JoAnne Cloughly, associate professor and chair of the agriculture and food management department at SUNY Cobleskill, has earned one of the industry’s highest honors for women, membership in the New York Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. She will be formally inducted Wednesday at The Darby in New York City.
“This has been a career-long dream of mine,” Cloughly said in a media release. “I’m incredibly honored and will work very hard to live up to the expectations set by the founders of Les Dames.”
The New York Chapter is the founding and largest of 28 chapters of Les Dames d’Escoffier. Members of Les Dames are women who are leaders in the food, fine beverage and hospitality industries, the release said. The organization was established in 1973 by food journalist Carol Brock.
Members are selected based on their career accomplishments and contributions to the field, Cloughly said. They must also be sponsored by two members. Cloughly was sponsored by Brock and television chef and author Lidia Bastianich.
Cloughly said the invitation — “the most prestigious honor a female can receive in the industry” — will help her become a better educator and a better professional.
Her membership in the elite group may also help bring attention to the region, she said.
“There seems to be a strong interest in meals that feature fresh ingredients from local farmers,” Cloughly said. “I’m anxious to have them visit our area.”
The honor is the second for Cloughy within the past year. In November, she was named Educator of the Year by Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, an award that recognizes excellence in culinary education and honors women whose dedication to teaching is making a difference in the culinary community.
Cloughly has been a member of the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill faculty since 1998 and has developed and taught courses in commercial baking and vegetarian cooking, as well as an honors colloquium in food history and farm-to-table.