Chapter welcomes eight exceptional women to its society of dedicated professionals
The Atlanta Chapter of Les Dames d’ Escoffier International (LDEI), a worldwide society of women in the culinary, beverage and hospitality industries, announces its new Dames for 2013. Induction to Les Dames d’Escoffier is awarded to exceptional female applicants involved in the culinary or pastry arts, farming, beverage management, hospitality, agriculture or other related fields of study.
The 2013 Les Dames d’Escoffier International inductees are as follows:
Ami Dand, Executive Pastry Chef, A Legendary Event
Currently the Executive Pastry Chef at A Legendary Event, Dand has held previous positions as the Executive Pastry Chef at the St. Regis Atlanta, as well as the chef de partie at The Lodge at Sea Island. An accomplished individual in her field, Dand has appeared on Food Network’s “Sweet Genius,” where she placed second on the Samba Genius episode. She was also a medalist at the American Culinary Federation’s cake decorating competitions in 2008 and 2009, and received a bronze medal at the North Georgia Mountain Cake Decorating Competition in 2007. Dand is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where received a degree in biology with a concentration in genetics and minor in Spanish.
Molly Gunn, Owner, The Porter Beer Bar
Since opening The Porter Beer at age 26, Gunn has established her restaurant as one of the nation’s best beer bars. A James Beard Semi-Finalist for Best Bar Program in both 2012 and 2013, the restaurant has been rated no. 1 in the United States by ratebeer.com for three consecutive years. The Porter Beer Bar is also a three-time honoree as one of Draft Magazine’s Top 100 Beer Bars. Gunn’s culinary career prior to opening her own restaurant includes positions with Quinones at Bacchanalia, Seeger’s and Babette’s Café. Gunn is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a degree in anthropology.
Jo Ann Herold, Vice Chairman, Arby’s Foundation at Arby’s Restaurant Group
As vice chair of the Arby’s Foundation, Herold’s work is devoted to ending childhood hunger. A 30-year industry veteran, she was vice president of brand communications and public relations at Arby’s Restaurant Group, and was a former CMO for HoneyBaked Ham. Herold has been honored by the restaurant industry on numerous occasions, as she is a recipient of the National Restaurant Association’s Neighbor Award, a two-time recipient of the GRACE Distinguished Service Award and AMY Award for both TV and Radio campaigns. As part of the Leadership Atlanta class of 2012, Herold is also an active advisor and council board member.
Kathleen Miliotis, Executive Pastry Chef, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
An Atlanta native, Miliotis is the executive pastry chef of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. Her work has garnered broadcast and print publicity, ranging from CNN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade” and CBS Atlanta, to Food & Wine Magazine and Jezebel. A passionate philanthropist, Miliotis is an active member of Meals On Wheels and Share Our Strength, and has volunteered at Afternoon in the Country, the Atlanta chapter’s annual fundraiser event for the past two years. Kathleen is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University where she received degrees in culinary and pastry arts.
Ashley Mitchell, Executive Sous Chef, Affairs to Remember Caterers, Inc.
As the executive sous chef of this catering icon, Mitchell spearheads company development and innovation. A proven leader and industry expert, she has developed specialized menus for more than 15 categories of dietary needs and was the honorary chair of the 2012 Food Allergy and Anapylaxis Network (FAAN). Mitchell also pioneered the company’s sustainability program. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, and has worked under renowned Chef Peter Tims at The Greenbrier.
Jenn Robbins, Chef de Cuisine, Avalon Catering
Since 2010, Robbins has led all kitchen production aspects of this farm-to-table catering operation, where the focus is on local food and sustainable events. She also foster’s the company’s catering partnership with Miller Union. She is an advocate of the local food movement in Atlanta, and is part of the Peachtree Road Farmers’ Market, Georgia Organics, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and Wholesome Wave. She is an honors graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Biology. She is also a magna cum laude graduate of the Texas Culinary Academy in the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts program.
Michelle Spohnholz, Vice President, Marketing & Culinary, CSM Bakery Products
As vice president of marketing and culinary at CSM Bakery Products, Spohnholz leads a team of more than 20 marketing and corporate culinary professionals to develop business to business strategies. She provides direction in its innovation pipeline, implements corporate brand positioning and launches seasonal calendars to leverage a variety of products. Prior to her position at CSM, Spohnholz held executive positions as the vice president of PepsiCo, Inc.’s national restaurants customer marketing, vice president of marketing at Arby’s, director of marketing at Western Region and director of marketing at Taco Bell. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in advertising.
Sue Sullivan, Owner/Founder, Hot Squeeze, LLC.
Since 2006, Sullivan has led her company to produce high-quality, all-natural sauces and dry rubs, that are distributed nationwide and in Canada. Prior to founding Hot Squeeze, LLC., she was owner and operator of Sue Sullivan & Carol Bosworth Catering in Atlanta, an operation that specialized in catering for film, television and commercial crews. Sullivan also held a position with celebrated Abigail Kirsch Catering. She is a graduate of Skidmore College with a business degree and minor in English.
For more information on LDEI Atlanta’s scholarship and grant program, visit www.ldeiatlanta.org.
About Les Dames d’ Escoffier
Les Dames d’ Escoffier International is dedicated to creating a supportive culture in the community, fostering excellence and promoting the achievement of women in culinary professions through educational and charitable activities. For additional information, please visit www.ldeiatlanta.org and follow on Facebook and Twitter.