Benchmark chefs headline James Beard House dinner

From left: John Andreola, John Billings, Jenae Christiansen, Jason Jonilonis, Bobby Moore and Cara De Lavallade.

Six top chefs from Benchmark, a global hospitality company, will blend current trends, singular local ingredients and classic American traditions to celebrate regional American cuisine at the James Beard House in New York City. The dinner’s theme, A Cross-Country Culinary Adventure, introduces a range of innovative dishes that blend a multitude of distinctive flavors, hearkening the recent joining and infusion of Benchmark and Gemstone. Fish fresh from Florida waters, succulent beef from the ranches of Oregon’s Painted Mountains and Tennessee whiskey all enliven the menu, and include chefs from both of Benchmark’s brands: Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and the new Gemstone Collection. The Benchmark Holiday Dinner is scheduled at the James Beard House on Dec. 1.

 “These are exceptional examples of the creativity of our chefs, who represent a blend of culinary excellence from both the Benchmark and the Gemstone portfolios,” says Tom Garcia, VP food & beverage at Benchmark. The menu also reflects the growing demand for fresh, local ingredients from area farmers, fishers and artisans from every part of the country. Garcia also notes that several new culinary trends are incorporated into the menu. 

The creators of this celebration of American cuisine are:

Virtual Event


Survival in these times is highly dependent on a hotel's ability to quickly adapt and pivot their business to meet the current needs of travelers and the surrounding community. Join us for Optimization Part 2 – a FREE virtual event – as we bring together top players in the industry to discuss alternative uses when occupancy is down, ways to boost F&B revenue, how to help your staff adjust to new challenges and more, in a series of panels focused on how you can regain profitability during this crisis.

John Andreola
The Nautical Beachfront Resort, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
A Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property

John Billings
Eaglewood Resort & Spa, Itasca, Ill.
A Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property

Jenae Christiansen
The Gilchrist Club, Trenton, Fla.
A Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property

Jason Jonilonis
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
A Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property

Bobby Moore
Willows Lodge, Woodinville, Wash.
A Gemstone Collection property

Cara De Lavallade, Sommelier
Willows Lodge, Woodinville, Wash.
A Gemstone Collection property

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