Les Dames d'Escoffier

Boston Chapter

Les Dames des Amis D'Escoffier, Society was founded on April 12, 1959, a collaboration between Eda Saccone and Charles L. Banino, then the Executive Chef and Managing Director of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston, and Chairman of Les Amis D'Escoffier, Boston. From a historical vantage point, we can see this event in the context of emerging social forces in the fifties and women's search for equality. Though the New York Les Amis D'Escoffier admitted women into their Society, the Boston Chapter remained exclusively "all male". Les Dames des Amis d'Escoffier was the first "all female" Society dedicated to the art of fine dining in the Escoffier tradition.

Charles Banino encouraged Eda Saccone to chair the fledgling women's group. The First Annual Dinner was held on the founding date at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and was a great success. The invited guests were the wives of Les Amis d'Escoffier members and women TV and press reporters. Those invited women were asked to become members of the new Society. For seven years the membership proved their abilities and reported yearly to the Les Amis d'Escoffier committee. On February 1, 1966, Joseph Donon, the last student of Auguste Escoffier and founder of Les Amis d'Escoffier in the United States, granted Les Dames des Amis d'Escoffier their charter, making them the first ever women's Chapter in the world.

From the very beginning, the great tradition of Escoffier has been celebrated annually with eight-course banquets. In 1981 Les Dames added another dimension and established the Charles L. Banino Scholarship Foundation in memory of his enduring support. Yearly functions were held to support this scholarship aid, which provided awards to deserving students in the food industry. In 1992, Les Dames des Amis d'Escoffier became affiliated with Les Dames d'Escoffier International, a professional women's society founded in New York in 1985 “to support and promote among our members and others who share our objectives worldwide -- the understanding, appreciation and knowledge of food, wine, and other beverages, nutrition, the arts of the table and other fields as they are related to these disciplines.” The Charles L. Banino Scholarship foundation was incorporated into Les Dames d'Escoffier, Boston in 1992. Les Dames d'Escoffier, Boston retains its unique heritage and commitment to its founding ideals in concert with its affiliation with Les Dames d'Escoffier International.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software