One of the region's premier fine dining destinations has received its first five-star rating from the 2012 Forbes Travel Guide.
Herons, the restaurant at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, received the top honor after earning four stars from Forbes in each of the past four years. Herons is one of 25 restaurants worldwide and the only one in North Carolina to receive Forbes' five-star rating for 2012.
Chef de cuisine Steven Devereaux Greene said the top rating had been a goal of the culinary staff since he joined Herons in 2009.
The Umstead Hotel is one of 57 worldwide and one of two in North Carolina to earn the five-star rating for 2012. The Umstead Spa is among 104 spas around the world named to the four-star list.
Gingerbread houses go up for auction
Win an elaborately decorated gingerbread house crafted by an area chef and other items at a silent auction during the ninth annual gingerbread benefit for Triangle Family Services.
The benefit will be Dec. 1 at The Umstead Hotel & Spa, 100 Woodland Pond Drive, Cary.
It begins at 4 p.m. with a children's tea with Santa, followed from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. by live and silent auctions. Guests will enjoy live holiday music and savory delicacies. Tickets are $45 for the children's tea and $85 for the evening benefit.
Local celebrity chefs participating include Daniel Benjamin from Herons, the Umstead's signature restaurant; Jill Lecky of the Fearrington House Restaurant; and Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard.
Jason McCoon of Troy Hill Auction Co., who is part of the History channel's series "The Real Deal," will be the auctioneer.
Learn more at tinyurl.com/7j34npf.
Farmers market closing for season
Chatham Mills Farmers' Market in Pittsboro will be open from noon to 3 p.m. today for your Thanksgiving shopping. The market then closes until April 14.