BENCHMARK® Names James Massey Director Culinary Experience for The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa

/BENCHMARK® Names James Massey Director Culinary Experience for The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa

BENCHMARK® Names James Massey Director Culinary Experience for The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa

|2019-08-07T12:46:06-05:00August 6th, 2019|

The Woodlands (Houston), Texas — August 6, 2019 — BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, has named James Massey as Director of Culinary Experience for The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa. Mr. Massey brings more than 16 years of extraordinary culinary experience to the resort, a Gemstone Collection property, located in Essex, Vermont.

“We are so pleased to welcome James to The Essex,” says General Manager Ron Droegmyer. “He’s arriving with an exemplary background in the culinary arts, and as Vermont’s summer season is providing fresh produce, grass-fed beef, fish and artisanal cheeses to the resort’s table.”

Mr. Droegmyer notes that James Massey’s culinary vision is significantly influenced by his family’s farming background and Native American heritage. A former executive chef, Mr. Massey is strongly committed to sustainable farming, using Native American seeds and growing techniques to create a true farm-to-table experience, bringing new dimensions to the resort’s noted gardens. When an executive chef, Massey could often be found foraging local and regional surroundings, finding fresh culinary experiences for guests, a tradition he is sure to continue at The Essex. Sustainably focused, Mr. Massey is also keenly aware of the need to preserve seafood as well as freshwater species, especially important in the New England region.

Most recently, James Massey was the Executive Chef and Owner of the Field and Cellar, a noted fine dining restaurant in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He earlier served as Executive Chef at the legendary Canyon Ranch Resort in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Mr. Massey’s distinguished culinary background spans restaurant kitchens in Arizona, Massachusetts and Ohio, managing a range of food and beverage operations including menu development, restaurant design and banqueting. He has held executive chef and senior management positions within the culinary departments of several prominent hospitality brands, including Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham and Canyon Ranch, serving at both the Lenox and Tucson locations.

With this exceptional background, James Massey brings a strong farm-to-table sensibility, in-depth knowledge of regional ingredients, a kinship with Native American culinary techniques as well as a cosmopolitan flair to his new position at The Essex. He holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Arizona. Massey is relocating to the Essex area.

A culinary destination, The Essex is a gastronomic experience in every aspect of its food and beverage offerings. Guests learn new skills at the classes in the J.K. Adams and Chef’s Kitchens of Cook Academy. The award-winning Junction restaurant and an internationally ranked wine list create a unique experience in fine dining.  More informal pub food is available in the convivial Tavern and fresh baked goods and sandwiches at the Lobby Café.

About The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa

Set on 18 acres in the scenic Lake Champlain Valley in the foothills of the Green Mountains, The Essex – a Culinary Resort & Spa is easily reached via Interstate 89. The resort is just minutes from Burlington International Airport, and the town of  Essex is served by Amtrak’s Vermonter train. The Essex is surrounded by all the attractions of Vermont from skiing, boating and hiking to shopping and antiquing. Guests can enjoy the resort’s full-service spa, fitness center, 18-hole golf course, clay tennis courts, Cook Academy, two restaurants, hiking and biking trails and special services for pets. The Essex also arranges guided family activities, Vermont tours, hot air ballooning and unforgettable team building activities in the Cook Academy.

Contact: Ken Ellens

[email protected]/(201) 758-2864

About Gemstone Collection

The Gemstone Collection includes distinctive hand-picked properties in spectacular and popular U.S. destinations coast to coast. Each upscale resort and hotel destination provides highly-personalized service and luxury reflective of the charm and unique character of the destination, while in keeping with the collection’s shared mission and passion for excellence.  A distinguished portfolio of BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, which has been a leading US-based hospitality management company for nearly 40 years, the Gemstone Collection is the preferred choice of guests who yearn for inspiring and transformative experiences, customization over conformity, stimulation over predictability, and adventure over routine. To become a fan on Facebook, visit, or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at, and on Pinterest at

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