Fans of fine food and fine art, mark your calendars for November 9, 2012, when The Umstead Hotel and Spa will host our second annual Expressions benefit, featuring a collaboration between their renowned chef team and an acclaimed local artist.

This year, The Umstead's executive chef Scott Crawford, pastry chef Daniel Benjamin, and two award-winning guest chefs—Tarver King of The Ashby Inn and Restaurant in Paris, VA, and Ryan Smith of Empire State South in Atlanta, GA—will take their culinary inspirations for the evening's food from the distinctive work of Pittsboro, NC-based potter Mark Hewitt, perhaps best known for his large planters and jars, some of which grace the elegant interior of The Umstead itself.

Mr. Hewitt uses local clays and blends the different North Carolina folk traditions together into a contemporary style that has attracted a sizeable following. His work has been featured in the Smithsonian magazine and on the cover of American Craft magazine. He has written extensively in the ceramic press, and he has exhibited in London, New York and Tokyo, as well as throughout the U.S. He is well-represented in museum and private collections as well.

Both artist and chefs find themselves invigorated by their partnership forExpressions. "Food culture and pottery culture are entwined--we feed off each other literally and poetically," Mr. Hewitt says. "Scott and I have devoted our lives to our respective passions, and our collaboration for Expressions feels like a perfect fit. As we prepare, our excitement is palpable: to work together at this level is exhilarating, inspiring even greater focus and flair."

Chef Crawford adds, "It is such a pleasure to work with potter Mark Hewitt and understand his creative process and then translate his inspirations and technique into our artful cuisine. The fact that it benefits such an important program in our community as the Lucy Daniels Center makes this event one of the most rewarding experiences of my career."

Attendees of Expressions. A Celebration of Food and Art. will enjoy a gourmet, multi-course meal prepared by these nationally known chefs and exclusive commentary from Mr. Hewitt about his art. This one-of-a-kind evening will delight, enchant, and satisfy even the most discerning tastes--artistic and gustatory--in a setting that has become synonymous with luxury and sophistication: the Five Star- and Five Diamond-award winning Umstead Hotel and Spa.

To download a low-res file of the 2012 Save the Date postcard, click here.