Benchmark Hospitality Names Taylor Amara as First Recipient of the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship

  • Benchmark Hospitality International
  • 12.08.10
Last year, Benchmark Hospitality International established the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship in partnership with The James Beard Foundation, based in New York City.

The annual scholarship celebrates the life of the company’s first vice president food and beverage, the late Bob Zappatelli, and serves as a memorial to his unforgettable magnetism and enthusiasm for the advancement of the culinary arts.  Benchmark Hospitality announced that Taylor Amara of Chatham, Mass., is the first recipient of the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship.

“Bob was such a remarkable man and set the standard for Benchmark Hospitality’s food and beverage programming,” said Burt Cabañas, chairman and CEO of Benchmark Hospitality International.  “Awarding this annual scholarship in his name, together with The James Beard Foundation, is an important part of Bob’s legacy.  We’re pleased to be able to present the inaugural scholarship to Taylor Amara, who we know Bob would agree is a most worthy recipient.”

“The restaurant industry is very exiting and rewarding,” said Taylor Amara, “and this is why I have chosen restaurant food and beverage management as my major.  I absolutely love this industry.  My ultimate goal is to become one of the finest food and beverage directors in the country.”

Taylor Amara is a junior at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University, located in Providence, R.I., where she is studying food and beverage management.  Ms. Amara applied for the scholarship that commemorates Mr. Zappatelli during her sophomore year at the university.  While at Johnson & Wales, she has achieved the deans list every trimester since her freshman year. 

Ms. Amara grew up working in her family’s restaurant where she developed a strong love for the hospitality industry.  Her excellent academic record at the high school and university level was just one aspect of her selection to receive the scholarship.  Ms. Amara also has an impressive history of volunteering for numerous social service and culinary organizations, such as Meals on Wheels, Amos House Feed the Homeless Shelter, local farmers markets, beach clean-up programs, and more.  At such a young age, she clearly understands the importance of contributing to one’s community.

The challenging economy over the past years has proven difficult for the Amara family’s business, and so achieving scholarships to continue her university education was essential.  Receiving the Bob Zappatelli-James Beard Scholarship will help Ms. Amara toward her goal of completing her four-year education at Johnson & Wales, which offers a highly respected hospitality and culinary program.  After she graduates, Amara intends to continue on for her Masters of Business Administration degree.

The Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship, established in 2009, is presented annually in partnership with The James Beard Foundation.  The scholarship celebrates the passion for the food and beverage profession of the late Bob Zappatelli, Benchmark Hospitality International’s first vice president of food and beverage, and serves as a living memorial to his unforgettable magnetism and enthusiasm in the advancement of the culinary arts. 
 
Benchmark Hospitality’s partner in the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship, The James Beard Foundation, is a definitive culinary arts organization in the United States dedicated to showcasing American chefs' talents.  Named for the storied American chef, the late James Beard, the mission of The James Beard Foundation is to celebrate, preserve, nurture and further America's culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate and advance the appreciation of the nation's culinary excellence.  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 www.jamesbeard.org/index.php?q=james_beard_scholarships, 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. 



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