Cary, NC— Lucy Daniels Center announces the full line-up of chefs for their third annual benefit, Expressions. A Celebration of Food and Art., taking place Friday, October 11, 2013, at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC.

The benefit brings together The Umstead’s executive chef Scott Crawford and a team of notable guest chefs, who will create a one-of-a-kind meal inspired by the work of jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, who has been praised as “a spell-binding professional, who rivets attention with her glorious, cultivated voice and canny stagecraft.” With a dozen albums to her credit, the six-time GRAMMY nominee has performed at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Monterey Jazz Festival, Apollo Theater and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

This year’s culinary “dream team” includes:

  • Multiple James Beard Award nominee and Legacy Chef Curtis Duffy, chef-owner of Grace restaurant in Chicago, whose first venture, Alinea (with James Beard winner Chef Grant Achatz) was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine just a year after opening and is widely recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world;
  • Steven Devereaux Greene, executive chef of An Cuisines in Cary, NC, who as chef de cuisine at The Umstead Hotel and Spa’s award-winning restaurant Herons led the restaurant to its first Forbes Five-Star Rating;
  • Daniel Benjamin, pastry chef of The Umstead Hotel and Spa and Herons, which has received the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award in addition to recognition by Food & WineCondé Nast Traveler and Southern Living;
  • and Francisco Almaguer, pastry chef of An Cuisines, who has worked with several acclaimed chefs including Sam DeMarco at Merge and First in New York and Traci Des Jardins at Jardiniere in San Francisco.

Guests will enjoy a gourmet multi-course meal inspired by Freelon’s work, masterful wine pairings, and, throughout the evening, insightful discourse from Freelon, Crawford and the chef team.

Of her collaboration with the Expressions chef team, Freelon said, “Jazz music is created in the artful and unexpected combinations of rhythm, melody and tempo made new each time through the surprises of improvisation. I imagine how these chefs will interpret my work, my music, in their culinary explorations—and I am excited, invigorated. What a meal it will be!”

Major sponsors of Expressions include longtime Center supporters Steve and Becky Scott, PNC Bank, and Michael and Candace Olander. Proceeds will benefit the Center’s child mental health and education programs. Limited sponsorships and  individual tickets for this event are available at, under the “Expressions” tab.

The Lucy Daniels Center in Cary, NC, is the largest nonprofit agency providing children’s mental health services in the Triangle. The Center serves children up to age 11 who are experiencing social, emotional or behavioral difficulties through a comprehensive range of programs. Through the Center’s Family Support Fund, nearly 90% of families pay less than the full cost of treatment, and one family in four receives services for free.


Now in its third decade of service to children and families, the Lucy Daniels Center is a nationally recognized model for childhood mental health education and services. The Center is the largest and most comprehensive non-profit focused on providing mental health services to young children and their families in the Triangle and is conveniently located at 9003 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513. For more information, visit

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