The Team

The Food and Beverage team of The Umstead Hotel and Spa draws upon years of experience, training and passion for the Culinary Arts.  Hailing from some of the top hotels and restaurants in the country, The Team has a focus driven by Executive Chef Scott Crawford to create refined, elegant, Southern cuisine.

Executive Chef Scott Crawford

Crawford serves a dual role as Food and Beverage Director and Executive Chef, combining his love of the dining room with his allure in the kitchen. The Pennsylvania native has made a name for himself in the South, cooking across most of the region, blazing a trail of culinary prestige everywhere he’s worked.  Joining The Umstead Hotel and Spa in March 2009, Chef Crawford was most recently the Executive Chef of The Georgian Room in Sea Island, GA.  Click here to view Crawford's full biography.

Pastry Chef Daniel Benjamin

Daniel Benjamin is celebrated for his creative and modern approach to Southern sweets as Pastry Chef of The Umstead Hotel and Spa, and Herons. Incorporating over ten years of extensive experience in many of the best pastry kitchens in the country to his role as Pastry Chef, Benjamin joined the refined culinary caliber of the North Carolina destination in January 2007 as a member of the pre-opening team.  Click here to view Benjamin's full biography.

Chef de Cuisine John Childers

Inspired by the resourcefulness of classic Southern cooking, Childers takes an elegantly simple approach to his cuisine at Herons.  Working with Executive Chef/Food & Beverage Director Scott Crawford, Childers designs the Herons menu to showcase North Carolina’s freshest produce.  The result is progressive American regional cuisine that is both refined and relaxed.  Childers joined the team in 2009 and quickly ascended Herons’ culinary ranks being promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2012.  Click here to view Childers' full biography.