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Scholarship Recipients

Scholarship Recipients 2017-04-18T18:40:06+00:00

To our supporters: Les Dames B.C. Thanks you!

All of you who help support student scholarships are special people! We are happy to report that our number of scholarship applicants is expanding each year. Choosing among them is becoming increasingly difficult, as there are always some very strong candidates.

Each year, however, your generosity allows several fine young women to further their training. We believe your help also fosters the growth of new ideas for our professions as scholarship winners pursue their particular dreams in the fields of food, beverage, and the arts of the table.

While the initial chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier was founded in New York in 1976, it has now expanded to several major cities in North America and around the world. We thank each of you for supporting the endeavors of the Les Dames d’Escoffier, British Columbia Chapter.

By working together we strive to make a difference – not only to individual lives, but also to our respective professions.

The BC Chapter Scholarship Committee of Les Dames d’Escoffier International is an administrative body that annually awards scholarships to women desiring to establish or further a career in the fields of food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, food technology, the arts of the table and other fields as they relate to these disciplines.

SCHOLARSHIPS 2017

Read our news post about this years Scholarships

Paola Bonifacio

Paola is currently pursuing her career in the pastry world in the beautiful mountains of Whistler. Employed by the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, she is training in creating plated desserts and pastries that incorporates fresh ingredients from local farms to promote 'Farm-to-Table'.Read More

Paola is currently pursuing her career in the pastry world in the beautiful mountains of Whistler. Employed by the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, she is training in creating plated desserts and pastries that incorporates fresh ingredients from local farms to promote ‘Farm-to-Table’.

Angel Chiu

Angel completed her pastry training in Paris under Christophe Rhedon and Gaetan Paris. Upon returning to Vancouver, she worked alongside chocolatier, Thomas Haas. Angel wishes to share with the world her passion and vision for entremets and wedding cakes and will continue her training at Bonnie Gordon College in Toronto.Read More

Angel completed her pastry training in Paris under Christophe Rhedon and Gaetan Paris. Upon returning to Vancouver, she worked alongside chocolatier, Thomas Haas. Angel wishes to share with the world her passion and vision for entremets and wedding cakes and will continue her training at Bonnie Gordon College in Toronto.

Victoria Cole

Victoria is a ski bum turned foodie with a goal of becoming a Sommelier. Thanks to Les Dames D'Escoffier she will be able to continue on to achieve higher goals in wine education and perhaps even production. Victoria would like to thank Les Dames D'Escoffier for the opportunity and to congratulate all other deserving recipients.Read More

Victoria is a ski bum turned foodie with a goal of becoming a Sommelier. Thanks to Les Dames D’Escoffier she will be able to continue on to achieve higher goals in wine education and perhaps even production. Victoria would like to thank Les Dames D’Escoffier for the opportunity and to congratulate all other deserving recipients.

Kaitlin Dunn

Kaitlin is a Toronto native who moved to Vancouver to pursue a bigger and greener life. After teaching preschoolers for many years, she transitioned into running restaurants. She currently manages Timber, Chef Chris Whittaker's Canadian Pub on Robson, and will use her scholarship to continue gaining knowledge of wine and local spirits to better serve her guests (and personal palate).Read More

Kaitlin is a Toronto native who moved to Vancouver to pursue a bigger and greener life. After teaching preschoolers for many years, she transitioned into running restaurants. She currently manages Timber, Chef Chris Whittaker’s Canadian Pub on Robson, and will use her scholarship to continue gaining knowledge of wine and local spirits to better serve her guests (and personal palate).

Danielle Felix

Danielle has worked in Vancouver's restaurants for over 20 years. Having completed her ISG diploma in 2012, she has now set her sights on attaining the WSET Diploma. As the sommelier at Fable Kitchen, she is lucky to work with great wines every day. She is excited to be furthering her education with the help of a Les Dames d'Escoffier scholarship.Read More

Danielle has worked in Vancouver’s restaurants for over 20 years. Having completed her ISG diploma in 2012, she has now set her sights on attaining the WSET Diploma. As the sommelier at Fable Kitchen, she is lucky to work with great wines every day. She is excited to be furthering her education with the help of a Les Dames d’Escoffier scholarship.

Evelyn Grant

Evelyn is a Home Economics teacher who aims to educate and inspire students through experiential, food-based learning. She is currently on educational leave from teaching and is pursuing an MSc in Nutrition Education at Columbia University. Evelyn hopes to broaden her role to include curriculum development and community nutrition activities.Read More

Evelyn is a Home Economics teacher who aims to educate and inspire students through experiential, food-based learning. She is currently on educational leave from teaching and is pursuing an MSc in Nutrition Education at Columbia University. Evelyn hopes to broaden her role to include curriculum development and community nutrition activities.

Nina Hendriks

Nina is pursuing her dream to one day own her own cafe and bakery, and offer people an escape from everyday life with delicious pastries. She developed a love for the Food and Hospitality industry through working at a restaurant and a coffee shop, and will follow the Baking & Pastry Arts program at SAIT in Calgary.Read More

Nina is pursuing her dream to one day own her own cafe and bakery, and offer people an escape from everyday life with delicious pastries. She developed a love for the Food and Hospitality industry through working at a restaurant and a coffee shop, and will follow the Baking & Pastry Arts program at SAIT in Calgary.

Mackenzie Irvine

After entering the wine industry working in a tasting room, Mackenzie quickly gained passion for wine. She has taken every opportunity to gain further knowledge and launch her career. Mackenzie is currently taking WSET Level 2 through Wine Plus in Penticton.Read More

After entering the wine industry working in a tasting room, Mackenzie quickly gained passion for wine. She has taken every opportunity to gain further knowledge and launch her career. Mackenzie is currently taking WSET Level 2 through Wine Plus in Penticton.

Kelcie Jones

Kelcie got her start in hospitality waiting tables in Toronto to pay for school, but her literary interests were subsumed by her discovery of palate. After completing her M.A., she took off for France to stage at Domaine Murennes in Provence. Upon return to Vancouver, Kelcie became the commis sommelier at Hawksworth and began the WSET Diploma. As the Hawksworth group expanded, Kelcie joined the opening team at Nightingale, and works on the floor as a Sommelier while continuing her WSET education.Read More

Kelcie got her start in hospitality waiting tables in Toronto to pay for school, but her literary interests were subsumed by her discovery of palate. After completing her M.A., she took off for France to stage at Domaine Murennes in Provence. Upon return to Vancouver, Kelcie became the commis sommelier at Hawksworth and began the WSET Diploma. As the Hawksworth group expanded, Kelcie joined the opening team at Nightingale, and works on the floor as a Sommelier while continuing her WSET education.

Karin Kallio

Karin is a wine professional and enthusiast living in Victoria. She has worked in the wine industry for over 20 years in a sales and sales management and has more recently focused on wine education. Karin has completed WSET 3, French Wine Scholar and the first Italian Wine Scholar module. Karin is excited to use the Les Dames scholarship to complete the second Italian Wine Scholar module and then continue to pursue more education.Read More

Karin is a wine professional and enthusiast living in Victoria. She has worked in the wine industry for over 20 years in a sales and sales management and has more recently focused on wine education. Karin has completed WSET 3, French Wine Scholar and the first Italian Wine Scholar module. Karin is excited to use the Les Dames scholarship to complete the second Italian Wine Scholar module and then continue to pursue more education.

Kelsey Kwong

Kelsey is a secondary school teacher from Vancouver. In her quest to embody lifelong learning and to set an example for her students, she took a leap of faith and enrolled in culinary school. Kelsey is grateful for the opportunity to put her Les Dames scholarship towards a full year Culinary Arts and Baking Program at the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver.Read More

Kelsey is a secondary school teacher from Vancouver. In her quest to embody lifelong learning and to set an example for her students, she took a leap of faith and enrolled in culinary school. Kelsey is grateful for the opportunity to put her Les Dames scholarship towards a full year Culinary Arts and Baking Program at the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver.

Stephanie Lavoi

Stephanie is a student at the Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island. She loves to bake, hike, explore nature and spend time with her family. She feels blessed to be learning about what she loves most, as well as being able to pursue a career in the kitchen.Read More

Stephanie is a student at the Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island. She loves to bake, hike, explore nature and spend time with her family. She feels blessed to be learning about what she loves most, as well as being able to pursue a career in the kitchen.

Melissa Lu

Melissa has always been interested in food - Singapore's national pastime - where she was born and raised. Before coming to Vancouver to further her hospitality studies, Melissa worked in a bustling restaurant in her home country. When introduced to the world of wine in Vancouver, she was intrigued by how diverse and complex the wine world is. Melissa is excited to continue on her wine journey at PICA to find the perfect pairing of food and wine.Read More

Melissa has always been interested in food – Singapore’s national pastime – where she was born and raised. Before coming to Vancouver to further her hospitality studies, Melissa worked in a bustling restaurant in her home country. When introduced to the world of wine in Vancouver, she was intrigued by how diverse and complex the wine world is. Melissa is excited to continue on her wine journey at PICA to find the perfect pairing of food and wine.

Kristina Marinska

Kristina is a passionate, ambitious and confident person who loves fine chocolates and desserts. She believes that the good taste in food is a result of high quality ingredients, good knowledge and a lot of passion. Kristina recently took her Chocolate Diploma at Vancouver Pastry Training Center where, thanks to Les Dames d’Escoffier, she will continue with the Bread Baking Certificate Program.Read More

Kristina is a passionate, ambitious and confident person who loves fine chocolates and desserts. She believes that the good taste in food is a result of high quality ingredients, good knowledge and a lot of passion. Kristina recently took her Chocolate Diploma at Vancouver Pastry Training Center where, thanks to Les Dames d’Escoffier, she will continue with the Bread Baking Certificate Program.

Melissa Masters

Melissa believes that we should never stop learning. Now that she has completed her Professional Cook schooling, she is looking forward to using her scholarship to further her WSET studies. Her goal is to then learn more about pastry and chocolate work. Melissa currently works alongside Chef Adam Relvas at The Sandwich Company and Relvas Catering in Kelowna as Catering Sous Chef. She loves what she does and how no two events are ever the same.Read More

Melissa believes that we should never stop learning. Now that she has completed her Professional Cook schooling, she is looking forward to using her scholarship to further her WSET studies. Her goal is to then learn more about pastry and chocolate work. Melissa currently works alongside Chef Adam Relvas at The Sandwich Company and Relvas Catering in Kelowna as Catering Sous Chef. She loves what she does and how no two events are ever the same.

Emily Poisson

Emily lives and cooks on Vancouver Island. She is passionate about fresh sustainable food, travel and wine. Emily's culinary goals are to experiment with many types of cuisine in creative and new ways. She is currently enrolled in Camosun College in hopes of becoming Red Seal certified then plans on travelling and learning about cuisine around the world.Read More

Emily lives and cooks on Vancouver Island. She is passionate about fresh sustainable food, travel and wine. Emily’s culinary goals are to experiment with many types of cuisine in creative and new ways. She is currently enrolled in Camosun College in hopes of becoming Red Seal certified then plans on travelling and learning about cuisine around the world.

Miriam Popma

Miriam is completing her Pastry Red Seal at Long Beach Lodge Resort in Tofino. Prior to her work at the lodge, Miriam completed her Baking and Pastry program at Vancouver Island University. Top of her class, she was recruited by Tofino's Wickaninnish Inn. Miriam is a Vancouver Islander and is proud to call the island home. An avid outdoors woman, Miriam is inspired in the kitchen by the natural environment she calls home.Read More

Miriam is completing her Pastry Red Seal at Long Beach Lodge Resort in Tofino. Prior to her work at the lodge, Miriam completed her Baking and Pastry program at Vancouver Island University. Top of her class, she was recruited by Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn. Miriam is a Vancouver Islander and is proud to call the island home. An avid outdoors woman, Miriam is inspired in the kitchen by the natural environment she calls home.

Sirpa Puolitaipale

Sirpa has managed multiple VQA stores and organized a wide variety of food and wine related events many times over. She has also educated hundreds of patrons through wine schools at each of the VQA stores she has managed. Sirpa will be starting her WSET Diploma studies.Read More

Sirpa has managed multiple VQA stores and organized a wide variety of food and wine related events many times over. She has also educated hundreds of patrons through wine schools at each of the VQA stores she has managed. Sirpa will be starting her WSET Diploma studies.

Dawn Schultz

Dawn currently resides at West Restaurant as Assistant Wine Director. Last year, Les Dames assisted her wine studies with the French Wine Scholars program and the first module of the Italian Wine Scholars program. This year, she will be able to finish and complete the second half of the Italian Wine Scholars program to continue to grow and share her wine knowledge.Read More

Dawn currently resides at West Restaurant as Assistant Wine Director. Last year, Les Dames assisted her wine studies with the French Wine Scholars program and the first module of the Italian Wine Scholars program. This year, she will be able to finish and complete the second half of the Italian Wine Scholars program to continue to grow and share her wine knowledge.

Robyn Sigurdson

Over 14 years, Robyn has proudly been trained by some of the finest Okanagan chefs including Bernard Cassavant at Burrowing Owl and Rod Butters at Fresco and RauDZ. Competing locally and nationally sent her to Tuscany for a three month stage. She stays very close to her roots in the Okanagan being community minded and involved with chefs in the classroom and Okanagan Chefs Association.Read More

Over 14 years, Robyn has proudly been trained by some of the finest Okanagan chefs including Bernard Cassavant at Burrowing Owl and Rod Butters at Fresco and RauDZ. Competing locally and nationally sent her to Tuscany for a three month stage. She stays very close to her roots in the Okanagan being community minded and involved with chefs in the classroom and Okanagan Chefs Association.

Ashley Sparks

Ashley is currently working as an apprentice at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler to complete her Cook Red Seal. With nine years in the industry, Ashley has decided to explore her love of wine and spirits. She will be attending Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts to take WSET Level 1.Read More

Ashley is currently working as an apprentice at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler to complete her Cook Red Seal. With nine years in the industry, Ashley has decided to explore her love of wine and spirits. She will be attending Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts to take WSET Level 1.

Tina Tang

Red Seal Chef turned self taught Pastry Chef, Tina loves everything about this industry. Tina’s passion for viticulture has grown since moving to the Okanagan four years ago where she is the Pastry Chef at Predator Ridge Resort. With her first Les Dames scholarship, Tina was able to attend the WSET Level 1. Tina will be challenging her wine knowledge with WSET Level 2.Read More

Red Seal Chef turned self taught Pastry Chef, Tina loves everything about this industry. Tina’s passion for viticulture has grown since moving to the Okanagan four years ago where she is the Pastry Chef at Predator Ridge Resort. With her first Les Dames scholarship, Tina was able to attend the WSET Level 1. Tina will be challenging her wine knowledge with WSET Level 2.

Nicole Taylor-Sterritt

Nicole graduated with her Culinary Management Diploma, is two years away from completing her Business Degree, and is also working towards earning her certificates in WSET. Nicole aspires to have her own Event Planning business that highlights food and wine. She will be taking her WSET Level 2 course in the fall.Read More

Nicole graduated with her Culinary Management Diploma, is two years away from completing her Business Degree, and is also working towards earning her certificates in WSET. Nicole aspires to have her own Event Planning business that highlights food and wine. She will be taking her WSET Level 2 course in the fall.

Maryke Vandermarel

Maryke has been working in the food and wine industry for 17 years. She has focused most of her career on wine and works as Sommelier and the former Wine Director of the Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler. She is refocusing her palate on specialty coffee and will be taking roasting classes with the Specialty Coffee Association.Read More

Maryke has been working in the food and wine industry for 17 years. She has focused most of her career on wine and works as Sommelier and the former Wine Director of the Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler. She is refocusing her palate on specialty coffee and will be taking roasting classes with the Specialty Coffee Association.

Kimberley Vy

Baking and pastry has been an integral component of Kimberley's life allowing her to express her artistic creativity. With 10 years experience, she is now Pastry Chef at Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria. She is inspired by women who are driven to succeed and pave the way for others to follow. After attending Vahlrona Pastry School in Brooklyn, NY, she hopes to share knowledge with her young female colleagues and arm them to also help contribute to the Vancouver Island dining community.Read More

Baking and pastry has been an integral component of Kimberley’s life allowing her to express her artistic creativity. With 10 years experience, she is now Pastry Chef at Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria. She is inspired by women who are driven to succeed and pave the way for others to follow. After attending Vahlrona Pastry School in Brooklyn, NY, she hopes to share knowledge with her young female colleagues and arm them to also help contribute to the Vancouver Island dining community.

Shanyn Ward

Through the adventures of life, Shanyn has developed a passion for all things wine. With a love for cuisine and creating wine programs to complement individual menus, her journey began. Shanyn's appetite for wine knowledge evolved into a tenacious pursuit of education in viticulture and winemaking. How wonderful if she could lead others through the vineyards of the world with a glass of wine in hand!Read More

Through the adventures of life, Shanyn has developed a passion for all things wine. With a love for cuisine and creating wine programs to complement individual menus, her journey began. Shanyn’s appetite for wine knowledge evolved into a tenacious pursuit of education in viticulture and winemaking. How wonderful if she could lead others through the vineyards of the world with a glass of wine in hand!

Madison Whale

Madison is a grape farmer living in Penticton. She is inspired by those around her making wine that pays homage to the vineyard and believes in a future that includes cherishing land as a priority in grape growing. Madison will be taking a biodynamic farming course with the Biodynamic Association in hopes to farm more responsibly and educate her community.Read More

Madison is a grape farmer living in Penticton. She is inspired by those around her making wine that pays homage to the vineyard and believes in a future that includes cherishing land as a priority in grape growing. Madison will be taking a biodynamic farming course with the Biodynamic Association in hopes to farm more responsibly and educate her community.

Lilya Zhekova

Lilya loves baking and decorating, and is now taking the first step to becoming a Pastry Chef. She is very excited to start studying Baking and Pastry Arts, at PICA to achieve her dream job and is very thankful to be able to receive this award.Read More

Lilya loves baking and decorating, and is now taking the first step to becoming a Pastry Chef. She is very excited to start studying Baking and Pastry Arts, at PICA to achieve her dream job and is very thankful to be able to receive this award.