Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter awards over $25,000 in educational scholarships, bursaries and work experiences to deserving women
Vancouver: After a year of fundraising, an intensive search and rigorous application process, 28 women from across British Columbia and beyond, both at the beginning of their careers and at a turning point or development stage in a mature career, have been awarded Les Dames d’Escoffier scholarships to advance and enhance their careers in culinary, hospitality, business, wine and other arts of the table.
With over $25,000 in funds raised by chapter events, as well as programs generously sponsored by Cacao Barry;
Chef John Bishop (Bishop’s); The Vancouver Pastry Training Centre; Pacific International Culinary Association (PICA); Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver (NWCAV) and Two Rivers Specialty Meats, this annual event is Canada’s most generous culinary scholarship program exclusively given out to women.
From the famed Cordon Bleu in Paris and Culinary Institute of America, New York, to cheese making in England and wine making in the Okanagan, past recipients have used the scholarships to advance their careers to great heights.
This year culinary recipients will attend Vancouver Community College; Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT); Vancouver Island University; Académie du Chocolat/Chocolate Academy, Montreal; Camosun College and the Valrhona Pastry School in Brooklyn, NY. Educational programs include a Biodynamic Farming program and New York’s Columbia University, while fine beverage students will attend Treve Ring and Sharon McLeans’ Cru Consultancy – Wine Scholar Guild; WSET London; the Wine College at The Art Institute of Vancouver; Rhys Penders’ Wine Plus+; James Cluers’ Fine Vintage Ltd. and the Specialty Coffee Association, as well as PICA, NWCAV and the inaugural Service Excellence Scholarship “In Honour of Chef Tina Fineza”, a Vancouver chef who lost her battle with breast cancer early in 2016. This scholarship is co-sponsored by Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter and Two Rivers Specialty Meats, providing an opportunity to learn more about the humane treatment of animals and the sourcing of local, sustainable ingredients.
On Monday, April 3rd in Vancouver, Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter Co-Presidents, Annette Rawlinson and Karen Dar Woon, gathered the 2017 scholarship recipients, along with the Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter member “Dames”, at Savoury Chef Foods for an introduction and celebration of these deserving women and announced the chapter’s record amount of over $25,000 and 30 scholarships being awarded to twenty-eight worthy recipients.
In addition to tuition costs and work experience, winners are also paired with a Les Dames member, who will provide advice and mentorship to the recipient throughout the year. Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter is committed to the advancement of women in careers related to food and beverage and this additional support is believed to provide greater success to the scholarship recipients and their contributions within the industry.
Said Liliya Zhekova, who will be attending Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) this spring, taking the Baking & Pastry Arts Diploma Program, “this is an opportunity for me to change my life and I never could have done it without financial help. Thank you so much to Les Dames, and to PICA for their support as well.”
About Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter
Founded in New York in 1973 by Carol Brock, then Food Editor at the New York Daily News, Les Dames d’Escoffier International is now composed of over 2,200 members in 38 chapters in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico. Members, by invitation only, are highly diversified and reflect the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality.
The BC Chapter was founded in 1992 and continues the organizations’ mandate of promoting an understanding and appreciation of food, fine beverage and hospitality; improvements in supply, preparation and service in these areas, and to promote the education and advancement of women in careers related to these disciplines through advice, mentorship and financial assistance.
Using funds raised at public events, such as the yearly Gala (honouring culinary icons) and Summerdine (a concurrent BC dinner party), Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter are able to offer scholarships to women who want to advance in their culinary and hospitality fields and support “green table” farm-to-fork initiatives such as Growing Chefs and Project CHEF, which teach school children about the importance of fresh, nutritious food.
To learn more about the Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter please visit us at Les Dames, BC Chapter and to view a bit about the history of the association please visit Les Dames d’Escoffier International where you will find video, images and bio’s on such illustrious members as Julia Child.