Les Dames d’Escoffier International, an organization of women leaders in the food, beverage and hospitality industries, dedicated to education and philanthropy, announced this week that it will be awarding Joan Nathan, Tablet’s long-time food columnist, with the prestigious ‘Grande Dame’ honor at a ceremony in October. The honor, which has also been bestowed upon Alice Waters, recognizes “a lifetime of outstanding professional achievement, excellence, and charitable/community contributions within the culinary industry,” the organization wrote in a press release.
In 2012, Nathan wrote about her fundraising efforts with two D.C.-based organizations, through an event called “Sunday Night Suppers.”
For the past four years, I have been one of the chairs of a joint fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table, two institutions that fight hunger and poverty in our nation’s capital. Each January, two chefs from across the country are paired up to cook for 20 people in a private home for each event; there are now 20 such dinners in Washington. Most of the food is donated, and all of the profits go straight to the two organizations.
Last year, Nathan raised $400,000 for Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table, a DC-based nonprofit for which Nathan serves on the board.
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.