[image-2]This Saturday, spend a day with industry pros learning the ins and outs of holiday cooking, baking, and hosting at the inaugural Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) Charleston Chapter culinary academy.

For the uninitiated, LDEI’s namesake Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935) — known as both the Chef of Kings and the King of Chefs — was a French chef, restaurateur, and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking.

[image-3] A year after Escoffier’s death, an all-male group of chefs de cuisine, business and hotel execs, and restaurateurs formed Les Amis d’Escoffier Society of New York, Inc. Several decades and iterations later, an all-female organization was formed in response, celebrating the women who kick ass in the male dominated food and bev industry.

Today, LDEI is comprised of more than 2,000 members across 40 chapters in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and Mexico, with a mission of creating a supportive culture in communities to achieve excellence in F&B and hospitality fields.

Rub elbows with some of these high-achieving and philanthropic Dames — and get ready to make your next gathering festive AF —  from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday at the Culinary Institute of Charleston’s Palmer Campus.

[image-4]The day is chock-full of expert advice: learn how to pull off a “holiday dinner without stress” with the amicable TV personality and award-winning author Nathalie Dupree; pick up some baking tips and recipes from celebrated pastry chefs Kelly Wilson, Andrea Upchurch, and Michelle Diminish; get hostess gift ideas from culinary instructor/stylist and social media expert Danielle Wecksler and walk away with a “Pinterest worthy” treat for yourself; set your sights on creating a perfect tablescape with Paige Crone, founder of Charleston Protocol Y’All, owner of Salthouse Catering Tanya Gurrieri, and senior catering and event manger at Duvall Emma Lesesne-Booth; learn confidence boosting skills and techniques to cook a holiday meal, whether it’s a cocktail social or dinner party, under the tutelage of Charleston Grill Executive Chef Michelle Weaver and Magnolias Executive Chef Kelly Franz; and finish the day off with an informative cocktail party featuring holiday themed cocktails and wine.

Tickets are $175 per person and include a Continental breakfast, boxed lunch, samplings throughout the day, gift bag and recipes, and access to an artisan marketplace.

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