Scholarship and Stipend Recipients

The Austin Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International annually awards scholarships to culinary students to pursue their passions. This year, we expanded the application to include current professionals seeking development opportunities. We are excited to announce the 2018 winners for both Scholarships for current culinary students and “Beyond the Classroom” stipends for professionals in the industry. We received an unprecedented number of applicants this year and are awarding OVER $15,000 in support to these amazing women.

As of 2019, we have awarded $85,000 in scholarships to culinary students.


Jocelyn Jerrils - Awarded $8000 for Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

My name is Jocelyn Jerrils; I am 27 years old and have spent most of my life in California and Oregon until I fell in love with Austin a couple years ago.  I have always had a strong passion for food and had the desire to go to school, so I applied to Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts and have been a student since April.  That same month, I discovered Springdale Farm and Eden East and knew that was the place for me to work and learn. Witnessing the full cycle of our food from seed to plate is something very special, and I feel grateful to be a part of it. On this culinary journey, I have been greatly inspired by all of the strong, successful females I have encountered and look forward to both my future and learning and growing everyday in the present.  

Amelia Sweethardt - Awarded $3250 for Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese in Vermont

Amelia Sweethardt grew up on the Pure Luck farm and still lives within view of her goats and dairy in the small town of Dripping Springs, TX.  She has 20 years of cheesemaking experience, runs Pure Luck’s daily operations, and manages a dairy herd of about 100 Nubian and Alpine goats.  Pure Luck's handmade farmstead cheeses have been recognized by the American Cheese Society with national awards and are available in Austin and Houston.



Ali Schmidt - Awarded $1445 for Court of Master Sommelier Advanced Exam

Ali Schmidt is a Certified Sommelier and a native Austinite. She fell in love with wine over a glass of Tokaji and the mysterious aromas of botrytis. This curiosity led her to a career in Wine and Hospitality. Her restaurant career in Austin began with four years at Uchiko before leading her to a Captain and Sommelier role at Jeffrey's. Since 2017 she has held her dream job as Manager and Wine Director at Emmer & Rye. 

Gaby Kraml - Awarded $950 for Spanish Language (Nutrition) Classes

I am a Registered Dietitian with a focus on community nutrition and food security. I have lived all over the midwest and now have found my home in Texas. My passion is teaching people that eating healthy on a budget is possible and can be delicious. I am using my LDEI scholarship to take Conversational and Medical Spanish classes to help me pursue a career in community nutrition and food access here in Austin, Texas.


Lauren Busch - Awarded $845 for Introductory Sommelier Exam

Lauren is a native Austinite who is a recent Texas State graduate with hopes to complete her Introductory Sommelier course before the end of the year. She has a propensity for learning and travelling, and finds joy in exploring new places and their cultures throughout each destination. Using her hospitality experience and knowledge of wine, Lauren expects to establish a career on working and learning with fellow women in the industry.

Tara Chapman - Awarded $825 for The Art in Queen Rearing Course (Washington)

Tara Chapman is the founder and owner of Two Hives Honey. After almost 10 years working for the U.S. government in intelligence and oversight in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she took a chance beekeeping class and fell in love with the bees.  Six months later she quit her job to work for a beekeeper rearing queen bees during the spring season, and shortly thereafter started Two Hives Honey, a full service beekeeping and honey business.


LDEI is an international organization of women leaders who create a supportive culture in their communities to achieve excellence in the food, beverage, and hospitality professions. To do this, members in our chapters provide leadership, educational opportunities and host philanthropic events within their communities. The Austin Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier was founded in 2003 and represents more than 75 culinary women professionals in the Austin area. For more information, visit or on Facebook at Les Dames d’Escoffier Austin Chapter.