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New York, January 2016 … Five top chefs and a noted sommelier from Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading US-based hospitality management company, recently brought a modern interpretation of the age-old art of food preservation to the legendary James Beard House in New York City. The dinner’s theme, Flavors That Cure All – A Fresh Take on Ancient Artistry, spanned fresh, local ingredients sourced from across the country, prepared using classic food preservation methods, including smoking, pickling and curing.

Featured chefs representing the signature fine dining restaurants, resorts and hotels within Benchmark Hospitality’s two brand portfolios included Lonny Huot of the Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando, John Billings from Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Chicago, Mike Jackson from Deloitte University Leadership Center in Texas, Frank Estremera of Bethesda’s Lockheed Martin Center for Leadership Excellence and Mischa Graafmans from the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao.  Jon Dal Canton, sommelier at Deloitte University Leadership Center discussed his specially-selected wine pairings.  

Guests at the sold out 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 Hospitality’s long-term relationship with the James Beard Foundation includes the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship, established by Benchmark in honor of its first vice president of food & beverage, the late Bob Zappatelli.  To help support the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship and other James Beard Foundation scholarships, visit

The complete Flavors That Cure All – A Fresh Take on Ancient Artistry menu and wine pairings is available at

About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. In September of 2012, JBF launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol and helped create the American Chef Corps as a way to champion American chefs abroad, promote American food products, and foster an interest in American culinary culture and history through international programs and initiatives. One such project is the next world’s fair, Expo Milano 2015, for which the James Beard Foundation is co-leading the effort for the State Department to design and produce the USA Pavilion, a global gathering of 147 countries addressing the challenges of how we will feed ourselves in the future. The pavilion, whose theme will be “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” will showcase America’s contributions to global food security and gastronomy. For more information, please visit Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.

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.  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  To become a fan on Facebook, visit, or follow us on Twitter at

Contact: Ken Ellens / 201-758-2864

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