Scholarships & Grants

Since our scholarship and grant program began seven years ago, we have awarded nearly $85,000 to women across the state pursuing a wide variety of food- and culinary-related careers. 

 

Scholarships & Awards

The Birmingham Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International offers annual scholarships for education and continuing education awards to female applicants pursuing culinary or pastry arts, farming, beverage management, hospitality, nutrition and dietetics, or agriculture coursework at four-year universities and community colleges. We also support high school ProStart programs.

Application Details 2022

Community College Student Applicant Eligibility

  • Female completing first year of coursework

  • Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management major (the scholarship will go directly to the institution)

  • Willing to volunteer at one or more LDEI events during the upcoming year

  • Completed application

Four-Year University Student Applicant Eligibility

  • Female junior

  • Nutrition/Dietetics OR Hospitality Management major (the scholarship will go directly to the institution)

  • Willing to volunteer at one or more LDEI events during the upcoming year

  • Completed application

Individual Educational Scholarships:

Each scholarship is a minimum of $1,000, and the recipient(s) must submit a complete application.

Click here to download the Individual Scholarship Application

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Monique Williams, Owner of the Cheesecake Empori-Yum, 2021 Entrepreneur Grant Winner

Entrepreneur Grants

The mission of LDEI Birmingham is to mentor and support women working in the food, culinary and hospitality industry. Our chapter assists female-owned businesses in the industry with cash awards up to $5,000 to help them expand and enhance their business.

Application Details 2022

Entrepreneur Award Applicant Eligibility 

  • Female business owner in the food, culinary, or hospitality industry

  • Willing to support and participate in Les Dames d’Escoffier events

  • Completed application

Entrepreneur Grant:  Up to $5,000 

The candidate must define and validate how her business plans to meet its mission and goals. Only complete applications with all required information and forms will be considered for this award.

Click here to download the Entrepreneur Award Application

Women helping women, we are all about that.

Entrepreneur Grant Recipients

Better Kombucha
Better Kombucha

Nancey Legg is the owner of Better Kombucha, a Birmingham-based company producing the fermented flavored tea. “Winning the award has been a catalyst for many great things at Better Kombucha,” said Nancey. “It helped us to expand production with the purchase of an additional 55-gallon fermenter as well as an additional commercial cooler. These purchases led to substantial growth, ... and to acquire a local distributor that has placed our product in 80+ locations statewide.”

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Cheesecake Empoli-yum
Cheesecake Empoli-yum

Monique Y. Williams started her Montgomery-based dessert bar and bakery, The Cheesecake Empori-Yum, four years ago, and she hasn’t looked back since. She plans to expand her current grab-and-go location to include a sit-down space called The Bakery Bar. Her new brick-and-mortar space will offer desserts, small plates, wine, beer, and cocktail pairings. She plans to use our award money toward opening the space this summer.

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Lumbar
Lumbar

Rylie M. Hightower opened The Lumbar, one of downtown Birmingham’s most popular and unusual bars, at the end of 2018 while studying for her doctorate in biomedical neuroscience at UAB— she has since finished her PhD. Her dream was to open a space where creative thought could take place over good food and drinks. Rylie’s business hosts and celebrates events like Apollo Week and Women’s History Month and has hosted over 40 scientific presentations and science-themed happy hours. She’ll use the L

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Better Kombucha
Better Kombucha

Nancey Legg is the owner of Better Kombucha, a Birmingham-based company producing the fermented flavored tea. “Winning the award has been a catalyst for many great things at Better Kombucha,” said Nancey. “It helped us to expand production with the purchase of an additional 55-gallon fermenter as well as an additional commercial cooler. These purchases led to substantial growth, ... and to acquire a local distributor that has placed our product in 80+ locations statewide.”

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