In 2017, six Legacy Awards were presented by Les Dames d'Escoffier International, with generous support by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. True to its mission when established in 2009, the program continues to provide targeted mentorships for women in the food, fine beverage and hospitality industries who have a minimum of four years of industry experience. In 2017, the six Legacy winners will travel to their mentorships from Atlanta to Mexico, from Seattle to New York City and from Canada to Washington State to pursue their week-long experiences. They include opportunities in the old world of Tequila in Guadalajara, at the historic James Beard townhouse in NYC, at Wente Family Estates in Livermore Valley, CA and a whirlwind tour through the New England Food System exploring food hubs and overnighting on a fishing vessel.
The 2017 Legacy Winners are...
Kellie Thorn — Fine Beverage and Hospitality Category/Atlanta
Hosted by Dame Araceli Ramos, Director of Public Relations at Jose Cuervo’s Tequila Distillery in Guadalajara, Mexico, the first producer of Tequila in the world and Mundo Cuervo, their hospitality center
The Experience - discover the heart and soul of Mexico while learning about all facets of agave farming, distillation and aging of tequila, including the myriad hospitality industries of the iconic global brand of Jose Cuervo
The Winner – Kellie Thorn is a celebrated beverage director for Hugh Acheson in Atlanta, GA and a mixologist at Empire State South, known for its celebrated Southern food and drink.
Paige Bloskey — Culinary Category/Seattle
Hosted by Dame Susan Ungaro, President of The James Beard Foundation headquartered in New York City, which is dedicated to celebrate, nurture and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone.
The Experience – the unique opportunity to spend a week at James Beard’s historic NYC townhouse–home of the Dean of American Cookery–working alongside multiple guest chefs during their weekly showcase dinners
The Winner – Chef Bloskey is the first female head chef of Farestart, the game-changing nonprofit culinary training and catering program in the Pacific Northwest.
Jenny Dorsey — Wine Category/New York City
Hosted by Dames Carolyn Wente and Amy Hoopes of Wente Family Estates, America’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery
The Experience – a week-long immersion in the exploration of winemaking at its best while discovering the secrets of Wente’s award-winning wine-country hospitality
The Winner – Chef Dorsey, an award winning, innovative chef consultant in Manhattan, will have the opportunity to expand her wine appreciation and knowledge in winegrowing in Livermore Valley, one of California’s oldest wine regions.
Ann Brydle – Wine Category/ Victoria, BC
Hosted by Dame Kari Leitch, Vice President of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodville, WA, the oldest winery in Washington State
The Experience – the opportunity to learn all about the facets of the winery at Chateau Ste. Michelle’s two locations and their popular wine tourism industry–from vineyard to bottle to vineyard concerts
The Winner – A wine scholar and educator, Ann Brydle successfully manages Cascadia, a specialty wine and liquor store that focuses on products of the Pacific Northwest.
Shelley Robinson — Farm-to-Table Category/Edmonton, AB
Hosted by Dame Barbara Hanley with the team at Shy Brothers Farm, a New England artisanal farmstead cheese company, located on the coast of Massachusetts
The Experience – to discover first hand what it takes to produce an award-winning cheese, working side-by-side for a week with the team at Shy Brothers Farm, founded in 2006 by Barbara, her husband and the four Santos brothers, third generation dairy farmers
The Winner – Chef Robinson, an executive chef at the Grand Villa Casino in Edmonton and a Chopped Canada winner, is eager for new experiences that will satisfy her wish to understand cheese making up close, as well as enhance her passion for mentoring young chefs.
Vanessa Driscoll Bialobreski — Farm-to-Sea-to-Table-to-Journalism Category/Columbia, SC
Hosted by Dame Christine Burns Rudalevige and esteemed members of the New England chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier
The Experience – a week-long whirlwind tour through the New England Food System, overnighting on a fishing vessel, exploring food hubs, farms and more
The Winner - Vanessa Bialobreski, founder of Farm to Table Events, helps orchestrate dinners and events to bring the Columbia community together over locally grown food.