New York, New York, December 2016 … Five top chefs and a noted sommelier from BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, celebrated their takes on Regional American Cuisine at the legendary James Beard House in New York City earlier this month. The dinner’s theme, “A Cross-Country Culinary Adventure”, introduced a range of innovative dishes that blended a multitude of distinctive flavors, hearkening the recent joining and infusion of Benchmark and Gemstone, creating two extraordinary new resort and hotel portfolios: Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and the Gemstone Collection.
Featured executive chefs representing signature Benchmark and Gemstone fine dining restaurants, resorts and hotels were John Andreola of The Nautical Beachfront Resort, Lake Havasu City, AZ; John Billings of Eaglewood Resort & Spa, Itasca (Chicago), IL; Jenae Christiansen from The Gilchrist Club, Trenton, FL; Jason Jonilonis of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa, Pigeon Forge, TN; and Bobby Moore from Willows Lodge in Woodinville, WA. Cara De Lavallade, also of Willows Lodge, was sommelier for the dinner.
Guests at the sold-out event included James Beard Foundation members, executives from leading New York metro-area companies, members of the national press and Benchmark invited guests.
Benchmark has a decade-long relationship with the James Beard Foundation, which was initiated by the late Bob Zappatelli, Benchmark’s first vice president food & beverage, in whose honor the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship was founded. For the complete Dinner Menu and Wine Pairings for “A Cross-Country Culinary Adventure”, visit https://www.jamesbeard.org/events/benchmark-holiday-4?category=Dinner