Here are the detailed descriptions of the six Legacy Awards offered by distinguished members of Les Dames d'Escoffier International in 2020 - to be presented to six outstanding professional women in the food, fine beverage and hospitality industries.



Here are the detailed descriptions of the six 2020 Legacy Awards offered by distinguished members of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), to be presented to six outstanding up and coming professional women in the food, fine beverage, and hospitality industries. 


Dame Carol Huntsberger and the Austin Chapter will host the winner for an in-depth look at the wholesale seafood business: sourcing, procuring, receiving, and selling fresh fish and shellfish through Quality Seafood. Several Austin Dames will broaden this experience with tours of the Hill Country and the vibrant Austin food scene. Click here for details.


HOST: Dame Carol Huntsberger, Owner, Quality Seafood Market

TIME FRAME: TBD June through September 15, 2020

This award from the Austin Chapter centers on the operation of an established and exceptional quality wholesale seafood company: the sourcing, procuring, receiving, selling, and filleting of fish. Quality Seafood has served the Austin area for 80 years, and the business includes wholesale, retail, restaurant and food trucks. A trip to the Texas coast will be included to visit Philly Seafood, a family-owned business of Gulf Coast shrimpers. That night will be spent in the guesthouse of Philly Seafood. A visit to an oyster farm may also be scheduled.

Dame Stacy Franklin will host the winner for lunch at the famous Franklin BBQ; Dame Kendal Antonelli will include a cheese tasting at her famous Antonelli’s Cheese; Dame Susan Auler, owner of Fall Creek Vineyards — and her sommelier Dame Ame Brewster — will share a fun afternoon of wine tasting in Texas Hill Country, paired with some fabulous seafood appetizers.

The exciting city of Austin will be explored with members of the LDEI Austin chapter. The winner will stay at the home of Carol Huntsberger and most meals will be provided during the visit. This award is particularly well suited for someone interested in wholesale food operations or restaurants. 

  1. Chicago, Illinois JOURNALISM AWARD, Plate Magazine and Restaurant Business Magazine/ Winsight Media

The winner will join Dames Chandra Ram and Susan Szymanski of PLATE Magazine as they put together an upcoming issue of the magazine, and Dames Pat Cobe and Heather Lalley will provide a unique experience producing content for Winsight Media’s Restaurant Business and Food Service Director brands. https://www.winsightmedia.com Click here for details. 

JOURNALISM AWARD: PLATE Magazine, Winsight Media

HOSTS: Dames Julie Chernoff, Pat Cobe, Chandra Ram, Susan Szymanski

TIME FRAME: Ideally, July 7-13 to coincide with Plate photo shoot. Otherwise, date TBD Summer 2020.

Upon arriving in Chicago on Tuesday, July 7, Dame Julie Chernoff will pick up the winner at the airport and take her on a culinary tour of one of Chicago’s many vibrant neighborhoods. The winner will stay at Julie’s Evanston home. For the next two days, the winner will meet up with Dames Susan Szymanski (Publisher) and Chandra Ram (Editor-in-Chief) of Plate Magazine and experience the photo shoot production of Plate’s Annual “Chefs to Watch” September/October 2020 issue. The experience will include working with the food stylists in the kitchen, ideating with the prop stylist, discussing the recipes and layout with Chandra and the Recipe Editor, and reviewing the marketing and sales efforts used to put together each issue of Plate Magazine.

The Legacy winner will spend the next few days at Winsight Media with Dames Pat Cobe and Heather Lalley being mentored by editors on the Restaurant Business and FoodService Director teams. She will contribute digital content to their newsletters, including Recipe Report, On the Menu, and Restaurant Business Daily. Many of these digital stories also go into print issues. Ideally, she will also participate in a podcast, and/or conduct a phone interview for a story. She will contribute to planning/content for Winsight’s Restaurant Directions conference, which takes place at the end of July, and will also work with the menu experts on the Technomic team to write a data-driven article.

Other activities may include a media event/restaurant opening with Dame Julie Chernoff (Dining Editor of Make It Better Media); a pontoon cruise down the Chicago River skippered by Dame Portia Belloc Lowndes; a visit to the Green City Market (founded by the late Dame Abby Mandel); dinner at Chicago Dame-owned restaurants; and more. This award is particularly well suited for a food writer or journalist.

  1. Livermore Valley, California WINE & HOSPITALITY AWARD, Wente Family Estates

Dames Amy Hoopes and Carolyn Wente once again host an exploration of winemaking at its best and illuminate the secrets of their award-winning hospitality at America’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery, Wente Family Estates,.  Click here for details.

WINE & HOSPITALITY AWARD: Wente Family Estates, Livermore Valley, California

HOSTS: Dame Carolyn Wente, founder and owner; Dame Amy Hoopes, President
TIME FRAME: Harvest 2019 (September)

Wente Family Estates, named American “Winery of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast, is the oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery in the country.

This winner will spend a week during Harvest 2020 with Dame Amy Hoopes, President; Dame Carolyn Wente, fourth generation winegrower and CEO; and Karl Wente, fifth generation winemaker and COO, learning about Wente Vineyards viticulture, winemaking, and wine and food pairing philosophies.

Wente will provide an in-depth experience, working in the vineyards with Niki Wente, Viticulture Manager and fifth generation winegrower. From the vineyard, the award recipient will shadow the Wente Vineyards winemaking team to understand the ins and outs of the harvest decisions that are required of them.

The award winner will also get a behind-the-scenes experience learning how the Wente culinary team pairs wine and food for its tasting lounge experience as she helps the team prepare dishes in the professional kitchen. She will then join Dames Carolyn Wente and Amy Hoopes and members from their team for various meals on property to understand the family’s philosophy of wine and food pairing.

She will meet with Lisa Kalfus, VP Marketing, to learn about national brand strategies and marketing plans. With marketing team leaders, Reinel Adajar and Heather Everett, she will tour and taste at award-winning small family owned wineries around the Livermore Valley.

This Legacy winner will leave with a wealth of knowledge, inspiration, and incomparable hands-on experience. This award is particularly well suited for someone in fine beverage service or industry.  

  1. Guadalajara and Tequila, Mexico FINE SPIRITS AWARD, José Cuervo

Dame Araceli Ramos will host an exploration of the fine spirits of Jose Cuervo, from the agave fields to the distillery to the outstanding hotels and restaurants that feature its product. Tequila as you’ve never experienced it before! Click here for details.

FINE SPIRITS AWARD: Guadalajara and Tequila, Mexico

HOST: Dame Araceli Ramos

TIME FRAME: June – August, 2020

The week-long experience in Mexico, sponsored by José Cuervo, the first producer of Tequila in the world, will consist of four nights in the city of Tequila and three nights in Guadalajara. The winner will be picked up at the International Airport of Guadalajara on Sunday and proceed directly to the city of Tequila, where she will stay at the luxurious Hotel Solar de las Ánimas in the heart of town. Monday will be dedicated to visiting every department of the hotel to better appreciate the importance José Cuervo gives to its tourism and hospitality division. Time permitting, the winner will explore the area and experience life in this Pueblo Mágico—one of Mexico’s famed “magical towns.” On Tuesday, the winner will visit the oldest distillery in Latin America, José Cuervo’s Distillery La Rojeña. The family-owned company has been hand-crafting tequila for over 250 years with the same experienceand recipes that have been handed down generation through generation. The distillery tour will include a visit to the agave fields where the winner will learn how the best agaves are selected. From there the winner will tour the production facility, discovering how meticulous fermentation, distillation, and final processing result in the world’s finest tequila. Wednesday, after meeting with the teams of marketing and sales, the winner will visit the city of Tequila to explore the tourist attractions of this famed city.

On Thursday, the winner will check out of the hotel and return to Guadalajara. For the next two days she will work with Dame Araceli Ramos in the corporate office of Cuervo Tequila, learning all aspects of its marketing and public relations activities.  Dame Ramos will host the winner for two nights at her home. Saturday includes a visit to  historical Tlaquepaque, a fashionable colonial neighborhood in the southeast corner of Guadalajara. Today, Tlaquepaque is a trendy boutique shopping district offering fine arts and crafts, galleries and excellent food. On Sunday, the winner will fly home. Winner will need a current passport. A rental car is required for some transportation. This award is particularly well suited for someone in the fine beverage service or industry.

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana CULINARY AWARD, Compère Lapin

Dames Nina Compton, winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for Best Chef: South, and Stephanie Carter will host a week of creativity in New Orleans at Compere Lapin combining cooking, sourcing and enjoying the Southern Food and Beverage Museum from the inside. Click here for details. 

CULINARY AWARD: New Orleans, Louisiana
HOSTS: Dames Nina Compton (Compère Lapin), Stephanie Carter (writer/editor), and Liz Williams (Southern Food and Beverage Museum)

TIME FRAME: TBD June through September 15, 2020

This varied week with the New Orleans Chapter of LDEI will involve cooking, sourcing, restaurant ownership and entrepreneurship. Your host will be James Beard Award-winning chef Nina Compton, who owns NOLA’s Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro The French- and Caribbean- influenced Compère Lapin has been named twice to Eater National’s list of Best Restaurants in America; Bywater American Bistro was named Eater NOLA’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year and one of the nation’s Best New Restaurants in Eater National.

New Orleans provides a unique opportunity to savor the influence of international foods on Southern cuisine. Food history is truly cherished and sanctified in New Orleans. Dame Stephanie Carter, formerly of Eater, author of The Little Local New Orleans Cookbook and a former Legacy winner herself, will be on hand to help the winner soak up the food scene.

Dame Liz Williams, founder of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, will provide a private tour of the museum. museum. Plus, kick back with some of the New Orleans Dames at one of the several Dame-owned restaurants in New Orleans. Also, expect some other fun activities along the way in the Big Easy. Dame Caroline Rosen has a gorgeous Airbnb in the French Quarter for your accommodations. This award is particularly well suited for someone in restaurants or catering.  

  1. Sacramento, California, AGRICULTURE AWARD

Dames Sue Huffman Robison, Ann Evans, Liz Mishler, and the whole Sacramento Chapter will guide you through the gorgeous Sacramento Valley’s agricultural bounty, with behind-the-scenes visits to natural resource conservation facilities, organic farms and vineyards, and much, much more.   Click here for details.

AGRICULTURE AWARD: Sacramento and Davis, California

HOSTS: Dames Sue Huffman Robison, Ann Evans, and Liz Mishler

TIME FRAME: TBD June through September 15, 2020

Sacramento, known as America’s Farm to Fork Capital, along with neighboring

Yolo County will be the site of the LDEI Legacy Agriculture Award sponsored by the Sacramento Dames. Dames Sue Huffman Robison, Ann Evans and Liz Mishler will host the winner for a full

week’s immersion into the area’s agriculture and culinary culture. The winner will spend five

days with five Dames for personalized experiences in this haven for foodies.

Become a farmer for a day at the Center for Land-Based Learning, a renowned agricultural and natural resources conservation facility for farmers in training, with Dame Mary Kimball.

Experience all aspects of Capay Organic and Farm Fresh to You, a diverse organic farming operation supporting a large home delivery network of organic fruits and vegetables from farming to business and marketing with Dame Carol Barsotti.

Spend a day at Matchbook Wine Company, a family-owned vineyard and winery, to learn all aspects of what goes into making and selling a bottle of wine, from harvest to marketing to hospitality, with your host, Dame Lane Gigieure. 

Visit the internationally known Davis Farmers Market — over 90 agricultural farmers and artisan producers alongside 7000 customers — and enjoy a behind-the-scenes taste of management, community relations, customer service, and local food production and culture with Dame Randii Macnear.

Take a road trip with Dame Allyson Harvie, the Chef de Cuisine of Ella, one of Sacramento’s premier restaurants, to procure foods from several of her favorite farms. Return to Ella for a dinner prepared by Alllyson featuring fresh-from-the-farm dishes.

The winner will have a chance to meet other Dames from both the Sacramento and San Francisco chapters at several dining events throughout the week.  She will stay at the homes of Dame Ann Evans in Davis and Sue Huffman Robison in Sacramento.   This award is particularly well suited for someone in the farming/agricultural industry, or farm-to-table restaurants. 



“LDEI’s Legacy Awards, generously supported by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, provides professional women recipients with inspiring mentoring experiences. Our Dames are proud to be afforded the opportunity to invest in these women — tomorrow’s food, fine beverage, and hospitality leaders — and are hopeful that they, too, will become Dames as their careers blossom.” —Bev Shaffer, LDEI President 2019-2020

Winners will be announced by April 17, 2020, and experiences must be completed by September 15, 2020. Award winners will be reimbursed up to US $2,000 for airfare, hotel (where needed) and other pre-approved expenses for their Legacy week. In addition, each winner is invited to attend the 2020 LDEI Annual Conference in New York City, October 15-18, 2020, where a luncheon will be held in honor of this year’s Legacy Award winners. Travel, hotel, and conference fees will be reimbursed.

DEADLINE: Complete applications are due no later than 11:59 PM EST on April 1, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Results will be announced in mid April 2020.

Please contact the Legacy Awards Chairs for further information:

Dame Julie Chernoff, Chair,  847-902-6741

Dame Stephanie Carter, Vice Chair,

Copyright © 2016 | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy