Les Dames d'Escoffier South Florida

PRESIDENT'S WELCOME

Les Dames d’Escoffier South Florida was founded in February 2017. Our first three years were filled with great successes. We had many beautiful fundraising events, the last one on the day before Covid shut the country down. We pivoted to hosting fun, educational Zoom classes. To honor our namesake Auguste Escoffier, we have hosted several French-themed dinners including our highly successful French Connection Dinner on Escoffier’s birthday in October 2020, a community outreach event supporting local French restaurants during the pandemic. We promoted French restaurants in South Florida by offering special prix-fixe dinner menus for take-out or for dining in the restaurants. Then we all met on Zoom to share our dinner.


In our first year, we raised enough money to present a scholarship to Marie Franks, which Marie used to pay her tuition in her final year at FAU in Boca Raton, FL. She graduated in May 2020, and is exploring job possibilities in the field of wine. We have also provided partial funding to send a delegate to every LDEI Annual Conference since our founding, and last year we partially funded two delegates’ attendance at the LDEI Conference in Nashville, TN. We were also $500 Conference Patrons. 


We are moving forward into 2021 with a great legacy and great promise. As one of the youngest and most active chapters in the LDEI organization, we are recognized as a chapter “that is doing great things.” We are planning to present another scholarship in 2021. Through our involvement in LDEI’s Global Culinary Initiative, we’ll continue learning about the culinary cultures of other countries. We’ve had several educational Zoom events featuring food, wine and champagne in locations such as Brittany, Lyon, Provence, Paris, Tuscany, Greece, and the British countryside. 

Board of Directors

Irene Moore, President

Co-Founder of the South Florida Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Irene is a culinary and wine journalist and content creator, specializing in food, wine and travel. She has interviewed many culinary and wine notables, and her feature articles have appeared in more than 30 print publications and websites in the United States and Europe. 


At Where/Morris Publications, she was Editor-in-Chief for 10 years of three Florida-based magazines including Where South Florida, and was Editor-in-Chief of more than 30 editions of Where GuestBooks, hardcover guidebooks about Florida locales. Prior to moving to Florida, she lived in New York where she was a spokesperson for W Magazine and for five years had a monthly column, The Personal Shopper, about haute couture fashion and luxury travel. She also frequently wrote for W’s sister publication, Women’s Wear Daily. 


She has written about restaurants, wine, culinary events, culinary culture and travel for InboundDestintions.com; AzureAzure.com; MiamiCurated.com; SocialMiami.com; SoFLaNights.com; New York Observer; Modern Luxury Miami; Flamingo Magazine; Ocean Drive/Palm Beach Edition Magazine; Brickell Magazine, Boca Raton Magazine, and Edible Palm Beach Magazine. She wrote about Italy's Friuli wine region in IGT Magazine (Indicazione Georgrafica Tipica); Greece’s diverse wine regions (sommjournal.com); and has interviewed wine notables for SOMM Journal.  She was a journalist in the European Region of Gastronomy Award 2019 media Food and Wine tour of the Aegean Islands in Greece; the 2019 Corfu Greece Food and Wine Festival, and a 2019 agricultural festival in Naxos, Greece.” in Corfu, Greece; and an Agricultural Festival in Naxos, Greece. 


Her credentials include an MBA in Marketing, Fordham University Gabelli School of Business, New York; certification in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton; Mastery of Wine and Advanced Sommelier Certification from Florida International University Chaplain School of Hospitality, Miami; and an Honorary Fellowship at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, Napa Valley.

Stephanie Miskew, Vice President

Stephanie Miskew is a Certified Sommelier, Wine Educator and Author of The Glamorous Gourmet, a website and blog founded in 2009 that's dedicated to her passions in life: food, wine and travel. Stephanie also founded The Wine Atelier in 2013, an online wine boutique, club and educational treasure trove born of a desire to provide fellow wine lovers with access to the latest wine discoveries and trends from around the globe. Stephanie also offers an array of personalized Sommelier services to meet all your vinous needs, including coordinating wine-dinner pairings, wine-related travel, managing wine collections, wine gifts, and private wine tastings. 


Stephanie's extensive wine-related credentials include: Certified Sommelier, The Court of Master Sommeliers; Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), The Society of Wine Educators; Wine Location Specialist for CIVC (Champagne) and IVDP (Port), Center for Wine Origins; Advanced Certificate, Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

Robyn Webb, Secretary

Robyn Webb, MS, CITM is an award winning cookbook author, nutritionist and culinary instructor. She was born and raised in the hotel and restaurant business; destined for a life in the hospitality and food industry. In her 1st long term career of almost 30 years, Robyn penned 17 cookbooks with a focus on diabetes care. She served as the Food Editor of Diabetes Forecast Magazine of the American Diabetes Association for 25 years. She had an acclaimed cooking school and private nutrition practice. 


Robyn had numerous recipe development and major food projects with the biggest names in the food industry from corporations to the media including The Washington Post, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, Nestle, Keebler, California Avocado Association, Whole Foods, and numerous food blogs and public government and private agencies. She appeared frequently on major TV programs including Food Network; CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN news, Daytime TV and so much more. 


After almost 30 years as a business owner, Robyn retired from the 1st career to embark on a 2nd career in food tourism. She is currently a food tour guide for the award-winning Miami Culinary Tours and ever the entrepreneur, she now also owns a small boutique agency, Paris Made for You, a company devoted to crafting dream trips to Paris France.

Claire Tomlin, Treasurer 

Claire is the founder and owner of the Market Company. Known as the "herb lady",  Claire has a long history of working with the leaves, pods and roots of edible plants. An Atlanta, Georgia native, Claire moved to Miami Beach in 1994 and was the founding Executive Director of The Miami Beach Botanical Garden. 


In 1995 Claire began selling her herb vinegars at the Lincoln Road Partnership Ma​rket in Miami Beach. Miami Beach City management asked Tomlin to reconstitute the market as the Lincoln Road Farmers Market. Over the years Tomlin expanded the local farmer's market concept and continued to coordinate and oversee a varied group of twelve fresh weekend and seasonal markets throughout the Miami area, a business she now calls The Market Company. She has produced more than 50 farmers markets in the Greater Miami area and is currently managing the Miami Beach Lincoln Road Green Market, the Las Olas Oceanside Park Market in Fort Lauderdale and one at the University of Miami Coral Gables. The Market Company, is Miami’s longest running producer of farmers markets. 


Since 1997, she has thrived as an events coordinator, expanding a variety of weekend and seasonal outdoor fresh farmers and craft markets across South Florida. Claire has attended Terra Madre in Tourin, Italy as a delegate representing South Florida. She joined Les Dames d’Escoffier in 2012 and has been the president and treasurer of the South Florida Chapter.


Gina Castaldo Natoli, Director-at-Large

Gina Castaldo Natoli is a Miami-based caterer, culinary instructor and culinary tour guide for Miami Culinary Tours in the South Beach, Little Havana, Midtown and Wynwood neighborhoods. Her tours were voted “Best Culinary Tours” in the city!  


She was the co-owner of Anima Restaurant, New York for five years. Gina attended Pace University in New York City and honed her culinary education in New York and Miami. As a culinary educator, Gina taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma for ten years (2000-2010), where she developed and tested new recipes for the corporation. She was also a sales representative for All-Clad cooking utensils in Miami’s Williams Sonoma stores where she was one of the store's highest producers. 


For the past seventeen years, Gina has been the co-owner of Seventh Heaven Catering in Miami, orchestrating artfully-appointed culinary events with her sister-in-law, Claire Natoli. Their catering business includes full-service menu planning, wine pairings, shopping, flower arranging, invitation and menu graphic design, table settings, chef services and cleanup. Noted clients include Andrea Bocelli and a former governor of Virginia. Her abilities include culinary Internet writing and food styling. 


Patty Ruiz, Director-at-Large

Chef Patty Ruiz’s mission is to inspire people to discover and enjoy the importance of food as a social medium. Her passion for food, entertaining and food styling has been recognized throughout the industry. As founder of The Mad Table, Chef Patty provides private and group classes, hosts interactive dinners, and provides private chef services. She also enjoys working on styling projects for food bloggers, influencers, commercials, print media, film, and restaurants. 


The Mad Table brand wears multiple hats centered around the same passion, food!

 • The Mad Table Kids Culinary Camp - a small boutique style kids culinary camp in the summers only. 

 • The Mad Table Blends - small batch hand-crafted spice and sugar blends 

 • The Mad Table Styles - professional food and prop styling work for commercial, editorial, and film; Food Network, Bacardi Limited, National Pork Board Association, and more. 


Recent accolades: Cooked and filmed with Chef Sara Moulton; 2nd place winner for Sunday’s best and 4th overall in Yelp’s Best Bite at 2019 SOBE Food & Wine Festival; Invited to cook at James Beard House, NYC with Greek celebrity chef Argiro Barbarigou; 1st Place winner of the Super Bowl Bites Contest by Donatella Arpaia.

Denise Courshon Weisberg, Director-at-Large

Denise Courshon’s career spans the worlds of haute couture fashion, upscale hotels, Miami City Ballet and Florida Grand Opera. The first half of her career was in public relations and marketing for several of the most prestigious fashion houses worldwide as well as major retailers in the fashion and beauty industries. The second half of her career has focused on event planning, primarily for two significant South Florida cultural arts organizations, the Florida Grand Opera and Miami City Ballet.


At the Florida Grand Opera and Miami City Ballet, she directed all income-producing activities, and designed menus with wine pairings for annual events including opening night galas. As Director of Membership at Grove Isle Club, she created a monthly newsletter, orchestrated James Beard Foundation dinners, and brought in Christies’ ‘Antiques Roadshow,’ New World Symphony, and Sotheby’s NYC Latin America Art Auction Preview. She has entertained visiting celebrities performing at Coconut Grove Playhouse and organized celebrity tennis tournaments in Miami. 


Today, Denise helms her own event planning and consulting business in Miami, as President and CEO of Denise Courshon Consulting. She accepts selected short-term projects and offers counseling in fundraising strategies for special events.

Membership Inquiries 

Join Les Dames d'Escoffier South Florida

Are you professional women of good reputation and achievement?

Are you currently engaged in a career in food, fine beverages, or the hospitality industry?

Have you been active in your chosen field for a minimum of 5 years?

Do you desire to be part of an international network of professionals working in these fields?

If so, consider joining our educational and philanthropic journey. 

Membership Inquiries

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