Les Dames d’Escoffier North Carolina is a non-profit organization, made up of female leaders in the food, beverage and hospitality industries, with a mission to give back to their community through education, advocacy and supporting mission-related projects. The NC chapter also participates in a nation-wide LDEI initiative, Green Tables, focused on helping consumers of all ages better understand the link between agriculture and eating.

The group held a walk around style tasting Sunday, April 7th at Lavender Oaks Farm in Chapel Hill. This year’s event was called Dudes for Dames. Seven male, NC chefs took to the kitchen this year to cook and present as the Dames got a chance to sample local food and drinks and socialize with event goers.

The chef line up included Bill Smith and Justin Burdett of Crooks Corner, Josh DeCarolis with Mothers and Sons, Phil Bey of St. James Seafood, Jake Woods of Plates, Sean Fowler of Mandolin, and breads by La Farm Bakery. The chefs cooked up Cheshire Farms whole hog bbq, roasted NC oysters with charred ramp butter, rabbit and spring vegetable soup, NC seafood terrine, NC beef tartare and ragout, a selection of NC cheeses and a banana split with Karen Barker’s Ice Creams. Kingfisher Bar owner Sean Umstead and Melissa Katrincic of Durham Distilleries served all NC beer, wine and spirits.

Dudes for Dames served around 130 guests to raise money for the NC Junior Chef Competition and No Kid Hungry in honor of Karen Barker. The event was sponsored by the NC Dept. of Agriculture’s Got To Be NC program, US Foods, Beta Verde, Katie Button Restaurant Group, Lynn Wells & Thyme Well Spent Personal Chef Services, and Lavender Oaks Farm.