Deann Bayless Named 2012’s Dame de l’Annee

Présenté comme Dame de l’année à L’ACF, Madame Bayless. La femme du fameux chef Rick Bayless. Femme très actif et une des femmes en charge des dames d’escoffier. Des émissions de télévision, aux bouquins, aux restaurants, au support des fermiers, des donations, elle est partout. Ci-dessous un petit récap de ce quel fait.

Deann was born in 1948 in St. Charles, Illinois, into a family who found their calling in the major professions (law and medicine), but whose father knew the pleasure of fine dining. She took an undergraduate degree in English language and literature at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, then graduate studies in English and Theater at the University of Michigan. After receiving two masters degrees, her path made an unexpected turn into the world of good food when she married Rick Bayless in 1979 and went on a two month honeymoon/research trip to Mexico.

Deann produces the highly rated on-going Public Television Series, Mexico—One Plate at a Time (in it’s 8th season) that can be found on television sets coast to coast, and is co-author of seven award- winning cookbooks. Rick and Deann’s second book, Mexican Kitchen, won the Julia Childs IACP cookbook of the year award in 1996, and the fourth book, Mexico—One Plate at a Time won James Beard Best International Cookbook of the Year award in 2001.Their side by side award-winning restaurants in Chicago were founded in 1987. The casual Frontera Grill and the 4-star Topolobampo. In 2007, Frontera Grill won for Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Organization.

Their award-winning Frontera line of salsas, grilling sauces and organic chips can be found coast to coast. On the local front, Rick, Deann and their staff began the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to attract support for small Midwestern farms. Each year, grants are given to our local farmers for capital improvements to their family farms. In 2007, the Bayless’s and their team launched the Frontera Scholarship: a full tuition scholarship that will send a Mexican-American student to Kendall Culinary College to study the culinary arts. The Bayless’s opened their third restaurant: XOCO—a quick serve LEED certified restaurant featuring house-ground chocolate and wood grilled tortas. This year, Tortas Frontera opened in Terminal 1 at Chicago’s Ohare airport, with plans for another in Terminal 3.

Rick and Deann’s latest book, Fiesta at Rick’s (WW. Norton) is currently on the New York Times Best seller list.

Debbie Stapleton Named 2011’s Dame de l’Annee

L’Academie Culinaire de France is proud to honor Debbie Stapleton as its “Dame de l’Annee 2011”.

Debbie Stapleton was born in New York City. Her father was a stockbroker, her mother, a housewife and avid gardener. A fraternal twin sister, an older sister and brother rounded out their family. Mrs. Stapleton graduated from the American University in Washington, D.C., majoring in communications with a minor in international relations. One of her favorite quotes comes from Chef Auguste Escoffier, “The art of cooking is one of the most effective forms of diplomacy.”

After college, Mrs. Stapleton worked for the MITRE Corporation (MIT Research & Engineering) setting up an environmental library, then at the Environmental Protection Agency. After marrying Ambassador Craig Stapleton, she worked as executive director for a small nonprofit organization, called Secondary School Chairmen, a consortium of chairmen of the Boards of Independent Schools in the Northeast.

Mrs. Stapleton loves to travel and has spent several summers visiting France. She joined Ecole Champlain Group in Jouy-en-Josas where she acquired her love of French language and food, and greatly enjoyed visiting the nearby palace of Versailles and its magnificent gardens. She traveled extensively throughout the South of France, visiting the Stapleton’s cousins in St. Jean Cap Ferrat and Deavillle. Mrs. Stapleton has always had a passion for French cuisine and was a fan of an early cooking book by Michel Oliver, La Cuisine est un Jeu D’enfants. The recipes of Julia Childs and her seminal work, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, also inspired her.

Mrs. Stapleton joined her husband Ambassador Stapleton in representing the United States of America in the Czech Republic from 2001-2003. She considers this the ultimate volunteer job, from which she gained tremendous respect and affection for the Czech people. She focused her efforts on raising funds for Czech non-profits benefiting children, the handicapped and the elderly. In this endeavor, Mrs. Stapleton worked with diplomats and their wives from 46 countries. Mrs. Stapleton’s passion for gardening was realized in her restoration of the Prague Embassy residence gardens.

Upon her return to the United States of America, Mrs. Stapleton became actively involved in the reelection campaign for President George W. Bush, serving as Connecticut Co-Chairman director. In January 2005, President Bush asked Ambassador Stapleton to serve his country as Ambassador to France.

Mrs. Stapleton greatly enjoyed learning about France, and its many distinctive regions, meeting people throughout the country, and celebrating America’s long and historic friendship with France. In October 2009, Mrs. Stapleton’s book Elegant Entertaining, Seasonal Recipes at the American Ambassador’s Residence was published in French and English. It recounts the fascinating history of the Residence and introduces forty of Executive Chef Philippe Excoffier’s best seasonal recipes.

The Stapleton’s son, Walker, works in real estate and lives in Denver Colorado with his wife Jenna and son, Craigie. Walker graduated from Harvard Business School and is the Colorado State Treasurer. Their daughter, Wendy, lives in New York City with her husband Diego Reyes and two daughters, Loulie and Mia Grace.

Madame Stapleton est très heureuse d’être avec un groupe de renommée des grands chefs français. Une telle reconnaissance est le rêve de sa vie.