Our Gift to You: A Delicious Holiday Season | The Benson Hotel

Our Gift to You: A Delicious Holiday Season

Portrait of Chef Lee Cheatle

Book your holiday stay at The Benson in the heart of downtown Portland for comfort and true hospitality, convenient shopping and entertainment, and enjoy versatile dining options without ever setting foot in the cold! The Benson offers a generous in-room dining menu, all-occasion dining in the gorgeous, natural light-filled lobby at The Palm Court, and a classic steak house experience with tableside service at the renowned El Gaucho Steakhouse and Cigar Bar.

The halls are decked and the larders are stocked, creating feasts for all the senses! Step in and surround yourself in historic charm and luxury, with sparkling holiday lights, rambling rows of red poinsettias, gilded boughs draped about, and delightful showcases such as the annual grand Gingerbread masterpiece (unveiling Dec. 2 at 4 p.m.) anchoring The Benson’s Historic Stairwell. We’ve set the backdrop for your spirited gatherings with friends and family, all season long.

History and tradition come hand in hand at The Benson, not just in the ephemera found within the hotel, but also in the treasured recipes of our culinary team. Chef Lee Cheatle of The Benson has been fortunate to have had many culinary mentors over his career that spans five decades. More than 40 years ago, one of those mentors passed a recipe on to him that remains one of his holiday favorites. Enjoy this make-at-home gift of a delightful yam recipe, perfect for a chilly winter night, from Chef’s kitchen to yours!

Tipsy Sweet Yams

The Sauce

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 large orange (tip: Navels have no seeds!) or 5 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 8 Tbsp. any kind of bourbon or whiskey
  • 12 drops of bitters, I use Angostura
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter (salted or non-salted)
  • 2 pinches salt

In any container, add all the above ingredients and blend.

The Yams

  • 1 15-ounce can of yams (fully drained)

Place the yams in a shallow dish that is oven safe; I like glass or ceramic but metal is fine, too.
Pour the sauce over the yams; use all of it.
Cover the yams with parchment or wax paper and then cover the dish securely with tin foil (the paper will prevent the acidity of the ingredients from deteriorating the foil).

Bake at 325 degrees F for approx. 30 minutes.*

Feel free to use any kind of traditional toppings, such as mini-marshmallows. I do not, but you’re the chef.

*TIP: Don’t bake right away; instead, prepare the day before and hold in the refrigerator. Bake the day of your event (if you do this, add 10 minutes to the cook time).

– Chef Lee Cheatle

The Benson, a historic downtown Portland hotel, has long catered to celebrities, CEOs, dignitaries and nearly every U.S. president since William H. Taft. It offers guests 287 tastefully appointed guest rooms, including a variety of suites, 18,000 square feet of meeting space and abundant guest amenities. Whether you are traveling for pleasure or business, The Benson offers comfort, luxury and proximity to all Portland has to offer.

2022 Travelers Choice Award

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