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Five Benchmark Executive Chefs infused the future with a cross-country culinary adventure at the James Beard House

(Left to right): Cara De Lavallade, Bobby Moore, Jenae Christiansen, John Andreola, John Billings, Jason Jonilonis, Ted Davis-Benchmark's Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Alex Cabanas-Benchmark's CEO, Tom Garcia-Benchmark's Vice President Food & Beverage.

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.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – 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.

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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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