Welcome to the Birmingham Chapter of
Les Dames d’Escoffier International

The Birmingham chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) is an organization of resident leaders and experts in the food and beverage industries, and we are dedicated to growing, creating, promoting, and sharing our local food culture.

We founded our group in 2013 with 55 members—making it one of the largest initial memberships in the history of the organization. We are chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, caterers, farmers, food retailers, event planners, cookbook authors, food writers and editors, registered dietitians, food photographers, food and prop stylists, winemakers and wine-industry professionals, food publicists, food-service professionals, culinary educators, and hospitality executives.

We are dedicated to creating a culture in our community that fosters excellence, and we are committed to sharing what we know through educational and charitable activities. Each fall, we host a sunset fundraising dinner, Southern Soirée. The money we raise is awarded to students, teachers, companies, and organizations in the Birmingham area to support their education, fund projects for their students, help local food businesses grow, and assist local non-profits to continue their work in the community.

We are steadfast and enthusiastic advocates for our local food community and seek always to celebrate its diversity, uniqueness, and time-honored traditions.

Thanks to Covid-19, our fundraiser dinner is going to look a little different this year, but it is guaranteed to be just as delicious. Instead, we’re hosting Champagne & Fried Chicken, a drive-through pick-up picnic dinner basket for two, on Sunday, October 18. Click here to purchase your dinner basket as well as some fun extras: an add-on basket featuring two craft cocktail kits, tickets for virtual wine tastings and cooking classes, raffle tickets for two packages that contain twelve $100 gift cards from restaurants around Birmingham, and much more. Visit our fundraiser page for more details.

Black Lives Matter

The Birmingham Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International supports Black Lives Matter and the global movement to end systemic racism, racial violence and police brutality.

We call for an end to racism and oppression in any form, in any society.

Maya Angelou said, “… lift someone up. Lift a stranger up—lift her up. I would ask you, mother and father, brother and sister, lovers, mother and daughter, father and son, lift someone. The very idea of lifting someone up will lift you, as well.”

As an organization, we have always worked to lift up women who are under-recognized, underpaid, under-promoted and underserved. We are committed to creating meaningful change in our communities through volunteer efforts, awarding scholarships and grants, mentoring, education and inclusion.

As a chapter, we support women of all ages and all colors with scholarships so they can pursue their educations and their dreams and with grants to help them grow their businesses and better support their families and their communities. We will continue these efforts going forward, with an intentionally stronger focus on needs in the Black community.

These efforts are largely localized, so it’s important that we, as a chapter, join the wider community of people all across the world in support of justice, equality, accountability and change, in support of human rights and advancement for all people.

  • Ally Cound
    Scholarship Recipient

  • Rebecca Klang
    Scholarship Recipient

  • Hope Etheridge
    Scholarship Recipient

  • Sydney Smith
    Scholarship Recipient

  • Lauren Bolding
    Grant Recipient

  • Diann Pilgrim
    Grant Recipient

  • Melissa Allphin
    Grant Recipient

  • Nancey Legg
    Award Recipient

  • Jones Valley Teaching Farm
    Award Recipient

Les Dames d’Escoffier International
Scholarships & Awards

The Birmingham Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International has been pleased to offer annual scholarships for education to female applicants pursuing culinary or pastry arts, farming, beverage management, hospitality, nutrition and dietetics, or agriculture coursework as well as cash awards to female entrepreneurs.


Learn more about the Birmingham Chapter of
Les Dames d’Escoffier International Members