Les Dames d’Escoffier

Monterey Bay Chapter

Laurence Escoffier Memorial Scholarship Program

Mary Chamberlin Scholarship Program

Our Mission

The Mission of Les Dames d’Escoffier, International is to inspire, advance and support women in food, beverage and hospitality to achieve excellence in leadership and philanthropy.

Our Vision

Our Vision is to be the preeminent global professional association for women leaders in the food, beverage and hospitality industries.

Purpose of LDEI, Monterey Bay Chapter Scholarship

The purpose of the LDEI, Monterey Chapter Scholarship program is to promote the Mission and Vision of this organization by encouraging women students of any age to enter the fields of food, hospitality and beverage and to assist them in furthering their professional education in these industries.

History of LDEI

Les Dames d’Escoffier, is named after Auguste Escoffier (1846 –1935), known as The Chef of Kings and The King of Chefs. He was the most innovative chef in history, one whose philosophy, accomplishments and philanthropic deeds serve as both model and inspiration to culinary professionals today.

In 1936, a group of epicures, many of them former pupils of Auguste Escoffier, gathered at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City to form a men-only organization of dedicated gastronomes called Les Amis d’Escoffier Society of New York, Inc.

In the early 1970s, Carol Brock, the then Sunday food editor at the New York Daily News set about to create the first organization for professional culinary women. She was inspired by the Boston Les Dames des Amis d’Escoffier, a dining and philanthropic society formed in 1959 in response to the all-male Les Amis d’Escoffier. Carol pulled together a task force consisting of five other influential women food professionals: Mary Lyons, marketing and communications director, Foods and Wines from France; Elayne Kleeman, creator of the first U.S. wine auction at Heublein; Helene Bennett, executive director, Wine and Food Society; Beverly Barbour, an international education, marketing and public relations professional, and Ella Elvin, food editor of the New York Daily News.

In 1973, Brock received a charter from the New York chapter of Les Amis d’Escoffier Society to form a women’s chapter.  During the next three years, the task force contacted other like-minded, professional women, working quietly but steadily behind the scenes, to overcome the enormous gender barriers in their industry. They decided that Les Dames d’Escoffier, New York (LDNY) would be a membership-by-invitation, philanthropic, all-professional organization with a goal of inducting 100 leading women members in the culinary field to serve as role models and mentors.  By 1985 five chapters had been formed and the presidents of those chapters, New York 1976, Washington, D.C. 1981, Chicago 1982, Dallas 1984 and Philadelphia 1984, met in New York to form Les Dames d’Escoffier, International.

Today the organization has grown to more to more than 2,300 members in 44 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Its grants, scholarships, mentoring and community service programs continue to be the LDEI’s hallmarks. Through chapter fundraising efforts, nearly $ 4 million has been awarded in grants, scholarships and other philanthropic endeavors.  Countless volunteer hours have been logged on behalf of chapter communities.

LDEI, Monterey Bay Chapter

The Monterey Bay Chapter was founded in 2007 by Mary Chamberlin, the fabulous, energetic caterer to the Monterey Bay Peninsula.  The chapter quickly became an active part of the Monterey Bay community, holding  important and successful fundraisers to establish a scholarship program to encourage women of all ages to pursue education in the fields of culinary, beverage and hospitality. 

Scholarship Program

In this scholarship packet there are more details about the scholarship(s) that we are offering and the application form.  The date, amount and number of scholarships to be awarded is depended upon the quality and quantity of applicants received each year.  Please be aware that, as required by our non-profit tax status, we will only disburse funds directly to the institution you are attending.  Send your completed and signed application along with your essay, resume, references and proof of academic performance to:

Susan Nichols Walkup

LDEI, Monterey Bay Scholarship Chair