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May 17, 2017
Dear Sister Dames,

The timing could not have been better for our chapter to gather for our Spring General Membership Meeting at Restaurant Nora. We viewed a tribute to Nora Pouillon produced for the James Beard Awards where she was honored with its Lifetime Achievement Award; introduced our dynamic group of new members, and shared a memorable meal with friends. All making our gathering extra special.

Please join me in welcoming our new Dames: Wendy Brazil,  Edie Burns, Sheila Crye, Sophia Maroon, Katherine Miller, Louise Nielsen, Chris Ricchi, Carole Sugarman, Monica Thomas, and Diane Welland all inducted on May 6. 
Click here to read their bio and make sure to take time to welcome them to our chapter.

Many thanks to Drew Faulkner and her board nominating committee for putting together the slate of officer's for the 2017-18 board. The single slate was ratified by the membership and our new board of directors will take office in July 2017. Take a minute to congratulate:
Janet Yu, President; Julia Rutland, 1st VP; Bonnie Benwick, 2nd VP Programs; Eileen Dykes, Treasurer; Kirsten Hartke, Communications Secretary; Suzanne DeGalan, Corresponding Secretary; Directors: Alison Ricketts, Polly Wiedmaier, Summer Whitford and Laurie Bell. Alternate: Susan Lutz. I will stay on as past president and am so looking forward to working with these women.

Fantastic programs took place last week. All were sold out and I am so appreciative of the Dames who helped to make this happen. A conversation between Bonnie Benwick and Joan Nathan kept a roomful of guests at the Israeli Embassy fascinated as they discussed Joan's new book, King Solomon's Table and the History of Jewish Cuisine.  Joan Bacharach and CiCi Williamson led a large group, while showered with liquid sunshine, on an incredible journey through Mt. Vernon and Katherine Newell Smith with her client, Choolaah Indian BBQ,  hosted a tasty and educational morning on spice blending at the restaurant in Virginia's Mosaic district.
As always, it is an honor and a privilege to serve as your president. Any concerns, questions or comments, please email me or call at 410-903-2682.

Ann Stratte
Les Dames d'Escoffier International, Washington, D.C., Chapter
Secretary, LDEI

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)
La Cocina VA and Community Bridges in Silver Spring are this year's grants recipients of $1000 each.
The grants committee received seven applications in its 2016-2017 cycle for review and consideration. 
Of prime importance to the committee was the relevance of the grant applicant's program in relation to our LDE-DC mission: to help support women to succeed in the food, beverage, hospitality and related industries.  After vetting and due diligence which included site visits to grant applicant finalists, the committee proposed awarding $1,000 each to:

La Cocina VA's mission is to use the power of food as an agent of social and economic change to generate workforce and economic development in the Washington, D.C. metro area. La Cocina VA's strategic goals are: to train, certify and place unemployed low-income women in meaningful jobs in the food service industry; to improve their clients'  English skills and to build a stronger community that supports women to become self-sufficient and financially independent.
La Cocina creates careers by offering vocational and technical education to underserved immigrant communities through a 17-week culinary arts job training program; vocational English instruction; life skills development; job readiness training; paid internship; job placement assistance; wrap around services and highly valued culinary and food safety certifications from Northern Virginia Community College and the National Restaurant Association. La Cocina generates new job opportunities for low-income immigrant women.
Community Bridges Girls Program in Silver Spring, Maryland helps connect young women with school, family and community relationships that improve and build character and encourage positive life choices.  CB serves girls ages 9-18 who display an array of ethnic and religious backgrounds - 60% Latina, 30% African and/or Caribbean, and 10% including black, white, Asian and/or multi-racial. Eighty+ percent of CB girls are first-generation and more than 90% qualify for free or reduced price meals.
A critical element of its work is the Mentors Program that matches each CB high school girl with an adult mentor to help them with career readiness and to explore post-secondary education and workforce opportunities. Many CB girls have asked to explore the hospitality and culinary industries as a career path.  
The board approved the grant committee's request to increase grants funding to $10,000 for the 2017-18 fiscal year.  In preparation, the grants committee will further develop its grant application and review process over the coming months. 

The committee comprises seven members: Jessica Botta, Rose Clifford, Theresa Morrison, Kate Jansen, Nona Nielsen-Parker, Drew Faulkner and Ann Stratte 
Spring General Membership Meeting
Congratulations and welcome to our new members who were inducted on Saturday, May 6 at Restaurant Nora during our Spring General Membership Meeting: Wendy Bazil, Edie Burns, Sheila Crye, Sophia Maroon, Katherine Miller, Louise Nielsen, Chris Ricchi, Carole Sugarman, Monica Thomas, and Diane Welland. 

l-r Sheila  Crye, Diane Welland, Sophia Maroon, Carole Sugarman, Christina Ricchi, Monica Thomas, Katherine Miller (not pictured: Wendy Bazil, Edie Burns)

Nora Pouillon and Ann Stratte enjoy the tribute to Nora.

Meeting in session at Nora's beautiful main dining room.

Earth Day Network Gala
Nora Pouillon was awarded the 2017 Women and the Green Economy (WAGE) ® Leadership Award on May 9, by Earth Day Network during its 2017 Climate Leadership Gala at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. The 2017 Gala brought over 350 leaders of industry, government and the NGO community to celebrate achievements and lead the path to a post-carbon future. The WAGE award is in recognition of Nora's leadership in promoting healthy sustainable food and lifestyles. 

l-r: Ann Stratte, Teddy McBay, Nora Pouillon, Ann Yonkers, Nancy Roll, Mary Frances Koltes, Lizette Coro. not pictured, Amanda Manheim

Mount Vernon: George and Martha Washington's Bountiful Gardens and Table
Slogging through puddles and an almost-constant downpour 62 attendees were still in good spirits on Thursday, May 11.  Joan Bacharach, Senior Curator for the National Park Service, arranged the curator talks. Co-organizer CiCi Williamson said, "When Joan and I planned this tour several months ago, we never thought about adding an Ark-building contest, but today it seemed like we could have used some flotation devices."

Archeologist Luke Pecoraro and Assistant curator Jessie McCloud led indoor museum tours focused on how the First Family prepared served its food and the exhibit, "Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington's Mount Vernon."  Next, horticulturalist Dean Norton toured the group through the lower and upper gardens where the Washington's grew their food,  the over-250 year old trees and shrubbery planted by the Washington's, and the greenhouse. After free time touring the mansion, the group dined at the Mount Vernon Inn before relocating to George Washington's Grist Mill and Distillery three miles away. With the rains overflowing the mill race, full operation of the mill wasn't possible, but the group toured several floors of the gristmill and learned how grains became flour, cornmeal, and grits. In the Distillery, Manager of Historic Trades, Sam Murphy, held a rye whiskey tasting and explained the types distilled in George Washington's time.    

 Joan Bacharach with curators Robert H. Smith and Susan Schoelwer.

Lower Gardens at Mount Vernon.

Horticulturist Dean Norton.

Sam Murphy holds a rye whiskey tasting.
(Photos by CiCi Williamson)

Choolaah Indian BBQ in Virginia's Mosaic District 
Dames and friends-of-Dames learned more about spices at the new, modern, fast, casual Indian eatery on May 13. Participants were greeted with mango lassi and chai beverages before they took a spice quiz to identify 20 whole or powdered spices. Prizes were awarded for the highest scores. Choolaah's co- Founder and Co-Ceo Raji Sankar and its Managing Partner Thomas McNulty welcomed the group and introduced Choolaah's Director of R&D and Product Development Simran Sethi. Ms. Sethi took the group on a journey of spice history, tastes and aromas and explained the basics of blending spices. The group adjourned to mix up their own garam masalas, tasting along the way. A naan making demonstration followed. After some intense instruction, a few brave participants risked their arms practicing the art of properly slapping naan dough onto the interior walls of the tandoor. The results were delicious! Lunch followed. YUM!   

Simran Sethi presenting "Speaking of Spices."

Indian spice selection for the blending exercise.

 Dames and friends taking the spice quiz.

 Mixing garam masala.

Nongkran Daks slapping naan onto the tandoor oven.



CiCi Williamson will give a talk on "Downton Abbey" to the St. Louis Chapter on June 7 at a tea room built in 1921. After reading in the LDEI Quarterly about LDE-DC's program on the subject, LDE-St. Louis asked CiCi to present her talk there. 

James Beard Awards Gala, May 7, 2017 Chicago.
Congratulations Amy Brandwein and Nora Pouillon!

Finalist for best Mid-Atlantic Chief nominee Amy Brandwein and Cindy Wolf (left to right).

Linda Roth, Ann Stratte,  Ann Yonkers and James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Awardee Nora Pouillon.


DATE: Saturday, May 20, 2017
TIME: 11 a.m. to  1:30 p.m.
PLACE:  Atwater's, 2905 Whittington Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230
PARKING: The BK is located just off Route 95, south of the inner harbor. there is plenty of free parking.

Debra Moser and her husband, Mitch Berliner, will
host a visit to MeatCrafters, the only U.S.D.A.-licensed
facility to cure meats in Metro-D.C. and Maryland.
Learn what "curing" means and how MeatCrafters created its
unique Skinny Salami line (with plans for national distribution). End with a tasting of
MeatCrafter salamis, its Skinny Salami lines, and duck breast prosciutto.  All of their products may be purchased to take home. and
DATE: Thursday, June 15, 2017
TIME: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: MeatCrafters, 3900 Ironwood Place, Landover, MD 20785. Tel.  (202) 730-2500
PRICE: $25 Dames only, 100% is tax deductible. 50% will go to the n
on-profit organization Manna and 50% will go to LDE-DC scholarships and grants.
RESERVATIONS: Click here to buy your ticket on Eventbrite! Limited to 12 Dames.  Password is salami  (all lower case)
PARKING: Plenty of free parking
ACCESSIBILITY: Five steps into the building; no ramp.
NOTE: Wear flat shoes; no heels

More Moorenko's Summer Ice Cream Tours with Susan Soorenko in the works!

DATE: Saturday, June 3
PLACE: Eden Center, 6751 Wilson Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22044
RSVP:  More details coming soon

Sunday, June 4, 2017, 5:00 p.m. Sixth Annual Sunday Supper at Union Market: Flavors of America,  Dock 5,  1309 5th ST NE Washington, DC  in support of the James Beard Foundation's Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. Reception and dinner:  JBF member $200, non-member $250.  Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, is among the featured chefs. Click here  for ticket information.

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
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


 Green Tables: 

Susan Lutz 


Laurie Bell

Global Culinary Initiatives:

Amy Riolo 

Public Relations:


 Development and Philanthropy:

Susan James




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, Polly Wiedmaier, 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, 2017. 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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