Top Chefs & All That Jazz

Take your place at the table as gourmet chefs serve up a special meal, while the music of acclaimed jazz singer Nnenna Freelon fills the air, in a signature gathering of celebration and support for a longtime Cary nonprofit.

Expressions. A Celebration of Food and Art, is the third annual benefit hosted by Lucy Daniels Center, bringing together executive chef Scott Crawford and pastry chef Daniel Benjamin of The Umstead Hotel, with a team of notable guest chefs.

The chefs will collaborate to create a meal inspired by the work of Freelon, a six-time Grammy Award nominee who has performed at Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Guests will enjoy the gourmet multi-course meal with masterful wine pairings, and hear from Freelon, Crawford and the chef team on their respective inspirations and crafts.

The event benefits Lucy Daniels Center, now in its third decade of service to children and families, and a nationally recognized model for childhood mental health education and services.

The center was founded by psychologist and writer Lucy Daniels, who has been honored among Cary Magazine’s notable Women of Western Wake for her work.

This year’s guest chefs include executive chef Steven D. Greene and pastry chef Francisco Almaguer of An Cuisines in Cary; James Beard Award nominee and Legacy Chef Curtis Duffy, chef-owner of Grace restaurant in Chicago; and Hugh Acheson, chef-partner of Empire State South in Atlanta, the 2012 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef, Southeast, and a competitor and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.

Expressions will take place on Friday, Oct. 11 at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary; tickets are $250, of which $100 is tax deductible. For more information, visit

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