Les Dames d’Escoffier honoured
respected chef, restaurateur, author, TV host, speaker and Olympian, Diane Clement.
Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter, a leadership culinary organization composed of women who have achieved success in their professions and contribute significantly to their communities, honoured Diane Clement at their annual gala dinner on September 21, 2018.
Chosen with great care, the “Les Dames” Culinary Icon recipient is chosen for what they have contributed to the culinary and hospitality industry. Past recipients have included Dame Julia Child (celebrating what would have been her 100th birthday), Chef’s Lidia Bastianich and Lynn Crawford and closer to home, Chef John Bishop, Umberto Menghi and Bruno Marti, all legends in the Canadian culinary scene.
Chef Diane Clement is the best selling author of eight cookbooks and co-founder of Tomato Fresh Food Café – among many other accomplishments.
Diane’s interest in food and entertaining was sparked when she and her new husband spent a year in San Francisco during Doug’s internship and she explored cooking classes and wine seminars. Travel has always inspired Diane’s culinary expertise. During her travels she has taken training at La Varenne and Cordon Bleu London. She never comes home without a wealth of recipes and food stories to share.
‘Life is fun – share it with others’
Les Dames d’Escoffier Gala is an celebration honouring a true culinary icon. Recipients are both local and international. The gala itself is almost certainly the most elegant table in the city, a stunningly designed single, 100-seat long table in the upper foyer of the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver.
The multiple course format is prepared by up to 10 different, unique chefs and cooking one of the courses for the meal is an honour chef vie for chosen for their relationship to the cuisine or to the chef being honoured. Ingredients are carefully chosen to compliment the evenings’ theme and honour the terroir it comes from, as do the superb selection of wine, curated by some of Vancouver’s top female sommeliers, as accompaniments to each course. The 100-seat dinner always sells out quickly.
The 2018 Gala courses were prepared by chefs from British Columbia. Executive Chef Edgar Kano, The Four Seasons Hotel will prepare a course, and the dinner will include courses from Hidekazu Tojo, Tojo’s; Ned Bell, Oceanwise; Mike Robbins, AnnaLena; Nicholas Waters, Toque Catering; Rob Feenie, The Cactus Club; Hilary Prince, L’abattoir. Reception: Jenny Hui and Susan Mendelson of the Lazy Gourmet.
Taittinger Brut, Maison Louis Jadot Bouzeron, Frog’s Leap Winery Chardonnay, Foxtrot Vineyards Pinot Noir, Painted Rock Estate Winery Merlot, Mission Hill Estate Winery Quatrain, Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin, Vista D’oro Farms & Winery D’oro.
Sponsors for the evening included the gracious and generous support of: Pedersen’s Rentals & Events, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Tala Florist, The Gourmet Warehouse, Snowcap, Flowerz, Vintage Corks, Danielle Wong Photography, Windset Farms, Dominica Fiore.
More about Diane
In 1969, Diane, Chef on the Run, began her teaching career with classes in the new YWCA building and in the 1972 she began teaching classes on cooking and entertainment in her newly built kitchen in Richmond. These classes, Entertaining with Diane Clement, laid the foundation for her eight cookbooks and were the first locally to include food and wine pairing. The emphasis on elegant home entertaining was the theme of the 70’s and 80’s.
‘Eating is one of life’s major entertainments’
During the 80’s and the 90’s, Diane was much in demand as an avocational cooking teacher and as such was on the cusp of the new movement back to fitness and healthy eating; a new career, along with Doug, as a motivational speaker internationally.
‘Who said healthy eating had to be dull and tasteless’
1991 saw the launch, with her daughter Jennifer, of the Tomato Fresh Food Café. They found there was a lack of small cafes offering fresh, homey comfort food and decided to remedy the situation by opening the Tomato Fresh Food Café, a home away from home classic diner. Diane focused her passion for a healthy lifestyle with innovative food that tasted superb. She became Mama Tomato.
‘Food, Fitness and Fun!’
Diane continues to devote her expertise to the improvement of both food and fitness. She is a founding member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International BC Chapter and a Past President. For ten years she served on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Film Festival and was honored with the City of Vancouver Civic Merit Award for her leadership contribution to the community. Diane was awarded the Queen’s Gold Jubilee Medal for her steadfast commitment to sport and fitness. She was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Quote from Diane – ‘Pass the appetizers, pour the wine – and let the party begin!’