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Five Benchmark Hospitality International Chefs Present A Culinary Tour of Italy
in Seven Courses at James Beard House in New York City

New York, December 2011 - Chefs from Benchmark Hospitality International hotels and resorts across the United States presented an extraordinary seven-course “Tour of Italy with Fork, Knife & Glass” last Thursday to a sold out James Beard House in New York.  Featured Benchmark chefs included Renato de Pirro, executive chef of Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Granduca in Houston; Alan Gould, executive chef of Nine18 and the Villas at Grand Cypress Resort, Orlando; Michael Jackson, executive chef for Deloitte University, Dallas; Francisco Aceves, executive chef of Stonewall Resort and Stillwaters Restaurant in Weston, West Virginia; and Matt Kelley, pastry chef for The Barking Frog at Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington.  Mary Watson-Delauder, Benchmark Hospitality’s chief sommelier, presented wine (and beer) pairings with each course.

Guests at the dinner included James Beard Foundation members, members of the national press, executives from leading New York, New Jersey and Connecticut corporations, and Benchmark Hospitality International's invited guests.

Benchmark’s relationship with the James Beard Foundation includes the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship, established by the company in honor of its first vice president of food & beverage, the late Bob Zappatelli.  To support the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship and other James Beard Foundation scholarships, visit http://www.jamesbeard.org/donate/main.php.  For Benchmark’s tribute to Bob Zappatelli, visit http://www.benchmarkhospitality.com/media_center/bobz.asp .

The complete seven-course Tour of Italy menu and wine pairings is available at http://www.benchmarkhospitality.com/Media_Center/Press_Releases/2011/Chef_Legendary_James_Beard.asp


Benchmark Hospitality International chefs and sommelier enjoying a moment of levity in James Beard’s original kitchen,
 following their 7-course dinner at the James Beard House (L to R):  Mike Jackson, Francisco Aceves, Renato de Pirro,
Giorgi DiLemis -Vice President Food & Beverage, Matt Kelly, Mary Watson, Alan Gould.

Photo credit, Tom Kirkman

The James Beard Foundation www.jamesbeard.org, based in New York City, is the definitive culinary arts organization in the United States dedicated to showcasing American chefs' talents. It is named after the great American chef, Dean of American Cooking, and Father of American Gastronomy, James Beard, who authored over 20 cookbooks and hundreds of articles, many of which are still in print. Beard appeared on network television's first cookery program in the 1940s and established a renowned cooking school. The Foundation and The James Beard House, where chefs from around the world showcase their talents, are situated in Manhattan in Beard's original townhouse, located in Greenwich Village.

About Benchmark Hospitality International

Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM.  The independent company, launched in 1980, is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations.  Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Benchmark Hospitality is also a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers.  The company's eastern regional office is in New Jersey, western regional office is in Washington, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark's properties and additional information, visit www.benchmarkhospitality.com.
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Contact: 

Ken Ellens
KEN ELLENS COMMUNICATIONS
201-758-2864
KenEllens@aol.com



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