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May 16, 2018
Dear Sister Dames,

I hope all of you who are moms had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Our Spring General Membership Meeting takes place Saturday, June 2 at Ris LaCoste's, RIS Restaurant, 2275 L Street, NW., Washington DC  20037.  Come and welcome our new Dames, meet our new board members and catch up with everyone.  Invites should be in your email inboxes, so please sign up early with your meal preferences. If you cannot attend, please get a proxy.

The board meeting will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Meeting registration begins at 11:30 a.m., where you can enjoy a glass of something sparkly and some light treats.  Our business meeting starts at 12:00 noon and the luncheon follows at 1:30 p.m. 
A special thank you to Jessica Botta and our grants committee for their work to screen and recommend our grant recipients.  We will award four grants totaling $8500 this year.

It is time to submit your annual Les Dames d'Escoffier dues for the 2018-19 membership year which begins July 1. The deadline for payment is June 30, 2018. Dues received after this date will be charged a $25.00 late fee, no exceptions. Members whose dues are not received by July 31, 2018 will not be eligible for membership in 2018-19, will be removed from LDEI and directories/email lists and will need to reapply for membership.  See info below on Chapter dues.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at before the designated deadline.

Thank you for all you do to help achieve LDE-DC's mission.
Please feel free to contact me with any suggestions or concerns.

Tel: (301) 537-8822
Yours truly,
Janet Yu

Les Dames d'Escoffier International, Washington, D.C. Chapter

You still have time to submit your annual Les Dames d'Escoffier dues, penalty free,  for the 2018-19 membership year which begins July 1. The deadline for payment is June 30, 2018. Dues received after this date will be charged a $25.00 late fee, no exceptions. Members whose dues are not received by July 31, 2018 will not be eligible for membership in 2018-19, will be removed from LDEI and Chapter directories/email lists, and will need to reapply for membership.

The TOTAL dues payment is $185.00 of which $100.00 is our Washington, D.C., Chapter Dues and $85.00 goes to Les Dames d'Escoffier International Dues. Membership benefits include the Quarterly magazine, bimonthly e-newsletter, webinars, interactive LDEI website, affinity partner programs and our annual conference.

 You can pay your dues two ways:

1) Eventbrite to pay on-line with a credit card.   
Click here to pay on-line using Eventbrite.
Press the green "tickets" button to begin the process.
Please use the password: lesdames2018

2)  print out and complete the Membership Dues Form, click here for the form, and send with your personal or company check, payable to  Les Dames D'Escoffier,  to:  Eileen Dykes, LDE-DC Treasurer
 14636 Pommel Drive
  Rockville, MD 20850
If you have any questions or concerns please contact Janet Yu at  before the designated deadline.

New Member Gift Bags: Highlight your business or simply congratulate our upcoming new members by donating a product or gift card to the new member gift bag. Please contact Julia Rutland at 

DATE:  Saturday, June 2
PLACE: RIS Restaurant, 2275 L Street, NW., Washington DC  20037. 
TIMES: Board Meeting: 10:30 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.
              General Membership Registration: 11:30 a.m. (with 
     light appetizers and a welcome glass of bubbly)
              General Membership Meeting: 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. 
              Luncheon: 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. 
PRICE and MENU:  Meeting is Free, Lunch is $55 (all inclusive of gratuity). Iced or hot tea courtesy of Laurie BellGreat Falls Tea Garden. All  other beverages, Dutch treat.
Please choose either Chicken or Vegetarian Entree. Menu below. 
RSVP:  Click here  to register for the MEETING.   
             Click here to register for the LUNCH (Chicken Entree)
             Click here to register for the LUNCH (Vegetarian Entree)


Spinach, Feta and Strawberries with Almonds, Cucumbers
and Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Entrée  (choice of)
Chicken Milanese on Roasted Potatoes with Grilled Asparagus, Prosciutto, Parmesan, Aioli and Tomato Vinaigrette; 
Crown of Cauliflower with Spaghetti Squash, Pine Nuts, Lentils,
Yogurt and Pomegranate

Lemon Meringue Pie

Hot Tea and Iced Teas
(teas compliments of Laurie Bell of Great Falls Tea Garden)

PROXY:  Attendance, in person, at one General Membership Meeting per fiscal year is a requirement of membership. If you cannot attend the Spring General Membership Meeting, you may ask an attending Dame to serve as your proxy.  You will find our proxy form at 

Please email or send the proxy to Robin Kurtzman BEFORE the Spring General Membership Meeting to 
The instructions are on the form. 
With 77 ballots cast, 76 approved the slate as presented and 1 abstained, for 52% of our membership participating. We thank you for your support.

Please welcome your new 2018-19 board of directors. They will be introduced during our June 2 meeting and take office on July 1.

Janet Yu, President
Janet will serve a second year as president of LDE-DC. Janet  has been the owner and operator of Hollywood East Café since 1996. She serves on the executive committee of the Committee for Montgomery, an advocacy group in Annapolis working on issues of importance to Montgomery County and the State of Maryland and is on the board of directors of One Montgomery Green. Janet looks forward to engaging with members to bring out Dames talents as we work to educate the public and ourselves.
Stacey Adams, First Vice President
As first vice presidentStacey plans to work to increase member engagement by providing opportunities to network, learn and volunteer.  She will work with local leaders to help identify strong candidates for membership and focus on post-induction mentoring to ensure that new members have the support they need to get involved on committees whose work reflect their interests.  She has served on the board in various capacities over the past several years. She worked with the board to re-design Entre News; develop a process to keep an accurate email database for our members and non-members and ensure that program information and chapter news reached the right individuals in a timely manner. She also was the administrator of our chapter's Facebook page. This familiarity with our chapter's operations should prove helpful in her new capacity.
Eileen Dykes, Second Vice President, Education and Community Outreach
Eileen spent this past year as financial officer for LDE-DC and the two previous years as second vice president in charge of education and community outreach.  She has co-chaired Women in Gastronomy for the past four symposiums and plans to do so again in 2020. She understands the importance of programs as a means of outreach and education in our region as well as a revenue source for the chapter.
Julia Rutland, Recording Secretary
Julia most recently served as first vice president during the 2017-18 fiscal year. Julia is a D.C. area-based freelance writer, recipe developer, author, and food stylist. Before starting her own business, Julia served as senior editor at Coastal Living magazine, in the test kitchens with Southern Living and as a sales and marketing consultant for Wimmer Cookbooks. Her books include recently published The Campfire Foodie Cookbook
Claire Gill, Financial Officer
Claire is the chief marketing officer for the National Osteoporosis Foundation with 20+ years of experience creating successful communications programs for Fortune 500 companies in food and beverage, consumer packaged goods and financial services as well as national nonprofit organizations. Claire was a partner at Hunter Public Relations in New York for 13 years where she was a leader in its food and beverage practice. She joined the National Osteoporosis Foundation in 2013 to lead its consumer and corporate marketing efforts. She promotes the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, including the importance of good nutrition and a healthy diet in developing peak bone mass and maintaining good bone health throughout the lifespan. Claire want to bring her skills to work with the board to ensure that our chapter is financially healthy and able to meet its mission through programs and grants that support women in our fields. 
Laurie Bell, Director - co-chair WIG Symposium and program committee
Laurie is in her second year of a two-year term as a director with a focus on programs. She co-chaired the Women in Gastronomy with Eileen Dykes in 2018 and plans a repeat performance in 2020. Prior to becoming a director, she was LDE-DC's second vice president in charge of education and  community outreach. Laurie has enjoyed a 30-year career in various aspects of the culinary world including chef, educator and tea specialist. She looks forward to supporting our organization as a director.
Summer Whitford, Director - Public Relations
Summer will serve her second year of a two-year director term and continue to chair LDE-DC's public relations committee.  She looks forward to contributing to LDE-DC using her connections and experience in public education and community outreach  to publicize our activities and help our chapter reach deeper into the culinary world to attract accomplished, deserving women. 
Polly Wiedmaier,  Communications Secretary
Polly most recently served a two-year term as a director and chair of our social media committee. She brings a great deal of experience to the job. As chief communications officer for the RW Restaurant Group, she oversees all the social media accounts for their various restaurants. She offers her considerable expertise, with a broader mandate, to her new role with the chapter.
Ann Stratte, Director, Immediate Past President
Ann owns My Personal Chef, a catering company, in Annapolis, MD.  A graduate of Cordon Bleu, Paris, Ann owned a small catering business in Minneapolis for three years and then spent twenty-five years in the corporate food world. She was a member of the Atlanta chapter before joining LDE-DC in 2000. She was LDE-DC's president in 2015-2017, co-chaired the 2016 LDEI Annual conference in Washington, DC and has served in a number of positions on the LDE-DC and LDEI boards. She served as secretary of LDEI and is presently its first vice president.
Karen Lippold - chair, Dames Who Dine
Karen is the founder and owner of Gourmet by Karen - a catering company serving the Maryland-DC-Virginia area since 2005.  She has lived and worked extensively throughout Asia, Africa and Europe and specializes in cuisines from around the world.  A member of Les Dames d'Escoffier since 2011, she is excited to serve as a director on the board.  Having attended many Dames Who Dine dinners over the years and being very passionate about fostering relationships among members, she is looking forward to chairing the Dames who Dine program.   
Susan Lutz, Director - chair, Green Tables
Susan is enthusiastic about being actively involved on our board and learning more about the inner working of our chapter as she serves a two-year term as director. She was previously an alternate director and chairs our Green Tables committee. She is a former television producer and lists multi-tasking as one of her strong suits.
Lori Gardner - Alternate Director - chair, Member Engagement
Lori is the founder of Been There, Eaten That, a restaurant review blog established in 2010, that highlights restaurants in the DC area.  She is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Food Experience. Lori has been a membership and marketing professional for 40 years. She is the Senior Director, Communications and Marketing for the Association of Community Cancer Centers, which includes oversight of the membership department.  Throughout her career she has led creative efforts to recruit and retain members, with a focus on membership engagement and new member outreach.  She would like to bring this expertise to the chapter to increase involvement and participation, particularly among new members. 
An important part of our chapter's mission is to support women throughout our industries and especially those in need.  Our grant recipients this year represent a cross-section of worthy organizations that warrant our assistance. We appreciate the fine work that Jessica Botta and committee members Rose CliffordDrew FaulknerAnn StratteNona Nielsen-Parker,  Kate Jansen, and Janet Yu did to select this worthy group of recipients.  

Crossroads Community Food Network's Young Women's Summer Cooking Club - $500
Crossroads' Young Women's Cooking Club strives to connect at-risk, teen-aged women in the Takoma/Langley communities to healthy eating information and access, culinary skills, and unique farm to table experiences to further strengthen their simultaneous participation as Crossroads' volunteers. Our grant funds will cover ingredient and supply costs for cooking classes, as well as scholarship funds for ServSafe Food Handler certification. Upon completion of the program, each participant will also receive a gift certificate in the form of produce vouchers for the market.

Campus Kitchens Project at University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Rockville Campus - $2,000
The Campus Kitchens Project is a service program for students in UMES's Hospitality and Tourism Management program that delivers fresh, healthy, kid-friendly family-sized meals to families experiencing homelessness. CKP collaborates with The Dwelling Place, a supportive housing agency, Wells Robinson, a sober living community, and Nourish Now, a food rescue organization. Our grant will be used to support ingredient and meal production costs, as well as leadership training opportunities for the volunteer students.
Eco City Farms - $5,000
Eco City is a nonprofit urban agriculture and educational center located in Prince Georges County, Maryland that serves the predominately low income and working-class communities of color adjacent to their two farms in Bladensburg and Edmonston.  Eco City experienced significant damage to its growing spaces this winter from the record cold weather and wind storms that reduced their capacity to grow and distribute healthy food and to protect new seedlings from cold. Our grant will be used to repair, replace, and reinforce all growing spaces and structures.
WANDA (Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture) - $1,000
WANDA empowers women and girls of African descent in food, agriculture and nutrition through mentorship, service leadership, and training opportunities. Our grant will support the development of programming for WANDA's Sisterhood of the Soil retreat at Black Dirt Farm in Calvert County and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Museum, as well as Little Wanda Garden Day in Ward 8.  

You will have a chance to meet our eleven new sister Dames at the General Membership Meeting on June 2 at Ris restaurant. While our bylaws stipulate a maximum of eight new members each year, the board has the option to waive that maximum if it is presented with good reasoning. As you can read in the bios of the impressive group of women listed below, the board did not need much persuasion from First VP, Membership, Julia Rutland. We are delighted to welcome them and get them involved in our chapter activities and mission.

Deb Lindsey
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.
Erin Reed
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.
Joy Crump
Joy Crump, a Pennsylvania native, is known for crafting the seasons' best locally-sourced ingredients into comfortably refined dishes for her restaurants' patrons. A culinary graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Crump honed her skills alongside Atlanta farm-to-table pioneers, Chef Michael Tuohy and Chef Kevin Gillepsie. In 2011, Crump opened her first restaurant, FOODE in Historic Downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia with business partner Beth Black. In 2014, the duo opened their second restaurant, the breakfast-centric Mercantile, also in Fredericksburg. And in May of 2017 they added microbrewery 6 Bears & A Goat to their restaurant group. Crump has had the honor of cooking at the James Beard House in 2016 and 2017, and is actively involved in the James Beard Foundation's Impact Programs for Food Policy, Chef Advocacy, and Change.
"I have been a longtime advocate of the power of connectivity in the culinary community. The grounds that we, as chefs, can gain when we connect with each other is extraordinary. I believe it is my responsibility as an active member of the culinary community to not only continue to hone my own skills and craft, but to begin the never-ending task of giving back. The best way to do that is to mentor those coming into the field behind me, so that my mistakes become their lessons and together we build a stronger community of chefs, women, business owners and leaders. Les Dames' reputation to mentor is second to none. An organization steeped not just in tradition but in driving the evolution of this industry is one that is very attractive to me and it would be my honor to become a member. I have worked very hard to establish and maintain a reputation of community works in my neighborhood, in my region and in the national community of culinary professionals. I believe I can utilize the lessons I have learned through the James Beard Foundation's Impact Programs as well as my connections to national and regional events and professionals to support the agenda of LDEI-DC. Events like Charleston Wine and Food, Atlanta Food & Wine Advisory Board, the Kentucky Derby, JBF Impact Programs for Policy and Change, etc. make a big impact in the South East Region and beyond. I would continue to use my voice to further LDEI-DC's mission to educate, inform and mentor our fellow community members." Committee preferences include educational programs, scholarships/mentoring, Leadership/strategic planning, and newsletter.
Katherine Mardirosian
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
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 Valdez
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
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
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.
Paula Johnson
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.
Tambra Stevenson
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, Pati 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.
Sophia Maroon's Dress It up Dressing's new Sesame Tahini won a Silver Sofi Award  for Best Salad Dressing at the Specialty Food Association's spring gathering.  It also won a Good Food Award on January 19 in San Francisco so we're thrilled! The Sesame Tahini is one of three new dressings Dress  It Up Dressing launched this spring. The others, Ranch and Caesar, make up a line of seven.
Debra Moser and husband Mitch Berliner are proud to announce the newest Central Farm Market location at Westfield Montgomery. The market launched on May 5 will be open every Saturday from 9-1:30 from May-November. The market boasts over 45 vendors and artisan food producers along with distillery tastings, music and regular chef demos.
Julia Rutland's article on Skyline Drive appears in the May issue of Southern Living Magazine.
Susan Soorenko's Moorenko's Ice Cream is thrilled to announce the early June opening of its historic Ellicott City ice cream shop!  They are are hiring and looking for managers and scoopers. If interested, email 
Janet Yu was recognized as a Chinese-American community leader by the Montgomery County Council during Montgomery County's Asian American and Pacific Islander Month and presented with a proclamation in a special ceremony.

SPECIAL INVITATION FROM THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY courtesy of new Dame Paula Johnson,Curator, Division of Work and Industry
The Restaurant as Living Theater: The Inn at Little Washington's first 40 years
The Smithsonian Food History team at the National Museum of American History will present a truly unique evening exploring how The Inn at Little Washington has helped redefine local dining and regional cuisine. The night will start with a conversation between Patrick O'Connell, chef and creator of The Inn at Little Washington, Michael Kahn, creative director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Tom Sietsema, food critic for The Washington Post. After the talk, you will delight in a Virginia springtime-themed experience and custom tasting menu designed by Chef O'Connell and paired with wines from Barboursville and RdV Vineyards. Tickets are all-inclusive, covering the conversation, tasting and beverages. Full information is available here
DATE: Wednesday, May 23
TIME: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
PLACE:  National Museum of American History, Constitution Ave between 12th and 14th Streets NW
PRICE: Dames, $190 using discount promo code InnVIP. Non-Dames,  $225
Ann Evan's Welcome Lunch
On Thursday, May 3rd,  Drew Faulkner hosted a luncheon for Sacramento Chapter President Ann Evans who was in DC visiting with her daughter. 
In photo: Ann Evans, Anne Baneville, Sheila Crye, Gail Forman, Wendy Bazil. Not in picture, Drew Faulkner and Edee Hogan

LDE-DC Chef at JBF Awards
Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic finalist, Amy Brandwein, and her crew from Centrolina at the James Beard Awards on May 7.

Left to Right:  Caitlin Dysarthria, Angie Duran, Kristin Welch and Amy Brandwein
Picture by Linda Roth
Dining with the chefs - Susan Callahan addressing the audience at the April 30 Dining with the Chef event with her back-up group, students participating in the Campus Kitchen Project at UMDES


Spain and the Food of the Nuevo South Luncheon a Big Success
Sandra Gutierrez (NC) spoke to a sold-out crowd of 45 at Spain and the Food of Nuevo South" luncheon on Saturday, May 5 at Jaleo's Crystal City restaurant. Event chair CiCi Williamson gave some history of "Cinco de Mayo," and Second VP Bonnie Benwick introduced Sandra and announced that a Washington Post food section story about Sandra will appear in the May 9 edition.  Sandra shared how Spanish culinary influences made it possible for Latin and Southern foodways to meld. Using the ingredients in the tapas luncheon to illustrate, she shared how cooking techniques from the Old World merged with crops from our hemisphere to shape what we now recognize as Southern and Latin American foodways. Sandra autographed copies of her book, The New Southern-Latino Table.
Sandra also authored Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets,Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina; Empanadas:The Hand-Held Pies of Latin America and Beans and Field Peas, A Savor the South Cookbook.  A former food editor of the Cary (North Carolina) News, she won LDEI's 2017 M.F.K. Fisher Award grand prize of $1,000. 
Left to Right:  CiCi WilliamsonSandra Gutierrez (North Carolina), and Bonnie Benwick.


NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE: VIP Curator-led Tour of Foodways  Exhibit with Dutch-treat brunch following at the Sweet Home Café - TAKE TWO!!! 3  SPOTS LEFT!
Since the first trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture sold out so quickly and we had a 65 person waitlist, Joan Bacharach kindly arranged another tour on July 25.  Three spots left. Sign up now!
DATE:  July 25, 2018
TIME:  8:45 a.m.
PLACE: National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560
PRICE:  Members:   $10 (Tax deductible donation to the Les Dames Scholarship Fund); Non-Members: $15 (Tax deductible donation to the Les Dames Scholarship Fund)
RSVP:  Please contact Robin Kurtzman at for your ticket.


How to Log-in to Members only:
User ID: email address listed in LDEI database
Password:  If you have not logged in before, you will need to contact the LDEI office for your password, which you can change at any time. or 502-456-1851 x4
How to Log-in to the Les Dames DC Chapter website,
Password: ldedc2014 (for Members-only section)
LDE-DC Instagram               

Please add Instagram to your social media accounts @LesDamesDC


Editor's Note:  
ENTRE NEWS is published on the first and  third Wednesday of each month.  It is on hiatus during the month of August. Deadline for HURRAH! and other news is the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Please send a BRIEF paragraph with your professional and personal news that you would like your sister Dames to know about in HURRAH!

HURRAH! is not meant as an advertising opportunity for a cooking class or event, rather it offers a shout out to members for recent accomplishments and honors.   Please submit your HURRAH to in a succinct 75 words of less.
OF INTEREST offers Dames a chance to let their sister chapter members know about events they are involved in that might be of interest to a majority of the membership.  Its function is not to promote products, cooking classes, culinary trips, etc., rather to alert members to public programs that might be of professional interest, especially if Dames are featured.   We request OF INTEREST entries to be no longer than 150 words. Less is always better.
JOB OPPS can open Dames networks to employment opportunities.
Send information to Entre News Editor Katherine Newell Smith  
Thank you for you continued interest and participation.

Katherine Newell Smith
Founding Editor, Entre News  

In this Issue
Social Media Connections


Connect with Sister Dames

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

We need ALL members who have FB, Twitter and Instagram accounts to follow and actively re-tweet our members' tweets to spread the great news about our activities and programs!
Connect with Les Dames d'Escoffier International

Please share news, events and updates.  Join the LDEI members-only LinkedIn Group to stay connected with other Dames.

Like us on Facebook   View our profile on LinkedIn
Join a Committee....
You were invited to join Dames because of your talents and achievements and you promised to be part of our chapter's committee work; so, now it is time to
Get Involved!

Our committees offer the perfect opportunity to get to know your sister Dames, share your skills and to give back to the community through service.  Every committee needs dedicated participants. Please contact the committee chairs and offer your time and skills, now.



Jessica Botta



Alison Ricketts


 Green Tables: 

Susan Lutz



Bonnie Benwick


Global Culinary Initiatives:

Amy Riolo 


Public Relations:

Summer Whitford



Bette Alberts


Board Members

Katherine Newell Smith   
Financial Officer
Eileen Dykes   
Communications Officer
Kristen Hartke
Polly Wiedmaier (Social Media)
Summer Whitford (Public Relations)
Janet Cam (Development)
Laurie Bell (Programs)
Susan Lutz  (Green Tables)

Entre News Update:
Please submit your Entre News information in a brief, concise statement to Katherine Newell Smith at
Board Meeting Minutes
To view the latest approved board meeting minutes, go to and

click on the Members Only tab  and enter the password.  Click on  the dropdown menu for LDE-DC Board and  you will see a link to the board meeting minutes. During each monthly board meeting, the board approves the previous month's minutes and they are then posted to our website. 

Members-Only Section to our Website

It is easy to find chapter documents and resources, our event archives and past editions of Entre News.  


We now have a single password that all Dames must use to access the Members Only section of the website.  The password is ldedc2014.  Please do not share this password with anyone outside of the Chapter.


If you are having trouble logging into the website please contact our Communications Officer, Kristen Hartke, at  


Once you log in under Members Only, you will see a revised menu where you can find:

  • past and current Entre News issues posted under the Entre News Archives tab.
  • archives of past chapter activities in the LDE-DC Dame Only Events menu along with upcoming events.
  • helpful files including chapter letterhead, name tag template, LDEI logos and tax-exempt certificates under Documents and Forms.
  • our chapter's standing rules, bylaws and membership roster under Bylaws, Roster & Minutes.  
  • A roster of Dames that can be printed out.
Quick Links

Member Milestones - Share your professional news with Dames in all Chapters in our LDEI Quarterly.   Shout, don't whisper, about your accomplishments. We all want a chance to say "Bravo!"

Submit your news to: - Edited by - Edited by Dorothy Koteski (Phil)
LDEI Quarterly Deadlines:
The deadline for sending in Member Milestones and Chapter News for the FALL issue of the LDEI Quarterly is  August 1, 2018.
Archived Quarterly magazines 
are available online.  If you are not receiving hard copies of Quarterly, please check your online contact information at  If it is correct, please contact Greg Jewell to make sure you are on the mailing list.

Milestone Submission:
PROVIDE DAME'S NAME and CHAPTER. Submit up to 50 words about honors or important business-related activities to appear in the LDEI Quarterly. You may email a quality headshot to accompany your news. Press releases and cookbook covers are not accepted. Entries received after the deadline may appear in a following issue.
Quarterly Guidelines:
Photography/Images-Electronic images must be properly focused, in color with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (TIFF or JPEG). Cell phone photos are acceptable if they meet resolution requirements. Do not send photos taken off the internet or embedded with text in Word files or PDF files. Identify individuals in photos from left to right in the message of your email. Include photo credits, if required. CAPTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR PUBLICATION.
Les Dames d'Escoffier DC,, Washington, DC 20013-1617
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