Dame du Jour: Bev Shaffer

by Maria Isabella, Interview by Jennifer Brush
Bev Shaffer, the current president of the Cleveland chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, has it rough. She gets to develop recipes and play with world-class blenders all day long, and then go home and enjoy a glass of wine all night long while working on her next cookbook (her sixth!)…which is all about chocolate.
“Each year is a new adventure for me,” says Bev, who brings 20+ years’ experience to her role as a chef and recipe development specialist for Vitamix at their world headquarters. “I love the fact that I can enjoy my job and life each and every day.”
As an afterthought, she also confesses that she particularly loves the diversity of food as well, which probably stemmed from when she was young. “I still remember picking up Italian bread still warm from the bakery to go with our pot of Hungarian soup with homemade noodles simmering at home,” reminisces Bev. “Then after dinner, my dad would take me to get a coffee ice cream cone with chocolate jimmies. The best!”
She says her mom and aunts influenced her love of food the most, which carries over into the way she entertains today, be it a casual brunch for four or an outdoor dinner for a crowd.
When asked what advice she would give someone just starting out in a culinary career, she offers, “Explore, develop a spectacular work ethic, don’t be too sensitive, and don’t expect your own TV show after just one year of working as a chef. It’s not all about the recognition.”
Bev first heard about LDEI from Julia Child and has been a member since the inception of the Cleveland chapter.  What does she enjoy most about being a member? “The diversity of our members,” she answers without a moment’s hesitation.
Learn more about Bev as she shares some fun and interesting insights about herself.
Of all the places you’ve traveled, where did you have the best food? It’s a toss-up between barbecued stingray in Singapore at a food stand and baked bread fresh from a cave oven that a chef showed me how to make in Kenya, Africa.

What’s your favorite restaurant and what do you usually order there? There are so many great ones, it’s difficult to single out just one…but right up there is Flying Fig and Fahrenheit. I love their apps!

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten? Zebra.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Twizzlers!

Any favorite indulgences? Whole fruit margaritas with homemade guac and salsa.

What’s your favorite snack? Roasted red pepper hummus.

What’s your go-to, quick-and-easy dinner? Salmon marinated in soy sauce and a unique honey, pan seared and finished in the oven, served with a very large salad.

What’s one ingredient you can’t live without? Chocolate.

Name 3 things that are always in your refrigerator. Organic Valley unsalted butter (an homage to Julia), avocado, and sparkling water.

Name 3 gadgets you can’t live without. Vitamix blender, microplane, and a very sharp paring knife.

Wine, Cheese and Chocolate! The Best of Ohio

By Shara Foldi

What a night! Thursday, April 26 the Cleveland chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier had its annual fundraiser, and as would be expected, it was rather tasty!

Four wineries, four cheesemakers, and four chocolatiers participated (listed below) and brought delightful, diverse samples for the 65 or so guests to taste and enjoy. The event was held at the beautiful Trevarrow Showroom in Parma, which made attendees eager to re-do their home kitchens! Guests circulated though five gorgeous kitchens, to taste some of the best wine, cheese and chocolate Ohio has to offer.

Ferrante Winery
Firelands Winery
Harpersfield Winery
South River Winery

Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese
Kokoborrego Creamery
Lake Erie Creamery
Mackenzie Creamery

Coquette Patisserie
Emerald Necklace Inn & Tea Room
Pomona Chocolates
What's For Dessert?

Summed up by Programming Chair, Carol Hacker, "Attendees loved the opportunity to sample wonderful wines, cheeses and chocolates from independent local producers. The exposure benefits both sides and supports the link between farm and table. A delicious learning experience - what could be better?"

All event pictures are posted on our facebook page - enjoy!