Dame It! 2020

Sunday, April 26, 2020
2 pm – 5 pm

Chow Girls @ Solar Arts
711 15th Ave. NE,  3rd Floor
Minneapolis, MN


Dame It! returns as the “best time ever” fundraiser!

The Minnesota Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier is throwing a spotlight on Minnesota’s women chefs. Some of the Twin Cities’ most creative kitchens are led by women chefs. The taste-around lets you mingle and chat with the chefs as you sample a delicious array of small plates, wine tastings, craft cocktails/mocktails and sweets.

Back by popular demand!!

Take a mini wine class at Dame It! 2020 with Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy founders, (Dame) Nikki Erpelding & Lisa Lehar. Featuring 3 European countries; Spain, Italy and France. Sampling 3 wines per class.

Fun and Games!

  • Last Year’s Big Hit Returns: 15-minute wine tasting classes!
  • New This Year: How to create a charcuterie board!
  • “Cake” Walk: Let your inner child play and hope to take home a baked treat!
  • Spin the Dame It! Wheel: Take a turn of the wheel (everyone wins)!
  • Wall of Wine: Buy a cork and take home a bottle of wine – it could be a nice $$$ one!
  • Silent Auction: Culinary experiences, restaurant meals, classes and more! 

What We Support

Proceeds from Dame It! support:

  • Urban Roots, an East Side St. Paul organization empowering youth through food & ecology.
  • Academic Scholarships, supporting women students in the culinary, agricultural or food sciences fields.
  • Dame It! Dollars Micro-Grants, providing support for working women in the food industry.

Can’t Attend?  Please consider making a tax deductible donation!

Follow Us!


Meet the 2020 Dame It! featured women chefs and artisans of the Twin Cities

Sara Johannes

Chef Sara Johannes started as a theater major at the University of Minnesota before a redirection ultimately led her to culinary school. Falling in love with food at a young age, Sara was inspired by her grandparents, who always let the season, mood and occasion dictate their menu. Sara served as Executive Chef for Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty restaurant in Dallas and WP24 in Los Angeles at the Ritz Carlton before heading back to Minneapolis. Once back in the Midwest, Sara served as the Executive Chef of seven original concepts at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport with OTG Management.  OTG afforded her the opportunity to compete on Top Chef, Season 11 – New Orleans for Bravo TV.  Currently, Sara is a Culinary Arts Instructor at her alma mater, Saint Paul College.

Mecca Bos

Mecca Bos of Eat for Equity (E4E) Catering has been working in the culinary industry for longer than she cares to discuss. E4E builds a culture of generosity through sustainable community feasts. We invite people to come together to eat, drink, give what they can, and raise thousands of dollars for other nonprofit causes. E4E is a collaborative effort; Mecca runs the kitchen, Imani Mansfield is sous chef, Sarah Black is pastry chef, Annie Byrne and Abe Levin are cooks and Emily Torgrimson is Executive director.

Lisa Carlson

Co-owner of Chef Shack Ranch and Chef Shack Bay City, Lisa has collaborated with some of the world’s top chefs. Most recently with Daniel Humm at Taj-Campton in San Francisco.  Her New York City expertise comprised the legendary Lespinasse under Gray Kunz followed by Christian Delouvrier. She also opened the Soho Grand hotel as a lead sous chef, and spent time in the kitchen of Drew Nieporent’s acclaimed Layla restaurant. Lisa also cooked abroad in London at the acclaimed L’Escargot. She is the consummate chef and educator teaching culinary inquisitives the virtues of great technique and ingredients.

Carrie Summer

Co-owner of Chef Shack Ranch and Chef Shack Bay City, Carrie is a lifelong student and adult leader of 4-H & FFA, she has a long history with small scale agriculture, cooking, and ranching livestock; in which her brand now grows half of all the produce and herbs for her restaurants. Carrie spent time in New York city at Jean-Georges company, as well as Morimoto’s flagship New York post in the pastry department. Her passions include fine cooking & baking, plant sciences, rare cars, travel, photography, and fashion. Carrie and Lisa are known as the Godmothers of food trucking, and in 2012 Yahoo News named their brand one of the “Top 10 most creative food trucks in the nation”.

Jametta Raspberry

Bio coming soon-House of Gristle


2020 Participating Wineries,
Distilleries and Breweries

Nikki Erpelding

Italian Wine Scholar, Midwest Sales Manager for Vineyard brands, Program Instructor for the Wine Professional Certificate, Saint Paul College, Owner/Instructor, Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy MN.

With a passion for food and wine…Nikki’s storied career includes, restaurant management, boutique wine wholesaler, wine & spirits retail management/buyer. Nikki’s full-time position is Sales Manager for Vineyard Brands, representing Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska & the Dakotas.

Nikki’s role as wine educator began in 2011 at Saint Paul College teaching the 14 week-Wine Professional Certificate program and now also runs the Globally recognized WSET & Wine Scholar Guild courses for Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy MN. Nikki is currently enrolled in WSET Diploma.

Take a mini wine class at Dame It! 2020 with Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy founders, (Dame) Nikki Erpelding & Lisa Lehar. Featuring 3 European countries, Spain, Italy & France. Sampling 3 wines per class.

Vineyard Brands’ mission is to select and offer wines of the best quality and value from the best places on Earth so that there is absolute confidence in any wine with “Imported by Vineyard Brands” on the label. As a “family” owned enterprise, we have chosen to represent only family-owned wineries. We have a wealth of experience representing both small producers and large volume brands, and represent over 60 wineries from the major wine-growing regions throughout the world. We strive to understand and respect the goals of each of our producers for their individual brands, and have a proprietary sense of pride in our brands and understanding that the only way to achieve long-term success is building a good distribution network. 

Twin Spirits Distillery is the passion project of Michelle Winchester, whose curiosity for flavor and spirit of adventure found a home in the distilling community of the Twin Cities.  Michelle is the first one-woman owned distillery in Minnesota and she is excited to make NE Minneapolis her distilling oasis.

Michelle started this project in 2014 and has spent two years getting the distillery up and running. From purchasing and renovating a 1920’s property in NE Minneapolis that will serve as the distillery and cocktail room, with an additional building that will house a warehouse and possible event space.  Michelle loves the barn look of the building and plans on extensive green spaces to continue the look of a farm.

Wine Table

Supplier, Vineyard Brands, Nikki Erpelding
Distributor, The Wine Company, Patti Douglas

Spirits Table

J. Carver Distillery, Gina Holman
Twin Spirits Distillery, Michelle Winchester

Cider Table

Bourget Imports, Staci Mickelson





Early Bird Tickets are on sale now through April 15, 2020.  Visit Eventbrite to purchase.
Tickets sales are limited!   After April 15th, ticket prices go up.


2020 Dame It! Sponsors

We would like to thank our sponsors whose support helps make possible scholarships, grants and donations to support women and youth in the culinary fields.

If you are interested in participating in, or supporting, the Dame It! event please contact us at mnlesdames@gmail.com.  Space is limited for participating women-owned businesses so contact us now!

Participating Sponsors

These are the individuals and their teams that “bring it” the day of Dame It!
We thank them for making Dame It possible!

Vineyard Brands is a family-owned enterprise who’s mission is to select and offer wines of the best quality and value from the best places on Earth so that there is absolute confidence in any wine with “Imported by Vineyard Brands” on the label.

The Wine Company – Committed to finding high quality wines and spirits; to discovering accoutrements which enhance the appreciation of these distinctive and authentic tastes.

Within the Famille Perrin range of wines you will discover the richness and different terroirs of the Southern Rhône Valley. With the same skills and the same passion as for Château de Beaucastel, the Perrin Family reveal the spirit of each terroir, its authenticity and its specificity.

Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy offers a wide range of classes from workshops that are ideal for enthusiasts to professional wine & spirits certification courses – we hope you join us for an approachable and educational experience!

Miraval. A land. A light. A soul. An inspiration. A work of art.
The Art of Rosé.

J. Carver Distillery is located in the farming heart of Carver County, Minnesota. The same spirit that led Minnesota pioneer and namesake Jonathan Carver is found at the heart of our distillery. “Spirits of Discovery” is our guiding passion.

Company info. coming soon!

Marqués de Cáceres brought to you by the Forner family who have been devoted to the wine trade for five generations with a single objective: to provide the best wines.

Twin Spirits takes a variety of ingredients as a base for a spirit, using the grain-to-glass approach that incorporates local ingredients, sustainable distilling and original recipes. Twin Spirits is meant to invoke the idea of the many dualities in life. We look forward to sharing Twin Spirits with you.

Supporting Sponsors

Thanks for generous donations that put the fun in Dame It!



Event contact info

Questions about our Dame It! fundraising event? Shoot us an email at MNLesDames@gmail.com


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