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Panache Spring 2012

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  • PanacheNewsletter of Les Dames dEscoffier Chicago Spring 2012

    DestinationsBy Joan Reardon

    Whan that Aprill with his shoures sooteThe droghet of March hath perced to the roote,And bathed every veyne in swich licourOf which vertu engendred is the flour;Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breethInspired hath in every holt and heathThe tender croppes and the young sonneHath in the Ram his halve cours yronne,And small foweles maken melodye,That slepen al the nyght with open ye(So priketh hem nature in hir corages)--Thanne longen folk to goon pilgrimages.

    Prologue to The Canterbury Tales

    Who better than Chaucer knew that the arrival of spring inspires one and all to go on a journey to renew body and soul. Whether the destination is Canterbury or New Orleans, the resorts of the Caribbean or the late snows of Aspen, the search for a familiar or unfamiliar retreat is universal. And the desire for rejuvenation attracts modern-day pilgrims.

    A survey of our members journeys had Rita Gutekantz recently returning from a trip to Australia, where she visited vineyard-ist Jeanne [McInerney] Lubeck. I never wanted to leave Australia, was her reac-tion when she described the magical quality of light, especially the long evenings when she and Jeanne would share a bottle of wine and gaze out over the landscape. In January Barbara Glunz winged her way to

    Tel Aviv to begin a visit to the sacred places in the Holy Land. At the end of February, Dana Benigno traveled to the Maya Tulum Resort, located on the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, a seaside wellness retreat that offered amazing serenity, awe-inspiring scenery, and a true connection with the Mayan past.

    But these were not the only journeys taken and destinations reached. Jean True made important changes in her personal and pro-fessional life, and is striving to find fulfill-ment as a single woman who has retired from years of work as a caterer and mar-ried life. Jennifer Lampough was featured on the Food Channel in January as one of several women who have undertaken a journey to lose weight and develop a whole new persona.

  • Executive Board 2011Prsident: Sharon OlsonVice President: Meme HopmayerTreasurer: Linda AverySecretary: Jennifer LamploughPast President: Nancy Brussat

    Board MembersKeli FayardEleanor HansonVeronica HastingsSusan ParentiDonna PierceJolene WorthingtonLisa Piasecki RosskammJean True

    Presidents LetterDear Chicago Dames,

    I am writing this letter to you on a January day that promises to hit 50 degrees in Chicago, so I am sincerely inspired by the promise of springtime. This season we will be sharing a particularly festive annual meeting and dinner that will mark the 30th anniversary of our chapter. There is much to celebrate with our collective memories and the optimism for whats ahead.

    As I shared a toast to kick off the 30th celebration at our January gathering, I was again reminded of all of the reasons that I treasure my association with Les Dames Chicago. When I was invited to join this group, I was thrilled at the opportunity to join an organiza-tion so focused on giving back and inspiring the next generation. Up until that time every professional organization I had joined was about breaking into the business, building my career, and making contacts to build business relationships.

    Over the years some wonderful friendships developed, but nothing was like my first experience with Les Dames Chicago. I was welcomed immediately and felt the embrace of friendship and kindred spirit. My associations through this organization have enriched my life immensely in a very short time. When I lost my mother a year ago, I had notes and flowers waiting at my home when I arrived and the notes continued to flow. Women I had shared some memorable meals and laughter with wrote heartfelt notes and seemed to know me so well. It was then that I realized I had a new family and I continue to cherish my Les Dames family.

    I hope you will be there May 14th to join in the celebration of the difference we have made this past year. The board approved a motion to give $30,000 in scholarships to celebrate our 30th anniversary and extend our reach to culinary schools where more of our members can become involved in the mentorship program.

    We are helping our nutrition literacy program at the Boys & Girls Club gain alternate sources of funding while we continue our commitment to inspiring the children with the gift of our time by leading their classes and sharing our experiences. I have been gratified to see some of our potential new members working at the club with that sparkle in their eyes that always comes from the delight the children take from our teaching.

    The commitment of our members continues to amaze me as I see our plans for the 30th anniversary weekend fund raiser taking shape as the new paradigm for fund raising in Chicago. It will be fun, exciting and enriching for our programs that serve the community. Its a chance for everyone in the chapter to be involved in a way that captures their exper-tise and brings them joy.

    Thanks to our incomparable editorial team at Panache you are enjoying a fresh new look with this Spring issue. Panache does so much more than share the news among us. I hope the stories about our members who confront the challenges of life and seize the opportuni-ties with courage and grace will refresh and inspire you.

    Best regards,Sharon Olson


  • 3continued from page 1This spring, Sharon Olson will embark on another one of the challenging multi-day walks to raise funds for breast cancer research. Fund raising, training, and preparing for the experience is something very special to her and she has done this three time before to celebrate survival milestones for my mom and my dear friend, Maggie, who has cel-ebrated her 25th year of survival. Sharon also has the joy of knowing that my sweet little mom passed away at a beautiful old age and was a long-term survivor as well. She believes that this is a journey that we can make for our daughters and granddaughters who may never have to be threatened by this disease.

    And as Les Dames Chicago approaches its thirtieth anniversary this June, the chapter is defining and refining its goals and mission in Chicago. Individually and as a group, we, like Chaucers pilgrims, are on the move, each with a story to tell, each with a personal destination.



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    Talking PointsThis past November, a team of videographers from France TV5 taped and interviewed Madelaine Bulwinkel in French as she shopped for and prepared Thanksgiving Dinner. Her segment will be part of a special 90 minute report on Chicago to be aired this Spring in France.

    The Retail Confectioners Assoc. of Philadelphia presented the 2011 National Kettle Award to Elaine Gonzalez, Master Chocolati-er, in recognition of her contribution toward the advancement of the Retail Confectionery Industry through sharing her vast talents in "The Art of Chocolate."

    NAHA is proud to have received the 4 diamond award from AAA and a Michelin Star in the 2012 Chicago Michelin Guide. We con-gratulate Carrie Nahabedian as one of our continuing super chefs.

    Mitch Day from the McCormick Boys and Girls Club presented to the Board of Directors at their February 6, 2012 meeting with Mary Abbot Hess about the Green Tables Program at the club. Mitch also presented the Board with a Thank You card made by the students of the Green Tables Program.

    Sharon Olson, Jean True, Mitch Day and Mary Abbot Hess display the Thank You card from the students in the Green Tables Program at the McCormick Boys and Girls Club.

  • Recipe for Successby Nancy Brussat


    Susan Lamb Parenti was born in Minne-sota. She comes from hardy Nordic stock mostly of Norwegian and Icelandic origins with a bit of English in the mix. Crop farming was in her parents background so it would follow that Susans first strong connection to food came from her fathers backyard organic garden. She fondly recalls drink-ing one of his garden concoctions a pink beet shake raw no less. Back then there was no buzz about the purity, fresh taste and health benefits of raw food. To Susan it was just another typical item on the Lamb family menu.

    Because her moms many talents did not include cooking, Susan was welcomed even encouraged to take over duties in the family kitchen. She credits that early experience along with her fathers gar-den as the two most important influences in her decision to pursue a career in the culinary field.

    She majored in home economics at the University of Wisconsin Stout. When blond blue-eyed Scandinavian Susan

    Lamb met dark-haired brown-eyed Sicilian Salvatore Parenti in a college chemistry class much changed. Susan claims that adding Salvatore and his zesty Italian heri-tage to her more structured, organic food background made for a much more inter-esting and rounded life- both professionally and personally. They married just 1 year later and after graduation moved to her husbands hometown of Skokie, Illinois.

    It was there that Susan began her free-lance work, which included jobs with the famous Turkey Talk Line and Montgomery Wards test kitchen. The knowledge she accumulated from these positions was enormous. At the same time she was also discovering and absorbing a whole vari-ety of new tastes and customs from her husbands Italian-American family.At first it was culture shock but in a good way, says Susan.I had never heard of cal

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