The Charleston chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality, debuts its first annual Les Dames Culinary Academy, taking place Saturday, November 11. Hosted by the Culinary Institute of Charleston, the day-long event will focus on Holiday 2017 Entertaining and take place at the Institute’s Palmer Campus in downtown Charleston.
“The holiday season in Charleston is magical and we look forward to sharing our collective expertise in this fun and festive format,” states Danielle Wecksler, Culinary Academy co-chair.
Session topics include:
- How to Pull off a Holiday Dinner without Stress with Nathalie Dupree, award-winning television personality and author – Guests can learn about stress-free holiday cooking and entertaining, have a few laughs and garner some practical tips for dealing with guests.
- How To: Holiday Baking with Kelly Wilson, Andrea Upchurch and Michelle Diminish – Three of Charleston’s most celebrated pastry chefs will offer tips and recipes that will delight friends and family throughout the holiday season.
- Gifts from the Kitchen with Danielle Wecksler, culinary instructor/stylist and social media expert – Hosts seeking delicious and thoughtful gift ideas should look no further than their kitchen. This session offers gift ideas with instruction, tips for packaging and a special takeaway treat that is Pinterest worthy.
- Setting the Table with Paige Crone, founder of Charleston Protocol Y’all; Tanya Gurrieri, owner of Salthouse Catering; and Emma Lesesne-Booth, senior catering and event manager for Duvall Events – Charlestonians are world-renowned for their hospitality and “Joie de Vivre.” When celebration is in order with family and friends, it’s time to pull out all the stops and break out the family heirlooms. During this session, guests will learn exciting entertaining tips for the holidays and be inspired to break out their “good stuff” to create beautiful tablescapes.
- How To: Cooking the Holiday Meal with Charleston Grill Executive Chef Michelle Weaver and Magnolias Executive Chef Kelly Franz – This session focuses on “Getting the Party started,” whether it’s a cocktail social or prelude to a dinner party. Guests can learn how to create the WOW factor without making themselves nuts. They can also learn confidence-booster skills and techniques for maximum results.
- Holiday Drinks and Wines – The day will culminate with a festive cocktail party, featuring premium wines and holiday-themed cocktails – Charleston-style.
Attendees are treated to a Continental breakfast, boxed lunch, samplings throughout the day, gift bag and recipes, as well as an Artisan Marketplace, ideal for early holiday shopping.
Les Dames Culinary Academy will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and costs $175 per person. Tickets are available at www.ldeicharleston.org. Parking is complimentary. The Culinary Institute of Charleston is located at 66 Columbus St.
A portion of Les Dames Culinary Academy event profits provides scholarships to area women pursuing culinary and hospitality degrees or advanced education in the field. This past year, the LDEI Charleston Chapter provided more than $20,000 in scholarships.
Editor's note - this is an unedited press release