Les Dames d'Escoffier

Boston Chapter

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  • 10/15/2019 2:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dame Judith Szczeblowski passed away September 26, 2019.  Judith was a kind and generous person and a great culinary talent.  Judith was an honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and furthered her studies at La Varenne in Paris. She worked as chef at some of America's finest restaurants, including The Quilted Giraffe and Ambrosia in New York, Maison Robert and the Park Plaza's Fox and Hound in Boston, ending her culinary career as Executive Chef at Boston's Algonquin Club. She was Treasurer and board member of the Women's Culinary Guild and member of Les Dames d'Escoffier.

    Donations in Judith's name may be made to: Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, 30 Lyman St., #10, Westborough, MA 01581.

  • 03/23/2019 4:49 PM | Anonymous member

    Dame Kristen LaCount, Assistant General Manager of The Country Club in Chestnut Hill, received the Rising Star Award recognizing a future General Manager who has exhibited outstanding leadership skills and professional growth within the club industry in the United States.

    Kristen has served on numerous national club management committees and was the second woman to have served as President of the New England Club Managers Association.

    According to David Chag, CCM, General Manager of The Country Club, in Kristen’s case, the “A” in “AGM” stands for “Acting” General Manager as much as “Assistant,” “Kristen more than qualifies as a ‘Rising Star,’” wrote Chag in nominating her for recognition in that category. “She has ‘risen’ in my eyes.

    “We have focused her professional development on being an Acting General Manager,” Chag explained. “Kristen is included in meetings I schedule, she attends the Executive Committee meetings, and regularly will attend Board meetings. She is on the U.S. Open 2022 Executive Committee and directly involved with the Chair.

    “Kristen is an active participant in all community-outreach objectives,” Chag added. “She is active at all levels of leadership and governance, and is there for my weekly breakfast with the Club President.”

    With two young children and a husband who owns and operates two successful restaurants in the Boston area, Chag also expressed special admiration for how LaCount exemplifies “a successful woman in this business who manages home life and club operations flawlessly.

    “I could not have done as well as she is performing,” he said.

    Congratulations, Kristen!

    —Dame Lucille Giovino

  • 01/27/2019 2:21 PM | Anonymous member

    Our Annual Pot Luck and Yankee Swap continues to be an easy-going, relaxed evening of camaraderie and catching up on the latest news in our culinary lives. Held on Monday evening, January 14th, everyone happily sauntered over to the wine and Prosecco bar before proceeding to the enormous buffet table laden with Les Dames’ favorite homemade appetizers, salads, soups and main courses. Dames continued handiwork tempted us at the sweets table.

    The evening ended on a hilarious note with the Yankee Swap that always leads to chaotic fun.

    We attribute the evening’s success to Dame Miriam Lobenstine, Boston Dames event chairman and Dame Kristen LaCount, assistant manager at The Country Club. We are totally indebted to both for their professionalism, warmth, and attention to detail.

    —Dame Lucille Giovino

  • 07/04/2018 9:24 PM | Anonymous

    A great time was had by all! Thank you to our wonderful hosts Robyn and Captain Andy and their friends.  We had perfect weather and delicious food and wine to enjoy together.  Our location truly set the tone for an exciting summer.

  • 05/08/2018 7:54 PM | Anonymous member

    Many accolades and thanks go to the Annual Dinner Committee comprised of Dames Guida Ponte, Lee Napoli, Ellie O’Keefe, Judith Fabre McDonough, Donez Cardullo-Tavilla, Reta Martin, and Anastasia Nickerson for planning and execution of our exceptional 57th Annual Escoffier Dinner held at The Ritz Carlton Boston on Sunday, April 29th.

    This dinner ranks among the best in our storied history. Each course was unique—artfully presented and perfectly prepared by Executive Chef Robert Bruce and accompanied by wines carefully chosen and donated by Judith. She entertained Les Dames by sabering a double magnum of Champagne just prior to the new member induction ceremony.

    Left to the Chef’s discretion were the surprise reception appetizers of miniature beef Wellington, watermelon and kimchi served on long spoons, and a soup shooter accompanied by a brut Spumante. What was most noteworthy during the dinner was the introduction of a pasta course that was delicately incorporated with braised rabbit. Most certainly, Auguste Escoffier would have saluted Chef Bruce for his initiative and innovation.

    Ah, but one more happy moment, when Chef Bruce offered Les Dames and their guests an extra pour of vodka during the intermezzo of lemongrass sorbet with Grey Goose vodka. Many glasses were raised, refilled and savored!

    We must thank Donez and her sister Francesca Sibble for the table decoration of impressive crystal vases filled with tall branches of pink and white cherry blossoms. It was a beautiful introduction as we entered the dining room.

    What a memorable night for all thirty-nine members and guests.

    À bientôt et jusqua l’année prochaine,

    Dame Lucille Giovino
    Past President and Chapter Historian

  • 10/30/2017 8:30 AM | Anonymous member

    This past July, our very own President, Denise Graffeo, was the first woman to win the American Culinary Federation's Hall of Fame award. I have been very remiss in posting this news, but the day after her birthday, The Boston Globe featured a front-page article about Denise and her rise "from humble beginnings to the chef Hall of Fame."

    You may read the story online here or download a copy of the story here. Thank you, Thomas Farragher for showcasing Denise and her incredible achievements. Thomas may be contacted by email at mailto:thomas.farragher@globe.com or on Twitter at /@FarragherTom

    Denise, we are so very proud of you and your accomplishments and so very grateful that you are our chapter president.


  • 05/29/2017 3:28 PM | Anonymous member

    Ana passed away May 6th leaving a legacy of charitable involvement. With the $7000 she earned over seven years working at the Boston department store Jordan Marsh, Ana and her husband started their business, Costa Fruit and Produce, in the 1940s. 

    Ana worked tirelessly on a multitude of non-profit charities including culinary, symphonic, educational, and health organizations. Of course, we hold dear our association with Ana as a long-time member of Les Dames Boston. Her forté was fundraising and one of her specialties was creating the most spectacular auction baskets to benefit our educational scholarships for culinary students. 

    Ana was duly honored on her 80th birthday with a grand celebration at the Copley Plaza Hotel. We filled the Grand Ballroom with all of Ana's friends. Again, there were the famous auction baskets and a hundred balloons identifying your prize. 

    A legend has passed but her spirit prevails.

    Dame Lucille Giovino

  • 03/25/2017 8:16 PM | Anonymous member

    On Sunday, April 2, Boston Dames will generously recognize Executive Director Sasha Purpura and Program Director Alanna Mallon of Food for Free with the Saccone Award. 

    Food For Free's Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program (CWBP) improves access to healthy food for students in the City of Cambridge. Founded during the 2012-2013 school year, in cooperation with parent volunteers and school administrators, the program provides students in the Cambridge public school system the nutrition needed to sustain them while school is not in session. CWBP sends two lunches, two breakfasts, milk, and fresh fruit home to children. The healthy meals are discreetly packed in the students' backpacks each Friday ensuring that students are better prepared to learn the following week. As of fall of 2016, the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program is now available to every single elementary and upper school student in Cambridge Public Schools.

    The parent program, Food For Free, began in 1981 when a group of friends realized that local meal programs were struggling to put food on their tables. With borrowed trucks, these volunteers gathered fruit, vegetables, and bread—food that would have been thrown away—and delivered it to meal programs, pantries, and shelters. Over the next two years, this volunteer effort gained the support of established non-profits and local government. Food For Free was incorporated in 1983 and received 501(c)(3) status in 1985. Today, the Food for Free food rescue program serves 100+ food programs each year, including not only pantries, meals, and shelters, but also day care centers, after-school programs, clinics, and drop-in centers. In 2016, the food rescue programs distributed 1.95 million pounds of food. 

    Harvard University Dining Services donates approximately 45,000 pounds of food annually to the food rescue program.

    Dame Crista Martin
    Secretary, LDEI Boston &
    Harvard University Dining Services

  • 09/15/2016 3:17 PM | Anonymous member

    Although Sunday September 11 dawned windy and blustery, it was quick to morph into a picture- perfect  afternoon of warmth and sunshine. It was also a fitting background for the LDEI Boston Annual Meeting  and clambake being held at Co-President Louise Kasdon's elegant waterside-home in Cohasset. A selection of wines and amuses-bouche began the festivities thus encouraging the flow of conversation. Well-appointed tables on Louisa's spacious veranda were soon overflowing with plates piled high with steamers, corn on the cob and, of course, succulent New England lobsters. Various wines were served with the crustaceans and for dessert there was  a  bountiful selection of the best apple pies of autumn along with a number of yummy pastries and bars.

    It was indeed a fitting way to welcome in the sunny but shortened days of September and also the beginnings of a new year for the members and friends of our LDEI Boston chapter.

     Dame Isabel Chesak

  • 02/28/2016 5:58 PM | Anonymous member

    On February 27, 2016, Dame Joan Sweeney again graciously hosted 16 Boston Dames at her lovely lakeside home for ice-fishing, food, and community. However, as the photo above can attest, no ice was to be found! In no way did it affect the fun, delicious food, and champagne we enjoyed that day. 



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