Our organization is named after Auguste Escoffier (1846–1935), known as “The Chef of Kings” and “The King of Chefs. ”He was the most innovative chef in history, one whose philosophy, accomplishments and philanthropic deeds serve as inspiration to culinary professionals today. In 1936, a group of epicures, many of them former pupils of Auguste Escoffier, gathered at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City to form a men-only organization of dedicated gastronomes called Les Amis d’Escoffier Society of New York, Inc.
In the early 1970s, Carol Brock, the then Sunday food editor at the New York Daily News, set about to create the first organization for professional culinary women. She was inspired by the Boston group Les Dames des Amis d’Escoffier, a dining and philanthropic society formed in 1959 in response to the all-male Les Amis d’Escoffier. Carol received a charter from the New York Les Amis d’Escoffier Society to form a women’s chapter.
Her goal was to raise the image and presence of women in food, wine, and hospitality industries still largely dominated by men. In1976, 50 prominent women formed Les Dames d’Escoffier New York.