Women Leaders in Food, Fine Beverage and Hospitality

An affiliate chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International

Welcome to the London Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International

LDE London (Les Dames d’Escoffier London) is a dynamic group of forward-thinking and successful female leaders in the food, beverage and hospitality industries. Located in the best city in the world, LDE London is a chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), a non-profit organisation which supports its communities through grants, scholarships and mentorship.

Visit our events page to learn about our events, which are open to members and many also to the general public.


We are founded on the principle of creating a supportive culture within our community through:

  • Sharing knowledge
  • Supporting our members
  • Providing leadership, educational opportunities and philanthropic events for the community at large

Letter from the President

Hello and welcome to LDE London.

For those visiting us for the first time, we hope you gain an insight into our Chapter, affiliated with the larger organisation, Les Dames d’Escoffier International.

Please take time to see what we do, get to know our membership here and consider how you can be involved in our welcoming community. We look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at one of our events!

Dames in the News

Dame Lucy Vincent

Here’s to Dame Lucy Vincent, who has been named as one of this year’s Inspirational Women, in a campaign supported by the Daily Mail and M&S.  Founder and CEO of Food Behind Bars, Lucy attended a Women of the World (WOW) event at Buckingham Palace in March, where she met the Queen and was able to highlight the important work she and her team are doing to campaign for change in prison food.

To read about the latest initiative to build a Prison Food Foundation, and to make a donation Click Here

Dame Sheila Dillon

Another well-deserved accolade for Dame Patron Sheila Dillon.

Dame Sheila Dillon has been the recipient of many a deserved award in her time, due to her fearless food journalism over the years.  Her most recent accolade is perhaps one of her most important, as she was recognised at the prestigious Food and Drink Awards Fortnum & Mason (fortnumandmason.com), winning the audio category.

Cherry Pistachio Cake

Dame Catherine Sloman shares this seasonal recipe with credit to Itamar and Sarit of Honey & Co.

Lady Guadalupe

Thanks to Dame Jen Greenhalgh for a cocktail recipe for a change – this comes courtesy of friends in San Francisco.

Dames Give Back with Plan Z Heroes

25th and 26th July 2024

<Members only>

Plan Zheroes – The Zero Food Waste Heroes are a fantastic charity working hard to reduce food waste across our capital. They are like a dating agency between businesses who have surplus, good quality food and charities in need.

If you’d like to get involved, drop Dame Kate Howell a line or if you have any other ideas of volunteering opportunities for the Chapter, do let us know.

Alex Beighton

President Jacqui Pickles stands proudly with school founder Dame Alison Swan Parente and star student Alex Beighton, newly graduated from the School of Artisan Food.

Jacqui reports that the graduation event was inspiring as so many of the students are going on to forge careers in their specialty fields.  Alex is raring to go and is ready to open her bakery in Darlington any day now.

It has been a great pleasure to be able to sponsor Alex by paying her school fees, especially knowing that, without us stepping in, she would have been unable to participate in the course.

We’ll continue to follow Alex’s career and publish occasional updates but in the meantime we wish her a hearty congratulations and good luck as she takes the first steps to success.

We always welcome donations

Donations go towards our beneficiaries – these range from food charities to educational funds for women entering the worlds of culinary arts, fine beverage or hospitality.