and other non-profit organizations; and most recently becoming a partner and heading marketing, branding and media relations for fast casual Colada Shop, and Chef Ryan Ratino's Bresca.
"I wish to become a member of LDEI because I believe I can contribute to the greater good of the organization. I want to learn from this talented group of female leaders, many of them whom I greatly admire and respect. I believe that being part of this group will help me grow professionally and I will be able to use that acquired expertise to help other women succeed in their careers. In addition to having ample experience on food security and agricultural issues at home and abroad, I also navigate the hospitality industry with much ease. Furthermore, I excel in developing communication strategies for brands, non-profits, restaurants, and products. I believe that my expertise could be of great value to fellow members. I have experience working in a myriad of food and hospitality fields where I provided technical guidance to develop a culture of communication results within the organizations. In these positions, I contributed to enhance the impact of their work - whether it was raising awareness on food security issues or improving their revenue sales at restaurants - using multiple original forms of outreach in the areas of social media marketing, advocacy campaigns, media outreach, distance-learning workshops, event planning, and other state-of-the-art communications tools. I believe that my academic background and my work experience have provided me with a holistic approach to innovation in the food and hospitality realm as well as with communication strategy development. I am certain that this unique set of abilities will be a great asset to this organization." Committee preferences inlcude PR-communications.
Micheline Mendelsohn Luhn brings her unparalleled marketing and communications expertise to the Sunnyside Restaurant Group. Her education in journalism and Master's degree in International Relations from The University of Chicago prepared her to launch Good Stuff Eatery into the limelight with her public relations and social media plans. She continued that success with the opening of We, The Pizza and Santa Rosa Taqueria, both fast casual brands. Micheline plays a major role in the expansion of these brands across the globe. She serves on the Board of Directors for DC Central Kitchen.
"I'd like to interact with other women in my field and be able to help and learn from women leaders in my industry. I have a deep passion for philanthropic work through the various organizations we support in our restaurants and my membership with DC Central Kitchen - I would like to expand that work. Most importantly I think bringing a group of women with shared interests is the key to personal and business success. As my company grows I'd like to take advantage of this opportunity through an organization that is specific to the hospitality industry and where I can create meaningful relationships. My knowledge in public relations and events management in Washington, DC is vast. I've worked in political communications on Capitol Hill and then made the switch to the restaurant industry, with my family. I've also been at the helm of developing and maintaining three very successful (knock on wood) restaurant concepts and managing public relations and careers of some well known DC Chefs. In the last several years we have begun to franchise locally and overseas, this was a huge learning process and we continue to grow as a franchising company."
Patty Collette is an award-winning, blue-ribbon pastry chef, with awards for both presentation and taste. Her cakes have been featured on CNN, Oprah and Entertainment Tonight. A few of her clients include Vice President Al Gore, Sharon Rockefeller, Barbara Streisand, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, Alan Greenspan, Steve Case, Cokie Roberts, and the Smithsonian Institution with five exhibit openings.
"I admire and respect the members I have met and the mission of promoting women in the cuisine and culinary arts industry. I am a firm believer that women need to support each other and lend help, in whatever form, when needed. I am a very effective networker and attend numerous special events and restaurant to openings and meetings in the DC area. I can spread the word and mission and encourage others to support these events. I want to share knowledge of pastry and decorating techniques and have taught numerous classes at several locations." Committee preferences include educational programs and fundraising.
As the Curator of Food History at the NMAH, Paula Johnson conducts research, collects objects and documents, and has curated many exhibitions, including "Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian" and "FOOD: Transforming the American Table." She heads the museum's food history research and collecting initiatives and works with an interdisciplinary team to develop the annual Food History Weekend and many other public programs relating to the history of food and its production, distribution, preparation, and consumption in the U.S.
"As a public historian and curator, I am committed to conducting professional research, building collections of significant artifacts and documents, and presenting aspects of American history through exhibitions and programs for the benefit of a broad and diverse public. Perhaps one of the professional experiences that has distinguished me in the field is my role in collecting Julia Child's home kitchen and continuing to care for it and interpret it within the context of American culinary history as part of our food history work at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. I have a great deal of respect for the work of the organization and its members, and wish to contribute to its continued success. I believe I can contribute most to LDEI's educational and outreach goals. I have participated in two conferences-2016 and 2018-and presented remarks as part of a panel at the 2016 meeting." Committee preferences include educational programs and scholarships-mentoring.
Featured in Forbes and the Washington Post, Tambra Raye Stevenson is a sought after speaker, author and founder/CEO of WANDA. She has spoken internationally on preserving African food ways and the role of woman and girls in the food sector in Europe, Africa, and at the World Bank, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Library of Congress, African Union. She holds degrees in nutrition and health communication from Tufts and Oklahoma State.
"Now more than ever, the support of sisterhood in the food sector and being of service to the next generation is my life's mission; Les Dames d'Escoffier provides the community of supportive woman and opportunity to celebrate and promote cuisine as art, diplomacy and community building tool. Lastly have the pleasure to meet dynamic women of LDEI from Chef Carla Hall, Patti Jinich, Drew Faulkner, and Nancie McDermott and reading the words of Edna Lewis also solidified my desire to become a member. My transferable talents to support the chapter range from program development, procurement, communications to strategic partnerships along with resource development." Committee preferences include fundraising and grants.
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.