By Dean Andy Gold
Les Dames d ‘Escoffier New York (LDNY) is an international organization of accomplished women professionals in the food, nutrition, wine, and hospitality industry. Each year LDNY’s annual scholarship program provides encouragement and support to some of the city’s most talented young women—tomorrow’s leaders in the industry.
In 2012, twenty-one enterprising women were awarded more than $60,000 in LDNY scholarships, and this year’s gala was no less impressive. After greeting many of the members and ICE students in attendance, I was told, “Sit close—you will be getting up very often.” They weren’t kidding. This year, ICE had so many scholarship recipients that I was called up 5 times to present awards to 7 ICE students.
Among the proud winners, first came the recipients of the ICE-sponsored scholarships: Yadira Jimenez, for the Pastry & Baking Arts program; Cecily McAndrews for the Culinary Arts program; Christina Mariani for the Culinary Management program and Valerie Beckford for the Hospitality Management program. Other student winners included Culinary Arts students Claire Velighan,(the Meryl Rosofsky “Sustainable Food, Sustainable Life” scholarship) and Jacqueline Ourman (the Melitta USA scholarship).
Further demonstrating the presence of the ICE community, LDNY shared an inspiring letter from one of last year’s scholarship winners, ICE Culinary Arts alumna Eliza Martin (who couldn’t be present as she was too busy preparing the beautiful hors d’ oeuvres for the elaborate reception).
As I was listening to Eliza’s letter, I spotted another ICE alum, Pastry Arts graduate Regina Anderson, speedily preparing the pastries that were flowing out of the kitchen. A freelance caterer currently pursuing a degree in holistic nutrition, Regina plans to integrate her culinary and nutrition training to further her career as a personal chef.
In addition to the many scholarships provided by LDNY, each winner is assigned a mentor, providing scholarship winners with additional support as they strive to advance in their chosen fields. As long-time LDNY members, these influential mentors guide lucky students through the next year, helping them shape their goals and career paths. It is an invaluable gift from the organization and will quite literally change the lives of these aspiring young women.
I could not be more proud of the ICE scholarship recipients this year and of our continuing partnership with Les Dames d’Escoffier New York.