British Columbia’s Dames Serve Up Over $23,000 in Scholarship Awards

Les Dames d’Escoffier British Columbia Chapter (LDBC) is thrilled to announce the 2023 Scholars with a total of $23,250 awarded to support the advancement of their careers in B.C.’s hospitality, food, and beverage sectors.

2023 Les Dames d’Escoffier British Columbia Chapter Scholars
Elizabeth Boyle, Kelowna
Kayla Brent, Saanich
Stephanie Chan, New Westminster
Alessandra DiMattia, Kelowna
Jessica Collins, Vancouver
Christine Godlonton, Ladysmith
Janet Gyenes, Vancouver
Sydney Hamelin, Vancouver
Lydia Lambert-Bailey, Vancouver
Chris MacKay, Vancouver
Sonya Patrick, Penticton
Jill Singleton, Chilliwack
Breanne Smart, Vancouver

The LDBC Scholarship Committee is co-chaired by Karen Dar Woon, chef/owner of Your Secret Chef, and Rossana Ascencio, chef at Encanto Culinary Services. The two recently announced that LDBC received 55 applications during the 2023 intake period of January 1 through February 13, 2023, from women residing throughout B.C. who were in various stages of their career development. The Scholarship Committee reviewed and scored each application based on four criteria: dedication and commitment, ability, goals and merit.

Dar Woon shares, “We are pleased to have received very strong interest in our scholarship program, from such a diverse group of women of all ages and from many regions of the province. From women who are enthusiastic to start their career in the hospitality, food and beverage sectors to women who are passionate about further expanding their current knowledge and skills, we are proud to support their goals and journey. We’re grateful to all of our sponsors and donors, whose support allows us to continue to foster strong women leaders.”

Ascencio adds, “Our applicants expressed high levels of dedication and drive to develop their career goals. We are fortunate to have so many talented women committed to positively impacting the future of our hospitality, food and beverage sectors.”

Kayla Brent, one of the 2023 LDBC Scholars, is from the Cowichan Valley and recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Studies. During her program, she learned about the history, science and culture of wine which led her to a research role studying the intersections of soil quality, product quality and farmer health. She found her passion and immersed herself in formal wine education and employment. Kayla’s goal is to further her education to help advance research in soil-carbon capture in B.C. and ultimately owning a vineyard on Vancouver Island. The LDBC will support Kayla’s pursuit of a master’s degree in “Vine, Wine and Terroir Management” at L’Ecole Supérieure des Agriculture in Angers, France. 

Kayla shares, “Having an organization like Les Dames tell you that they support your career choice and want to help you along your journey is an incredible affirmation. It is truly an honour to be joining the ranks of all the amazing women this organization has promoted throughout its history. So much can be accomplished through women empowering one another. Any woman with drive and dreams in this industry should connect with [the LDBC]. Their resources and wisdom can surely help you along your journey!”

The Les Dames d’Escoffier, British Columbia Chapter 2023 Scholars will be recognized during a private virtual event on June 12th, 2023 at 6 p.m.

Scholarships are open to all women of any age and at any stage of their career who are looking to either refine or expand their expertise at a credible educational institution of their choice anywhere in the world. The intake period for 2024 scholarships will be announced soon.

Throughout the year, LDBC will continue fundraising to support their scholarship program and their outreach programming which currently includes Growing Chefs! and the Okanagan Chefs Association’s Chefs in the Classroom program.


About Les Dames d’Escoffier International:

Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) is an international organization of women leaders who create a supportive culture in their communities to achieve excellence in the fields of food, beverage, and hospitality. The organization’s 2,400 members in 44 chapters in the US, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy provide leadership, educational opportunities, and philanthropy. LDEI chapters raised and donated more than $525,000 to community non-profits and philanthropic organizations in 2021.

The organization is named after Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), a French chef known as “The Chef of Kings” and the “The King of Chefs”. He is recognized as the most innovative chef in history, one whose philosophy, accomplishment and philanthropic deeds serve as inspiration to culinary professions today. 

To learn more about Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter, its scholarship application process, and how to support its scholarship program, visit

Twitter: @LesDamesBC

Instagram: @LesDamesBC

Facebook: @LesDamesbc

LinkedIn: Les Dames d’Escoffier British Columbia

Press Contacts: 

Karen Dar Woon, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair:, 604-329-7240

Rossana Ascencio, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair:, 604-719-2658

Cassandra Anderton, President:  

Sandra Merk, Director of Communications:, 604-839-9374

Katharine Mason, Communications Committee, Public Relations:, 604-318-9690