Monday, June 22, 2009

The Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship

Benchmark Hospitality International is delighted to announce the establishment of an annual scholarship program in Bob Zappatelli’s memory. It is the perfect living memorial to honor Bob’s passion and the commitment he had to the education and mentoring of talented culinarians in every interaction he had and with every friend that he made in the world of hospitality.

We are partnering with the James Beard Foundation, an organization that is focused on excellence in culinary arts as Bob was. The Foundation has a Scholarship Program as one of its educational pillars, essential to the fulfillment of its mission “to celebrate, preserve, and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence.” Bob’s Scholarship Fund will be added to the catalogue of culinary scholarships the Foundation currently administers.

The James Beard Foundation will work with Benchmark Hospitality to develop specific criteria for the selection of candidates. The Scholarship will be included with all others offered by the Foundation in its Annual Website listing, and the recipient selection process will be administered by the Scholarship Management Services division of Scholarship America, a well-respected nonprofit organization that has helped award scholarships to over one million students.

Many people have asked and Bob’s family welcomes your donations to this Scholarship in Bob’s honor.

Here is the pertinent information:

1)Donations to the newly created Fund should be made payable to: The James Beard Foundation, with "Bob Zappatelli Culinary Arts Scholarship" written on the Memo line, and 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, ask for Special Giving.

2)Since the Foundation is a 501c-3 not-for-profit charitable organization, they will send out acknowledgment of donations to all donors for their records.

3)A scholarship will be awarded annually from the principal accumulated in the Fund.

Please pass on this information to others that may be interested.

Thank you for your donation in remembrance of our wonderful friend.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Remembering Bob

Like most of the colleagues at Benchmark, Bob was really a
special guy with a great energy for life, his craft and wanting to make a difference. I remember all the time he personally spent at the GTH trying to turn the restaurant around a bit... and as the Owner Rep., I appreciated that more than you can ever imagine. Bob always wanted to make a difference with every property he was involved with.I remember getting permission from Gabe Fink to buy Bob a nice gift after his long stay at the GTH. Bob was actually embarrassed, saying that he was "just doing his job!" But I suppose that's just the way he was.

All the best,

Greg E. Eilmann
Visiting Lecturer
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
School of Hotel & Tourism Management
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Chattanoogan held a special memorial for Bob after our all employee meeting.

We placed a granite tree marker on property in a very private location. This was one of Bob’s favorite “going outside for a minute” locations…

He will be greatly missed by his friends in Chattanooga.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Arrangements for Bob Zappatelli

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Public viewing 1:00PM – 1:50PM
Service at 2:00PM

Forest Park Funeral Home
18000 I-45 South
The Woodlands, TX 77384

Torres Winery in Chile

I had the amazing opportunity to spend time with Bob and Juan Carlos in Chile. What an amazing trip. The best part was reliving it later through Bob’s eyes. Every experience was always funnier and more entertaining in his retelling it.

One of the highlights of each year with Bob was the planning of the Beard House dinner. The best part was the drive into Manhattan with Bob behind the wheel telling stories all the way. He was truly a great storyteller.

He was a great friend and mentor to all of us and saw possibilities in us that we didn’t even see ourselves. He was like our own cheerleader, guidance counselor, father confessor and friend all rolled into one amazing larger-than-life package. His personality filled every room he entered.

I loved him like family and will miss him with all my heart. My world was truly a better place with Bob in it and I cherish his memory.

My heart goes out to Karla and his family.

May peace be with you my friend.

James Beard Dinner

In Loving Memory

Bob was a dear friend to us all and truly made some strong impressions in our lives. He was a man of many words and never wasted a moment living his life. It never ceased to amaze me how he could strike up a conversation with someone he barely knew and made them to feel like they had been friends for years. One of my favorite memories with Bob was after the James Beard House last year in New Jersey. We were all walking to the bar and some random guy stopped in front of Bob and said “Tony Soprano, give me a job because I know you’re a made man”. Bob just laughed and gave the guy a hug and said “much love my brother”. It was so funny because Bob really seemed as if he was a made man. We truly loved him and will miss him dearly. His absence in this world only means that the food in heaven will be truly amazing, he was called for a reason and we will see him soon. I’ve attached some photos that I have of Bob and our culinary adventures.