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About Les Dames d'Escoffier

Les Dames d'Escoffier is an international philanthropic organization of female leaders who have excelled in the culinary and hospitality industry.

We are bakers, journalists, winemakers, teachers, authors, and chefs. We make every effort to be inclusive of all aspects of the culinary and hospitality industry.

With more than 2,400 members across five countries, this diverse group of women composes a global network to share our experience, support each other, and develop programs for aspiring women and our communities at large.

“Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” - Julia Child

Our Mission

To inspire, advance and support women in food, beverage and hospitality to achieve excellence in leadership and philanthropy.

Our History

Thanks to a dedicated group of women – Jane BertchAnn MahRosa Jackson, and Lucy Vanel, the France chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier was established three years ago.  

Les Dames d'Escoffier was founded in 1976 by Carol Brock, the Sunday Editor for the New York Daily News, as a philanthropic organization for women luminaries in the fields of food and wine. 

Named after visionary French chef Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), we are proud to be a “sister organization” to the Disciples of Escoffier, an all male group created in 1954 to educate, raise funds, support the culinary arts.  



Discover our members below.

Les Dames France

Current Members

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Member in Hiatus


Francesca Hansen

Paris Wine Company

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Forest Collins

Drinks Journalist and Cocktail Expert

52 Martinis

Forest Collins, is the founder of, an online guide to the best cocktail bars in Paris and other small batch drinks and spirits news, as well as the Paris bar guide iOS app, Paris Cocktails. As a freelance drinks writer, she has written for Drinks International, Serious Eats, World’s Best Bars, and more about the Paris cocktail scene. She regularly judges cocktail competitions and especially enjoys carrying out interviews with interesting industry personalities for her audio show/podcast, Paris Cocktail Talk.

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Vice President


Susan Herrmann Loomis

Author and Culinary Educator

On Rue Tatin

Susan is a journalist, author of 14 books, cooking school proprietor, lecturer on the History of French Gastronomy, and online educator. Susan has lived in France for more than 30 years.

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Allison Zinder

Culinary Educator

Allison Zinder is a gastronomy guide and culinary educator working in French food and culture. A certified chef and pastry chef, she offers market tours, food history tours, food-related Study Abroad programs, and is a professor and Head of Academics at a hospitality school in Paris. Allison has lived in France for 25 years. She is passionate about sharing her deep cultural knowledge, and has created engaging educational experiences for over 4000 clients.

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Emily Monaco

Food and Drink Journalist

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, BBC, and Fodor’s, among others.

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Founding Member, Past President


Jane Bertch

Entrepreneur and Culinary Educator

La Cuisine Paris

Jane is the creator of La Cuisine Paris, a cooking school in Paris specializing in French Culinary experiences, from cooking classes to food tours. She is an experienced professional who moved from the financial sector to culinary entrepreneurship.

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Past President, Founding Treasurer


Lucy Vanel

Culinary Educator

Plum Lyon Teaching Kitchen

Lucy Vanel, owner of Plum Lyon Teaching Kitchen in Lyon France, is a French certified pâtissier, and has been teaching technique in the French culinary arts to both amateur and professional cooks since 2007.

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Viktorija Todorovska

Wine Educator and Cookbook Author

Sip Taste Share

Viktorija is a wine educator and cookbook author, living in Nice, France. She is an accredited Sommelier from the International Sommelier Guid, French Wine Scholar, and Certified Specialist of Wine. Viktorija’s most recent book is Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living.

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Founding Secretary, Member in Hiatus


Ann Mah

Author and Journalist


Ann Mah is a food and travel writer based in Paris and Washington DC. She is the bestselling author of The Lost Vintage, Mastering the Art of French Eating, Kitchen Chinese, and a cookbook, Instantly French. She regularly contributes to the New York Times Travel section, the Washington Post Food section, and many other publications.

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Founding Vice President

Nice and Paris

Rosa Jackson

Culinary Educator, Journalist, and Entrepreneur

Les Petits Farcis Nice and Edible Paris

A food writer for international publications since 1996, Rosa divides her time between Nice and Paris. She runs the cooking school Les Petits Farcis focusing on Niçoise cuisine, and with her company Edible Paris was the first to offer custom food itineraries and tours in Paris.

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Caroline Conner

Wine Educator

Lyon Wine Tastings

Caroline is a British-American chef and WSET Level 4 diploma holding wine educator with over a decade of experience across the food and wine industries throughout France, the UK, and the USA. She teaches in English about French wines in the heart of Lyon.

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Mary O'Leary

Private Chef and Culinary Educator

Simply French Kitchen

Mary O’Leary is a private chef for US Embassy Military Defense Attaches in Paris. She teaches Elegant French Family Cuisine cooking classes to American and International Expat women living in and traveling to France. For the past 10 years, she’s been the French Cooking Class Director for WICE Paris. During the season, she spends time as a private chef and cooking instructor at a renovated winemaker's stone house in Meursault, Burgundy.

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D'Arcy du Petit Thouars


Château du Petit Thouars

D'Arcy du Petit Thouars runs the Château du Petit Thouars, a historic estate in the Loire Valley, with her husband, the Count du Petit Thouars. The château has been in their family since 1636. They produce 100% Cabernet Franc and Chenin blanc wines on the domain, in addition to welcoming visitors from around the globe for unique and personal wine and food experiences.

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Harry Eastwood

Food Writer and Television Host

Food Network, Cooking Channel, Channel 4, Penguin Books

Harry Eastwood is a food writer and international television host. She has written 4 solo cookbooks, as well as 2 TV tie in book collaborations. She is the author of Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache, The Skinny French Kitchen which was nominated for the prestigious Guild of Food Writers Miriam Poulnin Award for Healthy Eating, A Salad for All Seasons and Carneval. Her most recent TV series have included Fox’s Baking Good, Baking Bad and Sinful Sweets, which aired on Cooking Channel USA. She came to the public's attention in 2007 when she starred in Channel 4's primetime series, Cook Yourself Thin. She was a regular judge contributor to Food Network US' Sugar Showdown and more recently, The Big Bake.

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Moko Hirayama

Owner and Pastry Chef


Moko was born in Japan, and then moved to San Francisco and then New York to study law. Her career changed when she decided to give up the life of a lawyer to become a pastry chef in Paris.

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Amanda Bankert

Owner and Pastry Chef

Boneshaker Donuts

Originally from the DC-area, Amanda moved to Paris to study pastry at Le Cordon Bleu, where she eceived a pastry diploma in 2004. After graduation, she moved to Ireland and spent almost a decade working in restaurant kitchens in Dublin. In 2012, she returned to France and opened Paris’ first donut shop.

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Jennifer Greco

French Cheese Educator

Jennifer Greco is a French cheese expert, culinary tour guide and food writer based in Paris. Since moving to France almost two decades ago, she has steadily been tasting her way through each and every cheese produced in France. She leads fellow food lovers on tastings throughout the city and offers educational French cheese and wine experiences, both privately and with small tour companies.

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Tanisha Townsend

Wine Educator

Girl Meets Glass

Tanisha Townsend has cultivated a community of wine enthusiasts through an unyielding passion for oenology. As Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass, Tanisha leads wine classes and tours in Paris and the regions beyond.

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Jean Carrant Hwang


Cookie Love

Jean Hwang Carrant is a Taiwanese American creator of gourmet cookies in Paris, France. She is the founder of JHJ Cookies and owner of cookie boutique Cookie Love, which is also the name of her cookbook published in French and English.

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Barbara Basalgete

Restauratrice and Educator


Barbara Basalgete was born in Ghana and grew up in the United States before moving to Nice in 2006. With a master’s degree in hospitality management from ESSEC, she created BeJuice in 2013, one of the pioneers of ultra-fresh juice when the idea of drinking vegetables was new on the French Riviera. She is co-owner of Badaboom, an award-winning plant-based restaurant in the Nice Port district and has created a juice production laboratory in the center of Nice. She is the author and speaker of a plant-based cooking course for GRETA Tourisme Hôtellerie.

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