Les Dames D’ Escoffier International Introduces New Orleans Chapter

NEW ORLEANS – Les Dames d’ Escoffier International (LDEI), an organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality professions, announced the addition of a new chapter in New Orleans.

         On Monday, Sept. 25, the LDEI Council of Delegates ratified the charter for New Orleans bringing the organization’s total membership to more than 2,300 and the total number of chapters to 40.

         According to LDEI president Stacy Zeigler, “This is a significant milestone for our organization. It shows the strength of our brand and of the women on the forefront of food, fine beverage and hospitality."

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         The New Orleans chapter currently has 19 founding members – from acclaimed chefs and restaurant owners to writers, nonprofit leaders and publicists.

         “The Crescent City has no shortage of incredible women in the industry who are making a difference each day through their many contributions,” said New Orleans Chapter president Stephanie Carter, editor of Eater NOLA. “We are thrilled to be part of such an influential organization as LDEI and look forward to upholding the mission of providing education opportunities for women and philanthropic support to the communities they serve.”

         Joining Carter on the New Orleans board are food writer Beth D'Addono (VP); executive director of John Besh Foundation and Aarón Sanchez Scholarship Fund, Caroline Rosen (VP); Chef/CEO of Locally Preserved, Emily Vanlandingham (treasurer); and director of communications for The Commander's Family of Restaurants, Sam Cusimano (secretary).

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         A full list of founding members includes:


• Allison Alsup                    Writer, teacher, designer

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• Lauren Busch                   Brustman Carrino, VP public relations

• Stephanie Carter              Eater NOLA

• Julie Cavignac                  Destination Kitchen & Simply Julie, owner

• Nina Compton                  Compère Lapin, chef/owner

• Sam Cusimano                 The Commander’s Family of Restaurants, director of communications

• Beth D’Addono                  Food writer

• Mani Dawes                       Tia Pol and Kenton's, owner

• Kristin Essig                       Coquette, chef/owner

• Kelly Fields                         Willa Jean, chef/partner

• Darla Fisackerly                   The Commander's Family of Restaurants, marketing manager

• Renee Kientz                       St. Tammany Tourist Commission, VP communications, marketing and PR

• Simone Rathle                     Simone Ink, president

• Anne Roderique-Jones        Freelance journalist

• Caroline Rosen                    John Besh Foundation/Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund, executive director

• Poppy Tooker                      Louisiana Eats!, executive producer/host

• Ann Tuennerman                 Tales of the Cocktail, founder

• Emily Vanlandingham          Locally Preserved, CEO/chef

• Liz Williams                         National Food & Beverage Foundation, president


         The Les Dames d’Escoffier organization takes its inspiration from Auguste Escoffier, a legendary chef and culinary innovator in his own time (1846-1935), as well as a philanthropist who marshaled his culinary resources and connections to do good things. It is believed that he was the first chef in the world to proactively enlist food and wine as fundraising vehicles.


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