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Valeria Benner Named Executive Chef of the Historic 306-room
Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago in Illinois

CHICAGO, Illinois (May 24, 2013) - Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago announces Valeria Benner as the new Executive Chef of the 306-room historic hotel.  Chef Benner will oversee all culinary operations, including NiX Restaurant featuring American cuisine and seasonal menus. She will also be in charge of catering for weddings, meetings and events.

Chef Benner joins Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel from the Lockwood Restaurant located in the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. During her time there, Chef Benner demonstrated a commitment to fresh, seasonal ingredients by opening a rooftop garden and apiary. Prior to that position, Chef Benner served as the Head Chef and Food & Beverage Director at the Pump Room at the Ambassador East Hotel, also in Chicago.

A passion for seasonal, sustainable and artisanal food developed while growing up in the woods and farmlands of Michigan, Chef Benner has dedicated her career to inspiring a love for Midwestern fare. Her experiences with hunting game, gardening, pickling and preserving factor into her approach to food. Chef Benner began her culinary career in Wisconsin and spent over a decade working at The American Club and Fresco in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. She was praised for her cultivated knowledge of cheese and charcuterie that The Wisconsin State Journal described as “a modern take on an age-old craft.”

As the Executive Chef of Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, Chef Benner plans to honor the hotel’s strong Chicago history while pioneering cuisine that will showcase her respect for the Midwest’s culinary style. She plans to immediately collaborate with the food and beverage team to create new dishes at Nix Restaurant that will add a new profile to the menu, while complimenting favorite dishes of hotel guests and locals.

Located steps off of Michigan Avenue, Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel has been a landmark on the city’s famed Magnificent Mile for 85 years.  The hotel features 306 modern and newly renovated guestrooms and suites and over 18,000 square feet of meeting space, including the elegant Crystal Ballroom with its gold gilded, 25-foot high domed ceiling.

About Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago:
Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago celebrates its 85th year as an icon gracing Chicago’s skyline and a landmark located at the gateway to the famed Magnificent Mile. Originally designed by renowned architects Rissman and Hirschfield, the gothic-inspired hotel has a colorful place in Chicago’s history. Now, the hotel remains close to the city’s most vibrant attractions including the famed Rush Street, Water Tower Place, Michigan Avenue, Navy Pier and more. Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel offers 306 modern and spacious guest rooms and suites featuring sumptuous bedding, spa rain showers in the bathrooms, chic decor and access to the 24-hour fitness center. Nix Restaurant serves local farm-to-table Midwestern dishes, and the Martini Bar remains true to its historical roots with a 1920’s cocktail menu. The hotel’s 18,500 square feet of flexible meetings space includes several breakout rooms, junior ballrooms and the iconic Crystal Ballroom, with its built-in illuminated dance floor, crystal chandeliers and 25-foot high gilded domed ceilings.

About Millennium Hotels and Resorts North America:
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C), listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1996, is a dynamic, global hotel company, which owns, asset manages and/or operates a worldwide portfolio of over 100 hotels across seven distinct global brands–Grand Millennium, Millennium, Grand Copthorne, Copthorne, M Hotel, Studio M and Kingsgate –throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and North America.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) was established as a global brand by Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc to provide a common marketing and operating platform across its entire portfolio. Founded on the philosophy of genuine hospitality, this dynamic hospitality group has an outstanding reputation for excellence, taking pride in exceeding the needs of its business and leisure travelers. The strategic locality of its properties in gateway cities such as London, Paris, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok makes MHR the perfect address to conduct your business or indulge yourself while on holiday.

Established in the United States in 2000, the North American arm of MHR includes a portfolio 14 hotels in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Anchorage, Boulder, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Durham, Minneapolis, Nashville, Scottsdale, and St Louis.



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Also See: Millennium UN Plaza Completes $30-million Transformation of its 154-room West Tower and Unveils New Identity as ONE UN New York; Phase II and III of Comprehensive Renovation for the Two-Tower Building Scheduled for 2013 / September 2012

Millennium UN Plaza Hotel New York Launches Major Upgrade Initiative for Both of its Towers; The First $30-million Phase will Debut a Transformed 154-room West Tower in September 2012 / May 2012

Michael Newman as Director of Sales & Marketing at Millennium UN Plaza, New York / November 2007

Mark Sanders Named Regional Vice President of Millennium Hotels' New York Properties and General Manager of the Millennium Broadway Hotel / September 2007

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