In 2016, 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. In 2016, the six opportunities included a week at a California winery, another at a magazine test kitchen in New York City, still another working with an award-winning chocolatier in London.
The 2016 Legacy Winners are
Staci Mickelson - Wine Category/Seattle
Hosted by Dame Kari Leitch, Vice President of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodville, Washington, the oldest winery in Washington, combining Old World winemaking tradition with New World innovation
The Experience -exploring all facts of the winery and wine tourism industries from vineyard to bottle to vineyard concerts
The Winner - Staci Mickelson is a wine sales representative from Oeno Distribution in Minneapolis. After her week at the winery, she writes: "My recent Legacy Trip was so inspiring and reaffirming, I am extremely lucky to have been chosen to get to meet so many amazing women on top of their game. I will continue in my career with confidence, knowledge, and inspiration that I gained in Seattle, and strive to keep growing and be the best I can be to make these women proud. "
Jovan Sage, Farm-to - Table Category/Vancouver, BC
Hosted by Dame Lee Murphy of Vista D'oro Farms & Preservatory, one of Canada's best-known makers of fine artisanal preserves, combining traditional cooking methods with distinctive flavor pairings
The Experience - a chance to immerse yourself in the delicious world of Specialty/Fine/Artisanal Food Production
The Winner - Jovan Sage is the owner / food alchemist of The Farmer & The Larder in Brunswick, Georgia. Her favorite takeaway is: "being able to connect with and learn from this large community of farmers, good food producers, chefs, retailers, and restaurateurs, that is the entire farm-to-table chain. It's valuable to go beyond the web-ready bio and learn the good, the bad and the challenging parts of being a woman food entrepreneur. This experience has given me the insight and perspective for running my own restaurant and food business."
Sue Coraggio Snape - Culinary/Farm-to-Table Category/Washington D.C.
Hosted by Dame Nora Pouillon, owner and chef of Washington D.C.'s Restaurant Nora, America's first certified organic restaurant
The Experience - a week working in the kitchen at Restaurant Nora and with Pouillon, the Godmother of the organic food movement, then traveling to one of Nora's organic farms and working at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market, which Nora helped start
The Winner - Sue Coraggio Snape is owner/chef at Leaf and Loaf, LLC in Marietta, GA. After her week's experience, Sue's favorite take-away is: "all of the knowledge I have brought back to share with the children and adults in my classes". Being able to say "I've worked on an organic farm and in a completely organic restaurant' really brings my stories and experiences full circle."
Stephanie Jane Carter - Food and Wine Journalism Category/New York City
Hosted by Dame Regina Ragone, Food Director Family Circle magazine/Meredith Corporation
The Experience - an action-packed week working in the test kitchens of Family Circle magazine in the heart of New York City - participating in photo shoots, brainstorming sessions, recipe testings, and new product desk-side meetings
The Winner - Stephanie Jane Carter is the editor of Louisiana's Edible New Orleans, the magazine celebrating the vibrant, local food culture of New Orleans. After her week in Manhattan, Stephanie writes: "Visiting Family Circle for a week was like seeing how the big kids do it. I fine-tuned my recipe-testing process, enjoyed writing some tips and short pieces, joined in on brainstorming and planning sessions and watched how Regina expertly manages her team and deadlines. These were all valuable experiences. Two big takeaways: confidence... and that it can all be done and there are solutions."
Sunita de Tourrell - Culinary Category/London
Hosted by Dame Chantal Coady and Rococo Chocolates
The Experience - Fly to London for the chance to follow the story of Rococo from beans to bonbons and from marketing to retail including four shops, five books, one school and an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Even includes a chance to design your own chocolate flavor!
The Winner - Sunita de Tourrell is founder of The Chocolate Garage in Palo Alto, CA, a tasting room of the best bean-to-bar chocolate tastings from around the world. Sunita's favorite moment in this week: "Being coaxed by Chantal to climb up on the kitchen table with a paint brush and work on pollinating a cacao flower from her tree. This was extra funny and special because Mott Green and her planted and grew this tree, and Mott was one of my other biggest inspirations for starting my social mission business."
Jane Copeland - Culinary Category/Chicago
Hosted by Dame Debra Sharpe, Goddess and Grocer, Ellen King, Hewn Bread and Julie Chernoff, Make It Better Media
The Experience - An insider's "back stage" pass to the deli, catering, baking and brewing businesses, including Sharpe's deli and catering empire, King's famous hand-forged loaves at her Hewn Bakery, and Brew Master Claudia Jendron of Temperance Beer.
The Winner - Jane Copeland is owner and chef of Lift Breakfast Bakery in N. Vancouver, BC. Following her week in Chicago, Jane writes: "The LDEI Legacy Award experience could not have come at a better time for me. As I enter a new chapter in my cooking career of business ownership, I can draw on the inspiration from meeting so many incredible women in our beloved industry who have found their own path to success."