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Flavors That Cure All – A Fresh Take on Ancient Artistry


Benchmark Hospitality’s Chefs Bring Contemporary Flair to the Ancient Art of Food Preservation at New York’s Legendary James Beard House

New York, October 2015 … Preserving the past with the tastes of the future, five top chefs and a noted sommelier from Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading US-based hospitality management company, bring a modern interpretation of the age-old art of food preservation to the iconic James Beard House in New York City. The dinner’s theme, Flavors That Cure All – A Fresh Take on Ancient Artistry spans fresh, local ingredients from across the United States, prepared using classic food preservation methods including smoking, pickling and curing. Benchmark chefs will bring their own contemporary twist to these time-honored techniques with an innovative and eclectic menu that pays tribute to humanity’s oldest methods of preserving and preparing food. The event is scheduled for the James Beard House at 167 West 12th Street, New York, New York, on Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 7:00 pm.
“The art of food preservation goes back thousands of years,” notes Tom Garcia, vice president of food & beverage for Benchmark Hospitality. “Ever since early man first smoked a haunch of bison over a fire or dried fruits and grains in the sun, food preservation has been essential to human survival.  Taking these ancient methods to an entirely new culinary level and presenting them at the James Beard House is a challenge and an honor,” said Mr. Garcia.
Meeting that challenge while supporting the foundation are five chefs representing the signature fine dining restaurants, resorts and hotels within Benchmark Hospitality International’s two brand portfolios:  Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels®.  They include Lonny Huot of the Villas at Grand Cypress in Orlando, John Billings from the Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Chicago, Mike Jackson from the Deloitte of University Leadership Center in Texas, Frank Estremera of Bethesda’s Center for Leadership Excellence and Mischa Graffman from the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort.  Jon Dal Canton, sommelier at Deloitte University Leadership Center, will discuss wine pairings.
The Benchmark Hospitality James Beard Dinner will begin with an hors d'oeuvres and wine reception at 7:00 pm on December 3rd.   The five-course Chefs Tasting Menu will be served starting at 8:00 pm.  Reservations can be arranged by calling the James Beard House at 212-627-2308.   Prices are $130 per person for members of the James Beard Foundation and $170 per person for the general public.
The James Beard House was once the residence of legendary James Beard, America’s first celebrity chef who is revered today as the dean of American Cookery. Mr. Beard lived in the Greenwich Village townhouse until his passing in 1985. A gifted impresario who, along with his close friend, Julia Child, led the way for many of today’s celebrity chefs, James Beard established cooking schools and published over 20 cookbooks, many of which are still in print.  As important, he left a legacy of culinary excellence and integrity for generations of America’s home cooks and professional chefs.
“We are always delighted to welcome Benchmark Hospitality to the James Beard House,” said Izabela Wojcik, director of house programming for The James Beard Foundation.  “This year’s theme, Flavors That Cure All – A Fresh Take on Ancient Artistry, is so imaginative and in keeping with the Beard House’s mission to explore the evolution of culinary traditions and history. As they do every year, Benchmark Hospitality’s chefs bring a very special flair to our holiday programs.”
Flavors That Cure All – A Fresh Take on Ancient Artistry
Reception Menu
Citrus Marinated & Smoked Mackerel, Warm Amaranth Salad, Red Onion “Escabeche”
Chef Frank Estremera
Moscato Macerated Air Dried Red Bartlett Pear, Wasabi Jerky Chip, Shaved Pecorino
Chef John Billings
Rice Paper Wrapped Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Cactus Fruit Crema & Preserved Kumquats in a Sustainable Bamboo Spoon
Chef Mike Jackson
Axis Venison & Wild Blue Berry Sausage, Gin Scented Leeks, Organic Pumpernickel Crisp
Chef Lonny Huot
Homemade Pickled Sheep’s Milk Cheese, Pomegranate- Shallot Confit
Chef Mischa Graafmans
Bottled Peach Jam Infused White Negroni
Moët & Chandon, Nectar Imperial, NV, Brut Rosé, Champagne
A special cocktail created for the occasion, a White Negroni*, infused with bottled peach jam, is another new twist on a classic.
Dinner Menu
Butternut Squash Flan, Marcona Almond - Arugula Pesto, Shaved Fennel Salad & Crispy Parsnips
Chef Mike Jackson
Grüner Veltliner |  Tatomer, Meeresboden, 2014, Santa Barbara County 
Line Caught Dutch Pike-Perch, Apple Molasses Glaze, Celeriac-Macadamia Puree, Riesling Sauce
Chef Mischa Graafmans
Chardonnay  |  Liquid Farm, White Hill, 2013, Sta. Rita Hills  
-Palate Cleanser-
Lillet Granita, Prosecco, Chamomile Bitters
Anise & Lavender Honey Glazed Crispy Pork Belly, Pickled Pig Ear & Cannellini Bean Cassoulet, Aged Rum Reduction
Chef Frank Estremera
Syrah  |  E. Guigal, 2012, Crozes-Hermitage 
Mezcal Braised Bison Sirloin, Serrano Chili Grits and Salted Lime Kale Fritto
Chef John Billings
Barrel Aged Chili-Infused Porter  
Chestnut Cake, Orange Blossom Honey Roasted Fig & Tarragon Infused Chocolate Truffle
Chef Lonny Huot
Vin Santo  |  Castello di Volpaia, 2009, Radda  
TX Pompelmocello with Ginger & Anise 
* Peach Jam Negroni recipe:  1oz.  Botanist Gin, 1oz.  Suze, 1oz.  Cocchi Americano, 1 Barspoon Peach Jam, 1 Orange Peel.  Combine 1 barspoon of peach jam with gin and stir until incorporated.  Add Suze, Cocchi Americano and ice and stir 20 revolutions to the right and 20 revolutions to the left.  Strain into rocks glass prepped with ice and garnish with orange peel.
For more information about the Benchmark Chefs, their Menu, and to make reservations online, visit: 
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 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® andPersonal 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


Ken Ellens
Ken Ellens Communications
[email protected]