Les Dames d’Escoffier BC – Holiday Suggestions – Part One

Les Dames d’Escoffier Members Suggest Some Holiday Gifts

I am proud to say I am a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and I am honoured to be included in this group of strong and accomplished women. Les Dames d’Escoffier is a world-wide organizaion and can be decribed formally as “A leadership culinary organization composed of women who have not only achieved success in their professions, but who contribute significantly to their communities”, as stated ofiicially on our website.

In British Columbia we spend most of our time raising funds for scholarships for studies in wine, and culinary arts  and also contribute funds for classroom programs for children, specifically Growing Chefs and Project Chef.  But we also have full time careers, running our own businesses or helping our clients, employees and employers excel. I asked some of our Dames for holiday gift suggestions, specifically from their own businesses or those they contribute to.

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Dame Nancy Wong

Gift of Good Taste from Provence Marinaside – This is one of our favourite places to dine and Les Dames even had their AGM here this year! Dame Wong suggests surprising your friends and family with a trip to France with a gift certificate to award-winning Provence Marinaside in Yaletown. Provence Gift Certificates are available in any denomination and can be purchased online or at the restaurant.

Don’t be Stuck for Gift Giving, Stuff a Stocking with Laughs from Vancouver TheatreSports – We went to TheatreSports several times this year and both Michael and I ended up on stage; I was even on for a whole show. Dame Wong reminds us that everyone needs a laugh and they are so easy to give with a Vancouver TheatreSports Gift Certificate.  VTSL Gift certificates are available in any denomination of your choosing. Certificates can be applied to any show performance or ICI course and are redeemable online or in person. They can be purchased either online or in person.

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Dame Christine Blackwood

Maverick Apron – Blackwood Apparel

Dame Blackwood not only suggested this gift, but also made sure I had one to try for my cookie class that I had the night when I stopped in to visti her. I can put my own stamp of approval on this too. These aprons are super cool, and sturdy enough for even a busy pro chef, so you know they’ll last a long time in a home kitchen. The new Maverick line from Blackwood is all so very excellent, the jackets and pants would be very well received, especially if you have a fashionable chef in your life.thierry chestnutlogcake photocreditjohnsherlock

Dame Judy Ahola 

Thierry Cafe – Buche de Noel

I did a whole article on Buche’s last year I love these cakes so much. If you really want to impress, a Bûche de Noël, or Yule log cake as they are often referred to, is the item that tops off that decadent holiday dinner.  Dame Ahola suggests a Buche Noel from Thierry Cafe and reminds us that advance orders for several flavours of Chef Thierry’s buche de noel creations can be placed by calling 604.608.6870, online by emailing order@thierrychocolates.com.  Pick-up cakes on either December 23 or 24th.

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Dame Lee Murphy

We visited Vista d’Oro  this summer and left with several wines and jams. Dame Murphy’s pick is the 2008 D’oro – a red wine fortified with green walnut brandy from her winery and the Preservatory artisanal preserves  that she crafts. I am so looking forward to her cookbook coming out this year,  and these items are definitely on my wish list every year. If you’ve not sampled Vista D’Oro wines, head to Langley and make an afternoon of it.


Dame Daniela Cubelic

Dame Cubelic owns Silk Road Tea and items are available in her Vancouver and Victoria stores, as well as for purchase online.  Orders placed online that are over $50 receive free delivery too, so act quick. I stop by the Kits location often for tea and adore the tea pots and mugs there, in fact keep thinking of a specific to go mug with a reindeer on it that I just may have to have.

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Noel Spice Tea – This cosy herbal blend combines organic cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice with rose petals, chamomile and rooibos to create festiviTEA in a teacup.

Special Reserve Tea Collection Gift Box – An assortment of rare teas that celebrate tea craftsmanship, support biodiversity, the environment and small scale tea farmers.

jade cake stand

Dame Caren McSherry

Gourmet Warehouse is one of my favourite places to shop and Dame McSherry knows what food lovers want and I can’t help but wanting all these things myself too. All available at her store at East Hastings near Clark.

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Mosser Glass Cake Platters and Bowl – Handmade in the USA, vintage design and beautiful for any table. Made of Jadeite Nesting bowls: $70.99 Cake Plates: $82.99

smoked oil

Arbequina Smoked Olive Oil – a brand new smoked arbequina olive oil from Spain. Its smoked using the traditional method (in oak wood for more than 15 days). Each bottle is numbered making it a very special gift as it is limited production. It comes with a pour spout and is sealed with red wax for freshness. Perfect for finishing fish, poultry, or meat. Price: $22.99

kombucha brew jar

Kombucha Kit – The first-ever fermentation crock to be designed specifically for kombucha brewing. It comes complete with its own filter and tap valve and allows you to brew and store your own kombucha at home. The rewritable label at the top of the crock makes it easy to identify each batch, while the booklet provides plenty of delicious recipes. Price: $45.99


Dame Dana Lee Harris

Mionetto Prosecco! – This is a super deal and we have a bottle at home that we may just sip straight or devote to a house cocktail. Dame Lee Harris suggests making your holiday season sparkle with delicious Mionetto Prosecco! Only $15.99, save $2.00, until December 31st – available at BCLDB.

Hart House Restaurant

Can’t decide whose turn it is to host the big meal? Bring the whole family to Hart House Restaurant and let us do the cooking! Hart House Restaurant is offering a festive three-course menu on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day $75 per person; Kids 10 and under: $38 Reservations by phone: 604-298-4278

Oyama Sausage Company

We love Oyama, especially their pork, of course! Pre-order all of our holiday specialties, then skip the line – use the Oyama Fast Lane!Oyama offers a Fast Lane service from December 17th to 24th. Just pre-order online or by phone: 604-327-7407 – allow 24 hours before picking up your order. No need to take a number, just come to the side counter – a great option when time is at its most precious. http://oyamasausage.ca/