Asian Mint’s Nikky Phinyawatana participates in Les Dames d’Escoffier’s annual fundraiser. Photo by Danny Fulgencio

It’s not easy joining Les Dames d’Escoffier, an elite network of women in the food service industry. Before potential members even begin the application process, two current members of the philanthropic society must nominate them.

Nikky Phinyawatana owned Asian Mint, located at Forest Lane and I-75, for eight years before she received an invitation to join the organization.

Through Les Dames, she’s had the opportunity to support other women in the industry and share her love of Asian cuisine.

“All of these ladies that I’ve met through the organization are pretty life-changing,” she says. “We don’t toot our horns often enough.”

Phinyawatana is one of several Preston Hollow chefs, including Studio Movie Grill’s Joanne Self and Neiman Marcus’ Anita Hirsch, who participated in Les Dames’ annual fundraiser on March 5. “A Dame Good Party” raises money for scholarships given to young women who hope to enter the culinary world.

“Our goal is to keep these amazing, inspiring, passionate young women who want to jump into industry to stay and the Dallas scene to stay,” Phinyawatana says.