Award-Winning Female Chefs Launch Virtual Cooking Class Series

The Phoenix chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a philanthropic organization of professional women in the food, beverage and hospitality industries, is launching the “Cook Like a Dame” virtual cooking class series from May through August. 

Classes will be taught by award-winning chefs Tamara Stanger and Candy Lesher. A passionate forager, Stanger is the executive chef of Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm in Boulder, Utah. Lesher, an Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame inductee, is culinary adviser and recipe innovator for Agoge hemp protein products.

“Our chapter is very involved in cultivating Arizona’s future culinarians through the high school Careers Through Culinary Arts program, but recognized we were not reaching the rest of our community. Our chapter has so much to offer via the culinary expertise of its members; we felt this would be an effective and desirable way to share those capabilities,” Lesher said.

Each class lasts about an hour, and recipes will be provided in advance. “Attendees have the opportunity to learn — from the convenience of their own home — how to prepare outstanding dishes utilizing the tips, tricks and methods gleaned from years of experience and can ask questions in real-time,” said Lesher.

Here is what’s on the menu:

  • May 24 at 6:30 p.m.: Enchiladas Verde Con Nopales. Easy to assemble, these enchiladas are draped in a vibrant roasted chili and tomatillo sauce and stuffed with a savory medley of vegetables, cheese and nopales from prickly pear cactus.
  • June 21 at 6:30 p.m.: Pie Crust 101. This class will cover Stanger’s favorite pie crust recipe, as well as different variations for specific dietary needs.
  • July 12 at 6:30 p.m.: Vegetarian Tortilla Soup. Participants will learn how to make an inexpensive vegetarian-based broth and extract the most flavor from every ingredient.
  • August 23 at 6:30 p.m.: Southern Pies with a Southwest Twist. Using the pie crust basics from her June 21 class, Stanger will show participants how to utilize indigenous Southwestern ingredients to recreate classic Southern pies such as shoofly, vinegar and chess pies.

The cost is $35 per individual class, or the series of four classes can be purchased for $100 at

About Shoshana Leon

Shoshana Leon is a culinary writer for Frontdoors Media and creator of Foodie Fo Sho.
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