BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, has appointed Caleb Lara executive chef for  The Essex – Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa, a Gemstone Collection property located minutes from downtown Burlington in the foothills of the legendary Green Mountains.  Nic Barger, general manager, made the announcement.

 “I am thrilled to welcome Caleb to our resort,” said Mr. Barger.  “Highly credentialed and with experience gained at top restaurants in the United States, he is the perfect choice for this important leadership position at Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa.”

Caleb Lara brings over a decade of culinary experience to his new position at The Essex.  He was previously chef de cuisine for the Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Massachusetts.  Prior to this he served as executive chef for the Kemble Inn of Lenox, Massachusetts.

Earlier in his career chef Lara worked under the leadership of Certified Master Chef Derin Moore at the Ritz Carlton Resorts of Naples, Florida.  He gained experience staging in New York City at the Michelin Star-rated restaurants Le Bernardin and The Modern.  Caleb also completed professional chef certification under the mentorship of Certified Master Chef Dan Dumont.

Mr. Lara is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York.  He developed his love of the culinary arts while growing up in San Diego, California.  He has relocated to Essex, Vermont.