All Fired Up: From Sea to Shining Sea, Chefs from Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels mark National Grilling Month

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It’s mesquite chips and marinade, the pungent smell of glowing charcoal, flaming succulent meats and fresh caught fish. It’s the great American summer pastime, grilling, and it’s celebrated at Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotel this July during National Grilling Month.

"From a fabulous Florida red snapper recipe to ideas for surf and turf, steak, and pork chops with Bourbon grilled peach relish, backyard chefs will find new inspiration to 'think outside the bun.' "

It’s mesquite chips and marinade, the pungent smell of glowing charcoal, flaming succulent meats and fresh caught fish. It’s barbecue, baby backs, burgers and beef. It’s playing with fire, the sizzle and the steak and cooling down with a Cold One. It’s the great American summer pastime, grilling, and it’s celebrated at its peak in July with National Grilling Month.

From coast to coast, several top chefs at Benchmark Hospitality International’s Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels® are taking this all-American culinary tradition to new levels, showing their skill on the grill with local favorites that span the shores of the Pacific to the Western mountains, the Deep South, Midwest and Northeast. From a fabulous Florida red snapper recipe to ideas for surf and turf, steak, and pork chops with Bourbon grilled peach relish, backyard chefs will find new inspiration to “think outside the bun.”

National Grilling Month Ideas from Benchmark Resorts & Hotels properties:

Snow King Hotel & Grand View Lodge, Jackson, WY
Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chops
By Executive Chef Matthew Arter

Pork Chops
2 family-size tea bags
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, halved
2 (6-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups ice cubes
Bring It All Together:
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags. Stir in brown sugar, salt, sweet onion, lemon, garlic cloves, rosemary sprigs, and black pepper, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (about 45 minutes) before stirring in ice. Place tea mixture and pork in a large zip-top, plastic freezer bag; seal. Place bag in a shallow baking dish and chill 24 hours. Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade; pat pork dry with paper towels. Place dry pork chops on a hot grill. Grill until pork reaches desired doneness. *USDA recommends a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.*

Stewed Tomatoes & Okra
4 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
3 cups sliced okra
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the bacon. Render the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and reserve. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the okra and tomatoes, making sure to add the reserved juice from the tomatoes to the sauté pan. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. *Add water or chicken stock if the pan becomes too dry.

Chaminade Resort & Spa, Santa Cruz, CA
Chef’s Off Day Meal a.k.a. Grilled Ribeye Specialty
By Chef Nicholas Church

Ribeye Steaks
10oz ribeye steaks
6oz bottle of pale ale
1 tsp minced garlic
½oz Olive Oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
salt and pepper
Papaya spice
Corn on the cob
Sliced ciabatta bread
2 russet potatoes
Marinade: Create marinade with the pale ale, minced garlic, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce. Mince fresh rosemary and fresh thyme and add to marinade. Soak ribeye steaks in marinade for 2 hours. Remove steaks from marinade. Sprinkle papaya spice, salt and pepper. Grill to desired doneness.
Grilled corn and baked potatoes: Grill corn after removing the husk. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil and place on grill for 45 minutes.
Garlic bread: Slice bread and grill over flame with butter and garlic.

Doral Arrowwood Resort, Rye Brook (Westchester County), NY
Grilled Flat Iron Steak “Al Fresco” Roasted Pepper Chimichurri
By Executive Chef Michael Schmutzer and Sous Chef Genci Gjeci

Flat Iron Steak
2 lb. flat iron steak
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
1 ea. lemon zest
Olive oil for grilling
In a bowl, combine all spices, generously rub spice mixture onto steak, cover with foil and set aside for about an hour.
Pre-heat the grill to high and grill the steak for about 2 min. on each side, lower the temperature and cook for another 2-3 min until desired doneness is reached. Remove from heat and rest for 5 min. prior to slicing steak on a bias into ½ inch slices. Keep in mind to slice against the natural grain of the steak.

3 ea. garlic cloves
1 cp. garden fresh cilantro leaves
1 cp. garden fresh parsley leaves
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
½ cp. white wine vinegar
½ cp. extra virgin olive oil
1 ea. grilled, peeled roasted red pepper
Place, garlic, cilantro, parsley, salt, cumin, pepper and vinegar in a food processor and blend as you slowly add the olive oil until smooth. Add the roasted pepper and with the pulse feature on your blender, process until chopped up and incorporated.

2 ea. ears of corn, grilled and cut off the kernel
1 cp. edamame beans, shelled
2 ea. red, yellow or green pepper, medium diced
1 ea. medium diced onion
2 cp. fresh pea shoots
2 tsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sauté pan, bring oil to medium heat, add onions and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the peppers, corn and edamame beans, continue until thoroughly heated. Now add the fresh pea shoots and immediately remove from the heat. Portion out or simply toss succotash on a platter, top with the sliced grilled steak, generously top with chimichurri sauce and enjoy.
Recipe Notes:
Serve with olive oil brushed and grilled peasant bread to soak up all of the juices from your steak and chimichurri sauce.

The Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick, NJ
Orange Chipotle Grilled Salmon Tacos
By Chef Kristopher Kloepping

Eaglewood Resort & Spa, Chicago, IL
Smokey Chili Crusted Tequila Skirt Steak, Grilled Sweet Cob Corn, Sweet Potato Cake
By Chef John Billings

Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Colorado Springs, CO
Grilled Babette of Beef
By Executive Chef Carlos Addarich

Gilchrist Club, Trenton, FL
Red Pepper Lime Whole Grilled Red Snapper with Grilled Peach Pistachio Gremolata
By Chef Jenae Christiansen

Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, WV
Grilled Alaskan Salmon, Sweet Peas, Grilled Leeks and Potatoes, Pea Puree, Pickens Farm Shoots and Foliage
By Chef Tim White

The Chattanoogan Hotel, Chattanooga, TN
12oz NY Strip with Grilled Lobster, New Potato and Sweet Corn Ragout
By Chef Adam Roe

The Inn at Virginia Tech & Skelton Conference Center, Blacksburg, VA
Summer Pork Chop, Black Eyed Peas and Rice and Bourbon Grilled Peach Relish
By Executive Chef Chang Lei Yun

National Grilling Month Ideas from Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels properties:

Costa d'Este Beach Resort & Spa, Vero Beach, FL
Honey Chipotle Marinade Grilled Flank Steak
By Executive Chef Armando Galeas

2 lbs. piece flank steak
3 each chipotle in adobo sauce
¼ cup honey
1 small bunch cilantro
¼ light soy sauce
2 ea. limes juiced
3 ea. cloves fresh garlic
10 oz. canola oil or blended oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean the flank steak of any extra fat or sinew and with the tip of a boning knife, poke holes through the beef. Set aside. Take chipotles, honey, cilantro, soy sauce, lime juice and garlic and place into a food processor or a blender and process the ingredients for a few second, while the motor is running incorporate the oil at a steady stream until all well emulsified. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Take half of the marinade and add to the flank steak, cover with plastic and let marinade for a minimum of 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Set gas or charcoal grill at 350 degrees. Take flank steak out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking. Set on grill and cook to a desire temperature, let rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve with remaining marinade.

Willows Lodge, Woodinville, WA
Barking Frog’s Lamb Burger
By Executive Chef Bobby Moore

Lamb Burger
1 lb. Ground Lamb
1 ea. Small Onion - minced
4 T. Mustard Seed - toasted
Salt & White Pepper to taste
Combine above and allow to sit refrigerated for 1 hour. Portion into 2 oz. (for sliders) or 8 oz. patties and pan sear when ready to serve. Add a small portion of the cheese to burger when you flip it over.
Red Wine Onions
Roasted Garlic Aioli
Gruyere Cheese
1 c. Baby Arugula
4 slices Gruyere or 1/2 oz. Goat Cheese per burger

Grill each patty for approximately 2 minutes per side. Add gruyere or goat cheese when you flip it for the first time. Toast the buns. Brush the rolls with a little bit of the aioli, add a small amount of onions, baby arugula and serve.
Marinated Onions:
1 ea. Medium Red Onion - thin slices
1/2 c. Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 c. Red Wine
Heat vinegar and wine to a simmer. Pour hot liquid over shaved onions. Let steep and cool.

Roasted Aioli (yield 1 qt - will hold in the refrigerator)
4 ea. Egg Yolks
1 tsp. Salt
Pinch White Pepper
1 tsp. Dry Mustard
3 T. White Wine Vinegar
28 oz. Canola Oil
1 c. Roasted Garlic Cloves
Toss roasted garlic cloves in canola oil and place onto baking pan covered with foil and cook at 350 degrees until golden brown and soft to the touch. Strain oil and add garlic.
Whip egg yolks in mixer on high speed until frothy. Add dry ingredients and half the vinegar, whisk to combine. Begin adding the oil, a little at a time, until the mix starts to thicken and an emulsion begins to form. Add the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream, thinning occasionally with vinegar until all has been incorporated. Adjust seasoning and add lemon juice and toasted garlic to taste. Refrigerate until needed.

Villas of Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL
Grilled Shrimp Citrus Salad
By Chef John Chaknis

About Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels®
Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels® includes unique hand-picked properties in spectacular U.S. destinations coast to coast. Each hotel and resort delivers personal luxury in a spirit true to its own distinctive locale, yet in keeping with the collection’s shared mission. They represent a select portfolio of Benchmark Hospitality International®, which has been a leading US-based hospitality management company for over 30 years. Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels is the preferred choice of guests who yearn for transformation over accommodation, customization over conformity, and inspiration over predictability. With Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels, luxury is always personal. To become a fan on Facebook, visit, or follow us on Twitter at

About Benchmark Resorts & Hotels®
Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® represents the finest in lodging, dining, recreational and meeting accommodations. Many are certified by IACC, the leading professional organization governing the multi-billion dollar conference center industry on five continents, and many have also been recognized with the coveted Benchmark Conference Centers® certification of meeting excellence. Benchmark Resorts & Hotels deliver highly specialized service that anticipates guests’ needs and ensures a hospitality experience unsurpassed and long remembered. To become a fan on Facebook, visit, or follow us on Twitter at

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Media Contacts:
Kirsten Andresen
Regional Director of Public Relations
206-427-5482 / kandresen(at)usa-bhi(dot)com

Jessica Milton
Regional Director of Public Relations
786-714-6268 / jmilton(at)usa-bhi(dot)com

Ken Ellens        
201-758-2864 / KenEllens(at)aol(dot)com

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Ken Ellens
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