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The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, May 2015 … Benchmark Hospitality International® has announced the recipient of the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship.  The winner is Alexis Panetta, a student at Johnson & Wales.

The scholarship, launched in 2009 in partnership with the James Beard Foundation in New York City, celebrates the life and legacy of Benchmark Hospitality’s first vice president food & beverage, the late Bob Zappatelli.  The annual scholarship serves as a memorial to Mr. Zappatelli’s enthusiasm for the advancement of the culinary arts, and his championing of new culinary talent.  Applications for the 2015 Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship are currently open.

“We are absolutely delighted that Alexis has been selected to receive the scholarship, which Benchmark established in memory of our dear friend and colleague, Bob Zappatelli,” said Tom Garcia, vice president food & beverage. “We honor Bob in our endeavor to provide educational support to individuals who exhibit a passion for learning and creating excellence in food & beverage experiences.  Alexis is the embodiment of this and we congratulate her!”

“I am so grateful for the generous Bob Zappatelli scholarship that I have been awarded,” said Alexis Panetta.  “It has been applied to my tuition at Johnson & Wales, and I am grateful for the financial assistance.  To know that this scholarship honors a culinary great like Mr. Zappatelli makes this even more meaningful.”  

Culinary students in the United States and around the globe can apply online through the James Beard Foundation website for consideration for the 2015 Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship.  The Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship application can be accessed online at:  http://sms.scholarshipamerica.org/jamesbeard or http://sms.scholarshipamerica.org/jamesbeard/friends.pdf.  The application process is open through May 15, 2015.

About The Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund

The Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship, established in 2009, is presented annually in partnership with The James Beard Foundation, the definitive culinary arts organization in the United States dedicated to showcasing American chefs' talents.  The scholarship celebrates the passion for the food & beverage profession of the late Bob Zappatelli, Benchmark Hospitality International’s first vice president of food & beverage, and serves as a living memorial to his unforgettable enthusiasm in the advancement of the culinary arts.  For many years, Bob Zappatelli worked closely with The James Beard Foundation, hosting the immensely popular Benchmark Holiday Dinner each December at the James Beard House in New York City.

The James Beard Foundation provides a Scholarship Program as one of its educational pillars, to which the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund has been added.  The Fund is included in the Foundation’s catalogue of nearly 80 annual culinary scholarships the organization administers and makes available each spring for students domestically and globally.  Each spring, generous scholarships are granted via the James Beard Foundation to students at many schools of note, including the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales, and Le Cordon Bleu International. The James Beard Foundation distributes resources through the Scholarship Management Services division of Scholarship America, a respected nonprofit organization that has helped award scholarships to over one million students.   

Contributing to the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund

Details include:

Donations can be made to The James Beard Foundation, with "Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship" indicated on the Memo line. 

Donations can be sent to:           The James Beard Foundation, Attn: Marilyn Platzer, CFO, 167 West 12th Street, New York, NY  10011

Credit card donations can also be made by calling (212) 675-4984.  Request “Special Giving.” 

The Foundation is a 501c-3 not-for-profit charitable organization and will follow up with acknowledgment of donations to all donors for their records. 

A scholarship will be awarded annually from the principal accumulated in the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund. 

About Benchmark Hospitality International

Benchmark Hospitality International® is a recognized global leader in the management and marketing of resorts, hotels and conference centers.  The company’s two distinctive portfolios of properties, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels®, represent the finest in guest-dedicated hospitality in unique destinations across the United States, in the Caribbean and Japan.  As a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers, Benchmark Conference Centers® maintain the highest standards for certification in meeting excellence.  Benchmark Hospitality was launched in 1980 as an independent company and today operates worldwide from offices in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, and regional offices in New Jersey, Washington State, Japan and Chile.  For additional company information visit www.benchmarkhospitality.com

Contact: Ken Ellens

KenEllens@aol.com / 201-758-2864

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