2017 LDNY Future Leader Scholarship, $5,000
Diana Zhu, NYU, Malika Ikromova, City Tech, CUNY
Diana Zhu Diana Zhu is a graduate student at NYU studying Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics. She’s working on becoming a registered dietitian to guide people in healing their relationship with food and their bodies, to realize and create balanced lifestyle habits in an individualized manner. She hopes to ultimately be able to provide a comprehensive range of prevention services and care to patients/clients. As a strong believer in the significance of every person and in the formation of genuine relationships, she strives to be of influence to every person in a relatable way, just as they inspire her daily in her endeavors.
Malika Ikramova Malika is working towards her Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management, with a concentration in Food and Beverage Management. While studying abroad in Paris, volunteering at various organizations and hospitality clubs, she learned that the beauty of working in hospitality is the joy we derive from the role. Being part of the Honors and Research Scholars Program, she has successfully completed numerous research projects to support her goal of pursuing a Masters in Nutrition and Food Studies. With the combination of her education and relevant experience, she hopes to make an impact to change the lives of many people by teaching them about the science of food and nutrition.
2017 Les Dames d’Escoffier New York Founders Scholarship, $4,000
Ximena Diz Ximena is earning a Master’s of Science in Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. Her expected graduation date is December 2018. This August she will begin a Dietetic Internship at the Bronx VA Medical Center. Over the past two years, Ximena has focused on clinical and community nutrition while volunteering at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Nutrition Department, as well as at Odyssey House, a drug rehabilitation center in Harlem. As a first-generation Latin American who was raised abroad, she hopes to develop holistic programs that consider the cultural characteristics of Hispanic communities in New York to prevent and treat diet-related illnesses through nutrition therapy, education, and counseling.
LDNY’s Whole Foods Market Leadership Scholarship, $5,000
Deborah Ni, NYU
Deborah A. Ni My journey in Food Studies began on small organic farms in the U.S. and Mexico. Since then I have worked as a private chef, butcher, dishwasher, line cook, and gardener. My interest in advocacy also reaches beyond the food world—I proudly marched on Washington for the Women's March and People's Climate March, and I volunteer regularly at a women's clinic in Queens. After completing my Master's degree in Food Studies at NYU, I hope to start a community farm that will address issues of food sovereignty while empowering other women of color in the industry.
The Dunn Robbins Wine and Food Scholarship, $5,000
Jennifer Ojito, IWC
Jennifer Ojito Over 6 years ago, I began working in the hospitality industry as a prep cook and waitress. I was inspired by my grandmother, with whom I spent many years learning to cook. I then realized how much satisfaction I gained from my beginning steps in a professional kitchen, which led me to continue my career path by attending college for Culinary Arts & Food/Beverage Management. I see my future career goals including mixologist/beverage specialist, and food/ beverage director.
The Abigail Kirsch Scholarship, $2,500
Pamela Fernandez I am a pastry student chef, whose dream was to follow a career in the food and beverage field while I was in high school. I began as an intern baker at a local cupcake shop; later, I became a waitress, cashier, and pastry cook. These positions were brief, but I learned an enormous amount at each of them. I fell in love with the precision and techniques involved in baking and pastry creation. Having a large family with a love for food inspired me to develop my own voice, focusing on sweets. I would like to secure a position at a hotel in this area, and see where that leads me.
The Margaret and Darby Perry Scholarship, $5,000
Mikayla Deruchia, CIA, Taylor Bischof, CIA
Mikayla Deruchia From a young age, I was in the kitchen, following in the footsteps of all of the women in my family. As I grew older, I realized there was a future in food. I graduated from Northwest Technical Center in Ogdensburg, New York, and now am working on completing my Associate’s Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts at The Culinary Institute of America. For my internship, I worked at The Swiss Bakery in Springfield, Virginia. My plans for after graduation include getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics, and becoming a New York State Registered Dietitian.
Taylor Bischof I have always wanted to pursue a career in the food industry. When I was five I told my parents that I was going to be a chef and I never changed my mind. I got my first job in the hospitality industry when I was fourteen, and later worked at a custom cake shop with another CIA graduate. From then on, I had many jobs, including a chocolate shop, ice cream shop and a J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton. My career goal is to own and operate a successful bakery café, hopefully in the state of New York.
The Ruth Fisher Scholarship, $2,500
Jordan Werner, NYU
Jordan Kettley Werner Jordan Werner is a Masters candidate in food studies at New York University, where her academic research is focused on the cider industry. Jordan earned a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Vermont, which sparked her interest in studying agriculture and food. Prior to becoming the Julia Child Foundation Fellow in Food Writing at Heritage Radio Network, Jordan spent several years managing high-volume cafés and working as the Field Editor of Vermont Magazine. Jordan hopes to combine her love of food and writing into a successful career in food media
Edna Lewis Grande Dame of Southern Cooking Scholarship, in honor of Jonell Nash, $2,000
Danette Dundee Danette Dundee is a resident of Queens New York, and her favorite pastime is to cook, and to touch your heart by feeding your belly. She has been putting love on a plate as far back as she can recall, since it once brought solace to her youth. It continues to fuel her throughout adulthood. She is currently building her own private chef and catering business, “Dining with Di” and making healthy, tasty, all natural marinades and barbeque sauces. She feels extremely blessed to be fulfilling this life goal and purpose.
Culinary Institute of America
Ashley Jarett, Rachel Smallwood
Ashley R. Jarrett I have been surrounded by hospitality my entire life. My father went to school for culinary, my mother worked as a front desk manager in a hotel and my grandmother loved to bake. I feel fortunate that I discovered my passion for baking at such a young age and that no one ever tried to shake me from pursuing a career in the arts. I know owning a bakery one day will be very hard work, but that's what it's all about! From my first job as a hostess to the kitchen at CIA, I have loved every second!
Rachel Smallwood Food has been something that has excited me since I was a little girl, when my mom taught me how to collect eggs from our chickens and cook and bake simple things like meatloaf and chocolate chip cookies. When I graduated from high school, I attended community college for an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts, where I went on to working in the industry. After two years of working I returned to school at The Culinary Institute of America. I am currently interning as a line cook at The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, learning about Farm-to-Table cuisine of Appalachia.
International Culinary Center
Arabella Green, Andrea Reina, Aili Pusker
Arabella Green A culinary enthusiast, Arabella was always fascinated by the hospitality industry and its enchanting capacity to create joy. After earning a BA with high honors in Sociology and Human Services, Arabella redirected her focus as a maitre d’ and social media assistant in a charming Soho restaurant. Inspired by the chefs, Arabella realized she wanted to be in the kitchen creating magic in the world of patisserie. Thanks to the generosity of the Les Dames d’Escoffier scholarship, Arabella will complete her studies at the International Culinary Center in pursuit of her dreams as a future leader in the pastry arts.
Andrea Reina, RDN Andrea is currently in the Culinary Arts program in the International Culinary Center. She was born in Colombia and arrived to United States at the age of 14. Since High School she has been passionate about food and nutrition. Over the years she worked and volunteered in different restaurants and health organizations. Andrea graduated with a Bachelor's degree in nutrition from New York University and completed her internship with the Department of Health of Puerto Rico. She currently works as a Retail Dietitian for Shoprite. Her goal is to combine her culinary education with her nutrition expertise to open a small business where she can provide delicious, healthy and sustainable food alternatives to some of our favorite dishes.
Aili Puskar Having studied Nutrition in college, food has always been a passion of mine, but my love of wine only began as a result of my post-graduation move to Florence, Italy. There, I fell in love with the intimate world of food and wine pairing and it became something I wanted to learn everything about. Two years later, I returned to the States- still studying wines on my own- before realizing this was a career that I must pursue. My wish is to work in the exportation and recognition of smaller Italian producers, and hopefully, one day, have my own vineyard.
Institute of Culinary Education
Jessica Leon, Nell Jocelyn, Dia Bennani
Jessica Leon Inspiration is a process, and mine so happened to conclude during my time in Peru this past January. My plan was to move to study Medicine in Peru, but it wasn't in God's plan. I ended up taking a baking class in Peru that made me realize I always wanted to be in the kitchen. I grew up in my family's Pizzeria business, and it's where my love for the art of cooking began. When I returned to New York, I enrolled to the Institute of Culinary Education's AM Pastry and Baking Program. I wanted to take advantage of all the time and volunteer/work anywhere and everywhere that I could, to learn new techniques that would help me grow as a Chef. Thanks to ICE, I got to work with several talented chefs. But I still have a lot to learn before opening my own place or even expanding the family business.
Nell Jocelyn Nell Jocelyn began her career in hospitality twelve years ago as a 'dishpig' at Pazzo Ristorante, in Stratford, Ontario, where she returned in various roles every summer until she was 23. It was at that she first cooked on a line, moving on to restaurants in Melbourne, Australia, Philadelphia and New York. She loves the charged pace, the hand skills, and kitchen camaraderie. Nell's plan is to work and learn more in kitchens all over the world.
Dia Bennani Growing up in NYC, I was surrounded by people of many different backgrounds from all countries of the world. I was always enamored by various cultures and how they celebrate the world from different angles. It wasn't until my early 20's that I realized a career in the hospitality industry is nothing more than the opportunity to serve as an ambassador to these cultures through flavor and experience. Suddenly, I was certain that the international hospitality industry was a perfect fit for me. I knew with a career in the largest international sector, my interest and passion for work would constantly renew and keep me interested for years to come. In times like these, I love being able to offer people a respite from all the insanity. I want people to come into my establishment and just enjoy what really matters in life (nourishment, companionship, and shelter).
International Wine Center
Jessica Newton Jessica is a Portfolio Manager for Liberty Wine Selections and a WSET Diploma candidate. Her career began while waitressing and auditioning for theater in Manhattan after graduating high school. Staff trainings led by beverage directors and reps helped Jessica fall in love with wine. In college she sought out wine-related opportunities: working in wine retail and interning on a vineyard in Languedoc-Roussillon, France. Upon graduation, she worked as a wine sales rep. Jessica has earned the following certifications: Certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine, and WSET Advanced, passing with distinction. Jessica’s long-term goal is to become a wine educator.
Rebecca Yellin, Montclair State University
Rebecca Yellin As someone who has suffered with bulimia nervosa, I have seen the impact that unhealthy eating has on the body and mind. This experience has compelled me to learn more about food, to better understand how the body utilizes nutrients, and therefore, to study dietetics. My academic studies, together with working for a baker in a restaurant, and for an organic meal delivery company, have stoked my passions. Eventually, I hope to apply my knowledge as a registered dietitian and open a restaurant with both nutritious and delicious food that will bridge the gap between eating and health outcomes.
LDNY Scholarship, $1,500
Cei kar Ng Wu, Kingsborough College
Ana Nicole Uribe, Cornell University
Cei Kar Ng Wu My first encounter with the kitchen was when I was thirteen years old. My Chef/teacher was my father, and those hours in the kitchen were valuable time that I could spend with him. I consider cooking as a profound expression of love with those I love. With the help of this scholarship, I hope to be able to get more opportunities to experience what it is really like to have a professional culinary career. In the future, I would like to serve not only those I care about, but also people that want to be cared for.
Ana Nicole Uribe My love for hospitality began at a young age; I was always wanting to plan family events and enjoyed making a big production out of birthdays and gatherings. Along with my appreciation of hospitality, I also developed a passion for food. Once I completed my culinary degree, I wanted to delve deeper into the industry. I began my research and soon found the school of my dreams, SHA at Cornell. I am now in my Junior year and plan to always keep growing and learning more about this industry. My future plans include working with restaurant concept development and someday I hope to open my own business!
The Florence Griffith Memorial Scholarship
Diamond is this year’s scholarship recipient from the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).
Diamond John To pursue culinary arts, Diamond John decided to attend The School for International Studies. As she hoped, she explored different aspects of the industry. Diamond participated in Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP’s) Spring Chefs program, where she spent her school break studying culinary at Kingsborough Community College. She has since worked at the Chocolate Room and DB Bistro Moderne. A stellar student, Diamond is serious about college and was thrilled to win the Les Dames d' Escoffier New York and the Florence Griffin Memorial Scholarship as the result of the C-CAP culinary competition. With the support of her culinary teacher, Ceren Bruenell, and C-CAP, Diamond developed crucial skills that helped her discover more about the industry and herself.
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