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La Grande Fête: A French Salute to Julia and Joan
The French Pastry School |
September 11, 2012
The French Pastry School Welcomes Les Dame d’Escoffier

Scores of talented women from all facets of the food industry gathered at The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago on Friday, September 7th to celebrate Les Dames d’Escoffier, a worldwide society of female culinary professionals that encourages the achievements of women in the hospitality field.  “La Grande Fête: A French Salute to Julia and Joan” was the kick-off event of Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago Chapter’s Culinary Insiders Weekend which celebrated the organization’s 30th anniversary and helped raise money for their scholarship fund.  Members of the society and their guests celebrated the 100th birthday of Grande Dame, Julia Child, with a book-signing by Joan Reardon, author of As Always, Julia; a live auction of incredible prizes; and, of course, delicious dishes from some of the best restaurants in the city.

The French Pastry School is proud to have staff who are also members of Les Dames d’Escoffier: Chef Della Gossett, 2011 National Pastry Champion; Chef En-Ming Hsu, World Pastry Champion; and Anne Kauffmann, Marketing Director.  Along with other participants in the event including Chez Moi, Vera Restaurant, Calihan Catering, and Quince Restaurant, Chefs Gossett and Hsu served tastings that complemented the late summer season: Mostarda di Frutta Brioche Tart with Maytag Blue Cheese; Watermelon Sorbet with Pickled Watermelon Rind and Micro Arugala; Bakewell Tart with Raspberry-Rose Jam; and Vanilla Ice Cream with Cassis Syrup and Sollies Figs.  French Pastry School chef instructors, Scott Green and Joshua Johnson, both 2011 National Pastry Champions, contributed their artistry to the evening as well: Green constructed a towering, white and purple cake commemorating Julia Child’s 100th birthday and Johnson created an elegant chocolate showpiece complete with an edible copper pot.

Throughout the evening, items worthy of any food enthusiast’s fantasy were auctioned off to benefit Les Dames d’Escoffier scholarship fund.  These scholarships benefit aspiring female hospitality professionals who seek education in their field; many students and alumni of The French Pastry School have benefitted from this organization’s generosity.