Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY) recently celebrated a significant milestone at their annual LDNY Scholarship Awards ceremony held at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. The nonprofit organization, which supports women in the culinary, beverage, and hospitality industries, awarded 19 scholarships totaling over $80,000 to talented and ambitious recipients enrolled in accredited culinary and hospitality programs in New York and New Jersey.
LDNY’s President, Wanda Mann, emphasized the importance of empowering the next generation of women leaders by providing them with the financial resources needed to pursue their professional goals. Over the years, LDNY has played a crucial role in advancing women in the food and beverage industry, awarding over two million dollars in scholarships to more than a thousand recipients since its inception in 1977.
Ikimi Dubose-Woodson, co-founder and CEO of The Roots Fund, delivered a powerful keynote address, reflecting on the impact of LDNY’s contribution and the importance of scholarships in providing financial relief and a sense of community. She stressed that scholarship organizations often become the first mentors and networking connections for recipients, creating lasting connections within the industry.
Among the deserving recipients, Armita Jamshidi of Cornell University was awarded the prestigious 2023 L’Etoile Scholarship, recognizing her potential as a future star in the culinary world. Jamshidi was acknowledged for her nutraceutical food product, “SheBalls,” which is based on her Iranian grandmother’s recipe and helps relieve menstrual cramps.
Cassandra Coe, a student at the Culinary Institute of America, received the Tony May Scholarship, established in loving memory of Tony May, the renowned restaurateur and Italian cuisine authority. Although Coe is not of Italian heritage, her passion for Italian cuisine and desire to teach others about its depth and variety mirror May’s mission.
The scholarship recipients represented a diverse group of talented individuals from various culinary and hospitality programs, including Cornell University, Culinary Institute of America, Institute of Culinary Education, International Wine Center, and more. Each awardee demonstrated outstanding achievements and promising futures in their respective fields.
LDNY’s commitment to fostering future culinary leaders through scholarships has made a lasting impact on the industry. The scholarships not only provide financial support but also build a strong sense of community and mentorship, enabling recipients to thrive in their chosen professions.
With a legacy of over $2 million awarded since its establishment, LDNY remains dedicated to advancing and supporting women in the culinary, beverage, and hospitality industries through education, advocacy, and philanthropy. Their continued efforts ensure that aspiring women professionals have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and make a lasting impact in the food and beverage world.