Les Dames d’ Escoffier New York (LDNY), the nonprofit educational, scholarship, and advocacy organization serving women in the culinary and hospitality industry, has awarded 14 scholarships to recipients enrolled in accredited culinary and pastry arts, nutrition, food science, hospitality, and wine and spirits/fine beverage programs in New York and New Jersey.
The students were recognized and celebrated for their current achievements and promising futures at the annual LDNY Scholarship Awards held last month. Food Network star Chef Grace Ramirez, host of Destino con Sabor, used her keynote address to discuss leading by example and her work at Jose Andres’s World Central Kitchen, empowering people to take an active role in society and create a global sense of connection beyond borders.
She shared her own experience with scholarships’ impact, “If it wasn’t for the scholarship that the French Culinary Institute (FCI) gave me, I would have not been able or had the guts to leave my tv producer/ directing job and go to culinary school. I was still in debt, trying to pay off my student loans at that time. Thanks to the FCI scholarship, I was able to change careers and become a chef.”
Because the cost of college is often cited as the most significant reason students drop out, the LDNY scholarship program exists to ensure access to education for women who wish to pursue a culinary education. Since its founding in 1977, the organization has awarded more than two million dollars to over 1,000 recipients.
This year’s class of 14 recipients will find doors opened to them where barriers once stood. Today’s world is far different than it was 45 years ago when LDNY founder Carol Brock broke the Pyrex ceiling to empower women in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries, filling a void in the male-dominated fields.
“There’s a lot of opportunity coming out of the pandemic for our scholarship recipients. We are dedicated to helping them overcome obstacles by investing in their education and their futures as leaders in the industry. Ultimately, we are building a better industry, and better neighborhoods, by helping women who want to be part of the broader hospitality community,” explained Jen O’Flanagan, President of LDNY.
This year’s awardees represent a bright future. They are committed to their course of study and building a better hospitality industry that recognizes success is properly measured when diversity is embraced.
According to 2015 scholarship recipient Alicia Ngai Jordan, City Tech Alumna and now Director of Revenue Management at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the LDNY scholarship is a powerful tool, “The scholarship strengthened my belief that dedicating time and effort towards my education was valuable. It was an important step in helping me overcome uncertainty, and it motivated me to work to be the best of my ability.”
LDNY 2022 Scholarship Recipients
Hazel Alvarado—Beam Suntory Scholarship, $380, International Wine Center
Augi Anagnostos—Beam Suntory Scholarship, $380, International Wine Center
Erin Breton–Kerrygold Baking & Pastry Making Scholarship, $2500, Culinary Institute of America
Elizabeth Delong–Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, $5,000, Culinary Institute of America
Jenna Greco–Carol Brock Scholarship, $3000, New York University
Elisa Horne– Linda Lawry Scholarship, $1000, International Wine Center
Chayil Hyland–Hospitality Management Scholarship, $3000, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration
Nijae Lawrence–Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)/LDNY Scholarship, $1500, Harry Truman High School
Kristen Leger–Culinary Arts Scholarship, $1500, Kingsborough Community College
Taelor Mitchell–Culinary Institute of America Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, $5,000, Culinary Institute of America
Mya Organisciak–Culinary Institute of America Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, $5,000, and In-Kind Scholarship, $5,000, Culinary Institute of America
Stephanie Simoulis–Alison Awerbuch & Abigail Kirsch Scholarship, $5000, Culinary Institute of America
Zevanya Sibarani–Hospitality Management Scholarship, $2000, New York City College of Technology
Danielle Sykora–Nutrition Scholarship, $3000, Montclair State University
About Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY)
LDNY is the founding and largest chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), an experienced 501c3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to advance and support aspiring professional women in food and beverage, as well as to champion critical industry issues. LDNY’s vision is guided by three objectives: Education, Advocacy, and Philanthropy. Since 1977, LDNY has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to over 1,000 recipients.
Feature photo: Les Dames d’Escoffier Scholarship Committee. Photo by Cynthia Carris Alonso.