A Celebration of Cheese!

Come celebrate National Cheese Day with Les Dames! Enjoy a splendid evening
at Dame Amy Stanford's Time for Dinner venue with two of Missouri's best cheese makers while sampling a variety of products from six of our state's best creameries. Enjoy wine along with a variety of delicious dishes incorporating artisan cheese with locally milled artisan grains from Janie’s Mill. Come curious and come hungry! 

Let’s celebrate and enjoy our region's artisanal creameries, farmers, and millers as we raise a glass to our
partnerships, relationships, and collaborative Dame community.

Read the LDEI International Quarterly Here!

2023 LDEI Woman of Purpose Award

Presented in Partnership with YETI

With LDEI’s Woman of Purpose Award, Les Dames d’Escoffier International honors an exceptional Dame who has set herself apart by making a positive impact in a local or global community incorporating the important and complex realms of global sustainability, food justice and public health. This award celebrates a visionary Dame who has made strides towards improving our food system.

This year, 18 accomplished Dames were nominated for the LDEI Woman of Purpose Award. As per criteria, each LDEI chapter in good standing had one vote.

Among a dazzling slate of candidates, LDEI is pleased to announce this year’s Woman of Purpose Award goes to St. Louis
Dame Nina Mukerjee Furstenau. 

Congratulations Nina!!

“YETI is proud to partner with Les Dames d’Escoffier International in support of the second biennial Woman of Purpose Award,” said LeighAnn Bakunas, Director of Food & Beverage Community Marketing at YETI. “We are honored to recognize the amazing and impactful work these women are doing within their communities and continue to support their efforts in making a difference in food justice, public health, and global sustainability.”

LDEI congratulates Nina and is so proud of all Woman of Purpose Award nominees. They inspire us. Their accomplishments show us what is possible, how each of us individually and collectively can impact our communities for the greater good.

Small Grants Program

The St. Louis Chapter of Les Dames d’ Escoffier proudly announces our Small Grants Program for 2024.  Two cash grants of $500 each will be available in 2024 to assist women in furthering their careers or small business in the fields of food, beverage, hospitality, agriculture, nutrition and related fields.  Examples of qualified grants include reimbursement for professional development or continuing education classes, conference fees offered in related industries, training seminars, certification classes such as ServSafe, or for equipment or supplies needed to advance a business. 


Applicants must be:

  • A female resident of the St. Louis area
  • Actively pursuing a career or operating a business in the fields of food, beverage, hospitality, agriculture, nutrition and related fields
  • Agree to attend, if possible, the LDEI – St. Louis annual fall dinner celebration as our guest to be introduced to our membership and provide a brief report of the result of the grant

Application Process:

  • Submit the on-line application form which includes contact information
  • Submit a needs statement
  • Describe your organization, business or career path
  • Submit one business reference letter and one personal reference letter

Grants will be awarded on a ‘first come, first served’ basis as applications are received. The Les Dames committee will review all completed applications submitted on our website and respond within 30 days.

About Les Dames d’ Escoffier – St. Louis:

Les Dames d’Escoffier International is an organization of women leaders who are dedicated to provide a supportive culture in their communities to achieve excellence in the food, beverage, hospitality and agriculture professions.  To do this, more than 2300 members in 40 chapters worldwide provide leadership, education, scholarships and enrichment opportunities in our communities.

World Central Kitchen – Donate Today

Please join the St Louis Dames in supporting World Central Kitchen and their humanitarian efforts.

On February 6, a pair of powerful earthquakes devastated more than a dozen cities throughout central and southern Türkiye and northern Syria. WCK's Relief Team is distributing meals for survivors and first responders while working to scale up as quickly as possible.

2022 👩‍🍳 Junior Chef Competition!!

Donation to Unfailing Love Christian church for their holiday support of 150 families.

This 2021 holiday season, our St Louis Les Dames d'Escoffier Chapter donated goods and funds for 150 families in The Ville Collaborative. The Ville Collaborative is a group made up of various stakeholders in the Ville and Greater Ville neighborhoods. It was formed to promote communication and collaboration between people and organizations for the betterment of the community.

Dame Suzanne Corbett picked up 2 regional awards!

Dame Suzanne Corbett picked up 2 regional awards in October from the Midwest Travel Journalists Association. The awards were presenetd at the association’s Mark Twain Travel Journalist Awards held in Sanibel Island, FL.

Corbett wone first place for a short story, “Catch the Louisiana Blues”. The story appeared in AAA Southern Trabeller. She also received third place for her story “Patriotic Plates”, which ran in Gazelle Magazine.

The awards covered all of 2020 and through June 30th of 2021. Corbett’s work as food historian as been featured in the Campbell House Museum, The Gateway Arch National Park, the U.S. Grant Historical Site and the Missouri History Museum.


About Les Dames d’Escoffier International

Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) is the only organization of its kind: a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. Founded in New York in 1976, membership has grown to 45 individual chapters across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Mexico, with over 2,400 members in the culinary fields. The membership is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality.

Visit www.LDEI.org for more information about our international organization.

The St. Louis Chapter

Founded in 2008, Les Dames d'Escoffier St. Louis is the St. Louis, MO chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier International (LDEI). Our members are professional women in the food, beverage, hospitality, and related industries. All are women of achievement and leaders in their fields as well as their communities.

Our mission is to create a supportive culture in our community to achieve excellence in the food, beverage, and hospitality professions.

To accomplish this, our members share knowledge, fellowship and provide leadership, educational opportunities and philanthropic events for the larger community. LDEI members also assist women in careers in culinary arts, nutrition, beverage management or hospitality through active mentoring and the funding of scholarships to accredited programs of study.

Membership in Les Dames d'Escoffier is limited to qualified women. For more information, click here.

Green Tables

Launched in 2006 as a Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) farm-to-fork outreach initiative, Green Tables (GT) programming has explored and expanded crucial relationships between LDEI members and the farms and farmers, restaurants and chefs, kitchen tables, and home cooks who comprise their local and regional food systems. The form of these efforts has primarily been technical assistance and education, while the audiences have been quite diverse. From consumers at farmers' markets to teachers and students at K-12 schools, from culinary students and peer education among Dames about sustainable food sourcing, food waste, and much more – Green Tables has had an impact across countless Chapter communities for nearly 15 years.

Since 2008, Green Tables has been a core program for LDEI St Louis.

Our programs that highlight local farmers and food sourcing include our bi-annual Flavors in a Bag and participation in Food Day in October. The upcoming Junior Chef competition in early 2022 will pit students in an Iron Chef-style contest featuring local produce and products.