Benchmark Hospitality International Names Recipient of the First Annual Bob Zappatelli Award for Culinary Excellence

  • Benchmark Hospitality International
  • 12.08.10
Benchmark Hospitality International announced that Beverlie Terra, executive chef at Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, Calif., is the inaugural recipient of the Bob Zappatelli Award for Culinary Excellence.

Benchmark Hospitality established the award in 2009 in honor of Mr. Zappatelli, the company’s first vice president of food and beverage who passed away suddenly in May of that year.  The award will be given each year to a member of the Benchmark Hospitality food and beverage department who best exemplifies the spirit and legacy of Bob Zappatelli.

“Beverlie's passion for food, for her profession, and for her team of culinary professionals is reflected in the daily operation of her department where she uses every opportunity to work with her staff in creating distinctive flavor combinations and appeal,” said Greg Champion, chief operating officer of Benchmark Hospitality International.  “Beverlie is also a superb mentor to her food and beverage team and thrives on sharing new recipes, concepts and culinary discoveries with her staff.  She is a most worthy first recipient of Benchmark’s Bob Zappatelli Award for Culinary Excellence.”

Ms. Terra’s enthusiasm for the culinary arts profession extends well beyond her role at Chaminade Resort & Spa, according to Norbert Relecker, general manager of Chaminade, who nominated her for the award.  She is active with the Veteran Affairs Center in Santa Cruz, assisting with holiday culinary events.  Ms. Terra also volunteers at her community library, offering cooking classes for all age groups, including teens.  As well, she has served as educator at the college level, teaching culinary programs. 

Over a decade ago, Beverlie Terra pioneered some of the nation’s first culinary team-building programs for use by corporate and association groups, helping them utilize the culinary arts as a catalyst to discover hidden leadership talents.  Subsequently, culinary teambuilding has become a popular instructional resource at meeting facilities nationwide.  Ms. Terra has been on staff at Chaminade Resort & Spa for 20 years.

The Bob Zappatelli Award for Culinary Excellence was instituted in his honor to be presented each year to a member of Benchmark Hospitality’s food and beverage department who best exemplifies the traits for which Mr. Zappatelli was so highly respected and widely admired.  These traits become the qualifiers for the Bob Zappatelli Award, and include:

  • An intense passion for the culinary arts
  • Acute awareness of current trends in dining and consumer food and beverage preferences
  • Demonstrated excellence in food and beverage operations within their property, regionally or nationally
  • A profound appreciation for the importance of each and every food and beverage team member’s contribution
  • A willingness to go above and beyond the norm to help ensure a superb food and beverage experience for their property’s customers

Mr. Zappatelli was a tireless champion of the food and beverage team and culinary program at Benchmark Hospitality International, having held several positions within the company while developing his career there.  At each step, Mr. Zappatelli served to inspire, mentor and provide vision for the food and beverage team.  The Bob Zappatelli Award, which honors an internal culinary professional within Benchmark Hospitality, is complemented by the Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship, which is presented annually in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, New York, to a deserving student at one of the nation’s top culinary arts schools.

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