Women in Food, Fine Beverage and Hospitality
Les Dames d’ Escoffier International (LDEI) is a philanthropic organization of women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The over 2,400 members in 44 chapters in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico and Italy, are dedicated to supporting and promoting the achievement of women and fostering excellence through educational and charitable activities. LDEI is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality. Visit http://ldei.org.
The Minnesota Chapter of Les Dames d’ Escoffier International (MN LDEI), formed in 1996, welcomes professional women throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Our members include food and nutrition consultants, food writers, editors, cookbook authors, sommeliers, corporate food professionals, supermarket culinary specialists, food marketers, restaurateurs, registered dietitians, food and wine instructors, graphic designers, food branding plus design specialists and travel leaders. We celebrate the value of differences among people and cultures throughout the world, in our communities and in our chapter.
Our chapter raises funds to support several initiatives, such as:
● The Scholarship program provides scholarships to local women attending culinary school and has expanded to include disciplines such as agriculture, the environment, food production and viticulture.
● Micro-Grants help women advance their careers by attending professional conferences, taking short-term classes or purchasing equipment.
● MN LDEI is a leader in teaching young people about food, nutrition, gardening and basic cooking skills. For years we have donated time and money to Urban Roots in St. Paul (http://urbanrootsmn.org/) and provided internships for Urban Roots youth.
MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS AND BENEFITS
Members must have a minimum of five years of professional experience, demonstrate leadership, and be active in the areas of food, beverage, hospitality, agriculture or nutrition. For more information and a link to our membership application visit: https://lesdamesmn.org/membership-application.
Members commit to:
● Supporting the chapter both in dollars (annual dues and monthly program expenses) and time (attend monthly meetings as possible, participate in the fundraisers). Contributions of time and money are essential for the chapter to be effective in its mission
● Annual dues are $175.00 ($90.00 for our local chapter; $85.00 for national), due upon membership acceptance.
● Monthly meetings are opportunities to network and socialize with like minded women invested in supporting our mission. They often feature an educational component in addition to innovative food and beverages.
● Members receive local and international member directories and newsletters and can participate in webinars from the international organization on subjects such as sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, social media and food trends.
● Each member has a mentor within the chapter, is invited to an active private Facebook group and has the option to attend the annual international conference. The conference is a great way to network with Dames from other chapters, learn how to manage our chapter more effectively, and experience the food-and-wine scene in the host city.
If you are interested in promoting the role of women in the culinary professions and would like to be proposed for membership, please complete our membership application form. You may also contact us with questions regarding membership.