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The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, April 2016 … Benchmark Hospitality International®, in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, announces applications are open to culinary students domestically and globally for the 2016 Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship.  The scholarship fund was established by Burt Cabañas, founder & chairman of Benchmark Hospitality International, in 2009 to celebrate the memory and culinary legacy of Bob Zappatelli, the company’s beloved first vice president of food & beverage.  Applications for the scholarship will remain open through May 15, 2016.

“Bob loved the culinary arts, and mentored countless culinarians who worked as part of his nationwide team here at Benchmark Hospitality,” said Mr. Cabañas. “We have a profound love for him and his legacy, and how he nurtured new and existing talent, helping each person become the best chef, the best sous chef, and the most dedicated director of food and beverage possible.  Bob was a great example of being the difference for his team and our customers.”

“Bob Zappatelli was one of those rare professionals who could relate personally to every member of his culinary team across multiple properties, as well as our myriad of customers,” said Ellen Sinclair, senior vice president, operations, for Benchmark Hospitality International.  “He had his finger on the pulse of what was trending in the culinary arts, could deftly lead an elegant Benchmark dinner at the James Beard House, as well as put on chef’s whites and help out in the kitchen of any of our properties.  He was always teaching and leading by example.”

The Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship Application
(Sponsored by his friends and family, and by Benchmark Hospitality International.)

The Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship scholarship honors the memory of Bob Zappatelli, beloved first vice president of food and beverage of Benchmark Hospitality International. It is intended as a living memorial to his passion and commitment to mentoring talented culinarians in every interaction he had, and with every friend that he made in the world of hospitality.

Applicants must:

  • Be planning to enroll or currently enrolled in an accredited program of culinary studies or food and beverage
     
  • Have work experience in food and beverage
     
  • Have demonstrated strong leadership skills and a passion for the culinary arts
     

Culinary students globally can apply online through the James Beard Foundation website for consideration for the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship educational resources.  The scholarship application can be accessed online at:

http://www.jamesbeard.org/education/scholarships-and-grants
and
https://www.scholarsapply.org/jamesbeard/

The application process remains open through May 15, 2016.

For further information on the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship, the application process, or additional scholarships available through the James Beard Foundation, students are encouraged to visit www.JamesBeard.org

The Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund
The Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship, established in 2009, is presented annually in partnership with The James Beard Foundation, the definitive culinary arts organization in the United States dedicated to showcasing American chefs' talents.  The scholarship celebrates the passion for the food & beverage profession of the late Bob Zappatelli, Benchmark Hospitality International’s first vice president of food & beverage, and serves as a living memorial to his unforgettable enthusiasm in the advancement of the culinary arts.  For many years, Bob Zappatelli worked closely with The James Beard Foundation, hosting the immensely popular Benchmark Holiday Dinner each December at the James Beard House in New York City.

The James Beard Foundation provides a Scholarship Program as one of its educational pillars, to which the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund has been added.  The Fund is included in the Foundation’s catalogue of nearly 80 annual culinary scholarships the organization administers and makes available each spring for students domestically and globally.  Each spring, generous scholarships are granted via the James Beard Foundation to students at many schools of note, including the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales, and Le Cordon Bleu International. The James Beard Foundation distributes resources through the Scholarship Management Services division of Scholarship America, a respected nonprofit organization that has helped award scholarships to over one million students.  

Contributing to the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund
Details include:

  • Donations can be made to The James Beard Foundation, with "Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship" indicated on the Memo line.
     
  • Donations can be sent to:

                        The James Beard Foundation
                        Attn: Marilyn Platzer, CFO
                        167 West 12th Street
                        New York, NY  10011

  • Credit card donations can also be made by calling (212) 675-4984.  Request “Special Giving.”
     
  • The Foundation is a 501c-3 not-for-profit charitable organization and will follow up with acknowledgment of donations to all donors for their records.
     
  • A scholarship will be awarded annually from the principal accumulated in the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund.

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 jamesbeard.org. 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.

Social Media Hashtags:  #BeardHouse    @beardfoundation

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 www.benchmarkhospitality.com.  To become a fan on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/BenchmarkResortsandHotels, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BenchmarkHotels

Contact: Ken Ellens

KenEllens@aol.com / 201-758-2864

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