Les Dames d’Escoffier June Virtual Cooking Classes

In June, Les Dames d’Escoffier will host a series of five fundraiser online cooking classes that will benefit Thrive DC.

Each online class will be held by a different illustrious chef who are members of Les Dames D.C. and will offer a menu from their culinary heritage, featuring cuisines from all around the world. Dames who specialize in fine beverages will recommend pairings.

The fee for each class is $35, or $140 for a discounted package of all five classes. To add to the fun, with a $5 donation, you’ll receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a box filled with goodies associated with each featured cuisine.

Sign up for a Cooking Class!

Menus are:

Instructor: Maria Kopsidas, Owner of Cookology Cooking School

Maria Kopsidas is the creator and owner of Cookology. Growing up in a Mediterranean family with philanthropists, cooks, cookbook authors, health experts and professional chefs on both sides, including a pastry chef in the White House, the idea of a super accessible, affordable cooking school was her dream. Starting in 2003, Maria took her marketing experience and love of cooking, food, health, and people and created Cookology. Finally, after six years of chasing her dream, working on her marketing career while raising a child, she secured an SBA loan, negotiated a lease, oversaw construction build out, hired her staff, and opened the doors of her first location in February 2009. Eleven years later, she reached for Ballston Quarter.


  • Baklava
  • Spanakopita
  • Tyropita Triangles
Sign up for Maria Kopsida’s class

Instructor: Joan Nathan, Cookbook Author & PBS Series Host

Joan Nathan is the author of eleven cookbooks including her latest work, “King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World,” released by Alfred P. Knopf in April 2017. Ms. Nathan’s PBS television series, Jewish cooking in America with Joan Nathan, was nominated in 2000 for the James Beard Award for Best National Television Food Show. An inductee to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage, she also received the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts magazine. In 2015, Les Dames d’Escoffier awarded Joan Nathan the prestigious Grande Dame, an award recognizing professional achievements in the food industry. Joan Nathan was born in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a master’s degree in French literature and earned a master’s in public administration from Harvard University. For three years she lived in Israel where she worked for Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem.


  • Bulgarian Eggplant Soup with Yogurt
  • Spicy Fish with Vegetables (Ahareimi)
  • Apricot Meringue Kuchen
Sign up for Joan Nathan’s class

Instructor: Najmieh Batmanglij, Cookbook Author & Culinary Instructor

Najmieh has spent the past 40 years cooking, traveling, and adapting authentic Persian recipes to tastes and techniques in the West. She has been hailed as “the guru of Persian cuisine” by The Washington Post. Her Food of Life was called “the definitive book on Iranian cooking” by the Los Angeles Times. Her Silk Road Cooking was selected as one of the 10 best vegetarian cookbooks of 2004 by The New York Times; and her book “From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table” won the Gourmand Cookbook Award for the best wine history book of 2007. Najmieh’s most recent book, “Cooking in Iran: Regional Recipes and Kitchen Secrets,” was selected as one of the best cookbooks of Fall 2018 by The New York Times. Najmieh is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and lives in Washington, DC, where she teaches Persian cooking, and consults with restaurants around the world.


  • Saffroned Chicken & Barberry Braise (Geymeh Zereshk-e Kordi)
  • Persian Rice with “Golden Crust” (Chelow)
  • Quick Pickle of Persian Cucumbers & Toasted Coriander Seed (Torshi Hazeri-e Piaz)
Sign up for Najmieh Batmanglij’s class

Instructor: Chef Evelyn Bunoan, Filipino Market & Deli in Arlington, VA

Chef Evelyn Bunoan owns and manages the Philippine Oriental Market and Deli located in Arlington, Virginia, in operation now for over 43 years. Five days a week, customers near and far line up for hot food or a lunch platter cooked by friendly and popular Chef Evelyn. In addition to operating the market and deli, Chef Evelyn creates and demonstrates exciting and fun recipes for the public at major events like the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival. Over the years, she has catered to ambassadors, senators, White House officials, and dignitaries from the Philippines. To cook pro bono for Filipino-Americans who are afflicted with cancer and other serious illnesses, Chef Evelyn founded and serves as president of the CHEW (Cancer Help – Eat Well) Foundation, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. She has perfected many nutritious popular Filipino dishes, desserts, and pastries that help to revive the appetites of her community and customers.


  • Fried Egg Rolls (Lumpiang Shanghai)
  • Sautéed Vegetables with Noodles (Pancit Guisado)
  • Chicken Stew (Chicken Apritada)
  • Chewy Dessert (Pichi-Pichi)
Sign up for Chef Evelyn’s class

Instructor: Chef Juste Zidelyte, Maple Ave Restaurant, Vienna, VA

Chef Juste is the Executive Chef and owner of Maple Ave Restaurant – a modern European bistro in Vienna, Virginia. Born and raised in Vilnius, she has harnessed the frugality and constraints of her formative years in post-Soviet Lithuania to fuel her creativity in the modern kitchen. Her American Dream journey started with an apprenticeship in the kitchen. Two years later she was the Sous Chef and owned a restaurant in just three years. Under her helm Maple Ave Restaurant was celebrated as the top 3rd spot in Northern Virginia Magazine’s 50 best restaurants in 2018.


  • Lithuanian Gazpacho
  • Barley Risotto with Vegan Mushroom “Bacon”
  • Lithuanian Kombucha (kvass-style non-alcoholic fermented beverage)
  • Quick Kastinys (a condiment to accompany risotto or potatoes
Sign up for Chef Juste’s class

Raffle Boxes are:

Maria Kopsidas moves beyond yogurt and feta, packing her box with Greek delicacies like tinned calamari, wild oregano, raw honey, a selection of heirloom legumes and arguably some of the world’s best extra virgin olive oil

Joan Nathan filled this box with specialty ingredients like Dead Sea salt, zahtar, La Vie Wine (an intriguing white blend from Jerusalem) in addition to adding her own personal touches, including a signed copy of her cookbook – “The Foods of Israel Today,” apron and preserved lemon from her kitchen. Ahava from Joan!

Relax and brew a pot of Shamshiri, Earl Gray tea, and stir it with a stick of saffron rock candy or unpack jars of saffron, sumac and harder-to-find ingredients like verjus, and date molasses from Najmieh Batmanglij’s box. You have everything you need to prepare one of over 250 recipes found in a signed copy of her best-selling cookbook, “Cooking in Iran.”

If Chef Evelyn’s class is you entree to Filipino cuisine, designate this raffle with your complimentary tickets after you make a fundraiser donation. As the owner of Philippine Oriental Market in Arlington, Bunoan has done the shopping for you. Barbeque marinade, coconut vinegar and banana sauce are just a few delights found in her box. A $50 gift certificate to the market is included for future shopping visits or to restock on snack mix and toasted wheat cakes!

Juste Zidelyte’s box will help you recreate your own garden to table feast with uniquely Lithuanian ingredients. Staples like black bread crackers, tangy pickles, lingonberry preserves, smokey sprats, beet salad and bottles of Ekstra Lager chilled and served ice cold are perfect for an evening summer picnic.

Sign up for a Cooking Class!