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Local chef inducted into prestigious professional women’s society

Group recognizes achievements of women in the culinary profession
From left to right – Gaetane Palardy (owner-Island Gourmet Trails)


Lesley Stav, president of the North Vancouver Island Chefs Association, has been inducted into the B.C. chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier — a society of professional woman that promotes food, wine, hospitality, nutrition and other such fields.

Stav, a Royston resident, specializes in desserts and chocolate, but like most Red Seal chefs, she is adept at most areas in the kitchen.

“It is truly an honour to be inducted into such a prestigious group of women,” Stav said. “With less than 70 members throughout B.C. — eight of those on Vancouver Island — it is worth noting that the Comox Valley can now boast two members in this organization.”

After working in kitchens in Vancouver and Victoria for more than 25 years, Stav’s culinary life has altered since returning to Vancouver Island eight years ago. It has gradually shifted from working the line to mentoring, guiding and advocating for the culinary industry. She has spearheaded presentations to students, and advocated local food connections and culinary tourism. As association president, Stav has participated and judged at various regional and provincial events.

She was among seven inductees at a dinner June 2 in Vancouver.

“She will be a great addition to Les Dames,” said Gaetane Palardy, who was recognized for 15 years of Les Dames d’Escoffier membership. The chef/educator is the owner of Island Gourmet Trails, a local culinary tours business.

Les Dames d’Escoffier International supports and promotes achievements of women in culinary professions, and fosters excellence through educational and charitable activities.