Herons to Host Special Chefs’ Dinner to Support Lucy Daniels Center

April 19, 2010

Want to experience a very special dinner, at a special restaurant, prepared by some special chefs, all for a most special cause??  Well, then book your seat for the May 17th dinner at Herons, where Chef Scott Crawford will welcome into his kitchen a handful of fantastic North Carolina chefs for a dinner that will help raise money for the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood.  Who will be cooking that night in addition to Chef Crawford?  Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner in Raleigh.  Jim Anile of Revolution in Durham.  Vivian Howard of Kinston’s Chef & the Farmer.

I’ve sung the praises of Ashley Christensen enough on this blog, so I don’t need to do any more for her, and I’ve not met Mr. Anile yet, but I want to tell you about Chef Howard.  I had the pleasure of eating dinner with her a week ago, and this woman knows her shit.  I’m astonished that such a talented and passionate chef has been so successful in a place like Kinston, but then I realized that a lot of her customers come from the Triangle.  Chef & the Farmer has become a destination restaurant as well as a place to stop on the way to or from the beaches of North Carolina.  And we’re lucky to have her cooking here in the Triangle on the 17th.

This dinner is for a great cause: The Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood, the Triangle’s largest non-profit provider of mental health services to children.  I’m the Vice Chair of the Center’s Board, and when I asked Chef Crawford could turn this event that was already on his schedule into a fundraiser, he said, “Why not?”  Rather than bumping up the price of this dinner, which had been set for weeks at $110 per person (plus tax and tip), Herons has decided to donate a substantial portion of the proceeds to the Lucy Daniels Center.  The Center is located just a mile or so from the Umstead Hotel & Spa (home of Herons), so this could be the beginning of a fantastic relationship.  This dinner will represent the unofficial kickoff event of the Lucy Daniels Center’s “Bookmarked!” fundraising event — please be sure to click on the link for more details!

As you may know, Herons was named the Restaurant of Year by the News & Observer’s restaurant critic, Greg Cox.  It’s now one of the best restaurants in the Southeast, in my opinion.  Sure, I’m tainted because I’ve worked in that kitchen for a couple of days, but Chef Crawford and his Chef d’Cuisine, Steven Devereaux Greene, make an incredibly talented culinary partnership.  The quality of the food, combined with the sophistication of the service and the comfort of the dining room, supports my position.

The five course dinner (maybe they’ll let me do the amuse) includes wine pairings selected by Herons’ sommelier Justin Tilley, and expect to be surprised by his choices.  He won’t hesitate to come up with pairings that are a bit out of the ordinary, but they invariably work well.

So please make your reservations today by calling Herons at 919-447-4200 or by sending an email request to guestservices@theumstead.com.  Cocktails will begin on the outside terrace at 6:30, with dinner inside Herons at 7:00 PM.  See you there!


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