This week in honor of July 4th, we’re exploring an important part of American history – the contributions of enslaved Black chefs, whose work influences American cuisine to this day. In 1784, Thomas Jefferson brought the enslaved chef James Hemings, brother of Sally Hemings, with him to France to train under the French culinary masters of the day. Hemings created a cuisine that was half French, half Virginian, and brought it back to Jefferson's plantation, Monticello. This week, Dan tours the kitchens at Monticello with three descendants of enslaved Virginians: Michael Twitty, culinary historian and historical interpreter; Niya Bates, public historian of slavery and African American life at Monticello; and Gayle Jessup White, community engagement officer at Monticello.
This episode originally aired on October 21, 2019, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, and Ngofeen Mputubwele, with editing by Peter Clowney. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell.
Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:
- "Dreamin' Long" by Erick Anderson
- "Pong" by Ken Brahmstedt
- "Mouse Song Light" by Ken Brahmstedt
- "Sidewalk Chalk" by Hayley Briasco
- "Rogue Apples" by Karla Dietmeyer and Olivia Diercks
Photo courtesy of Dan Pashman.
Dan Pashman: This is The Sporkful, it’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters. I’m Dan Pashman. Each week on our show we obsess about food to learn more about people. And we’re coming to you live from the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia!
Dan Pashman: This week in honor of July 4th, we’re exploring an important part of American history — the contributions of enslaved Black chefs, whose work influences American cuisine to this day. And to do that, we’re traveling to a real plantation.
Dan Pashman: This live show that you're going to hear took place under a big tent on the lawn at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The heritage harvest festival has food vendors, farmers, artisans, a seed exchange — overall about two thousand people. It's a joyous backdrop for what would be a day of conflicting emotions …
Dan Pashman: Monticello is right behind you all. I can see it behind you. We’re under a tent. It’s beautiful, there’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s a glorious day to be here. Thomas Jefferson grew up on one of the largest tobacco plantations in Virginia. And when he was 21 he inherited thousands of acres of land, including this little hilltop that was always his favorite boyhood haunt called Monticello, little mountain. And that’s where we are right now.
Dan Pashman: The process of building and rebuilding Monticello, this home, was his obsession. He spent decades — he would go to Europe and come back, he’d be like, no I need this different kind of roof, no I need pillars and no I need to design the kitchen this way, and he never stopped. And that obsession bankrupted his family, and also produced one of America’s most iconic architectural masterpieces, the home of the man who wrote that all men are created equal.
Dan Pashman: Monticello was also a working plantation, home to about 130 enslaved African Americans at any given time. Over the course of his life, Thomas Jefferson owned 607 people, and had 6 children with at least one of them. These are the contradictions of this place.
Dan Pashman: Jefferson was also America’s first foodie. When he lived in France, he brought the enslaved chef James Hemings, brother of Sally Hemings, with him. James learned to speak French. He studied under the French masters of the day. And he fused what he learned with Virginia’s food traditions — French fries, ice cream, mac and cheese, meringue — all of these foods came to America through Monticello.
Dan Pashman: On that beautiful day at Monticello, we had a great live show with Gayle Jessup White, who you’ll hear in a bit. She’s a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and of enslaved chef Peter Hemings. But this podcast episode is gonna focus on what Gayle and I did before we took the stage, because that’s the part of the day that stuck with me most. We toured Monticello’s kitchens, along with two Black historians ...
Dan Pashman: So Niya, where are we right now?
Niya Bates: We are in the oldest building on the mountaintop. We’re standing in the basement level of the south pavilion. And the south pavilion is the first building that’s constructed here. We’re standing in the space that was originally a kitchen, and then was later a wash house. And it’s probably about 18x18 in terms of dimensions. It’s not a huge space. You can see around us the base of the original stew stove, which we discovered during the archaeology of this space, once we removed the floor.
Dan Pashman: Oh, it looks almost like the base of a fireplace.
Niya Bates: Yeah, it looks kind of like the base of a fireplace.
Dan Pashman: This is Niya Bates, she's a historian at Monticello. The room we’re in is dark with exposed brick walls. It feels almost like a square cave.
Dan Pashman: And so who cooked here?
Niya Bates: So in this space we think Ursula Granger and probably Sook Evans, or Sookie, were probably the first two cooks in this space. And then later and this space is used, James Hemings would have come on as head chef.
Dan Pashman: Ursula Granger was the first head chef at Monticello, is that right?
Niya Bates: Yeah, we believe Ursula did the early cooking. Jupiter Evan's wife, Sook or Sookie, would've also been cooking in this space and they probably shared those responsibilities.
Dan Pashman: In 1967, a bathroom for Monticello’s tourists was built inside this kitchen. Niya can’t say for sure why this decision was made, but she suspects it just would not have occurred to the white people running Monticello at the time that visitors would care about seeing the place where the enslaved cooked.
Dan Pashman: Three years ago the room was excavated, the bathroom was removed, and what remains of the kitchen was opened to the public. As I said, we were joined on our tour by Gayle Jessup White, a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and of the enslaved chef Peter Hemings, brother of James and Sally Hemings. Today, Gayle works at Monticello, as a Community Engagement Officer.
Gayle Jessup White: When I’m here, I feel the weight of history in this space. My ancestors were here. When we excavated this space, it had been covered up for 200 years. So when I walked on the ground that we're looking at now, it was with the knowledge that my great-great-great grandfather, Peter Hemings, who also cooked here, would've walked on that same ground. So for me, this space is the most sacred ground on this plantation.
Dan Pashman: It’s amazing how seeing something as simple as seeing a rectangle of bricks on the ground that were the base of a hearth or chimney — like, you really picture it. Like, I can picture enslaved chefs working in here.
Gayle Jessup White: And that's the point os spaces like this, because it gives the enslaved the humanity that they've been robbed of in American history.
Dan Pashman: Gayle do you remember the first time you came into this space?
Gayle Jessup White: I absolutely remember the first time. I can tell you exactly what I had on. I had on a yellow jacket. And in spite of having that bright yellow jacket, I got on my hands and knees and I rubbed that red clay that we're looking at right now — all on my hands, pushed my jacket sleeves up all on my arms ...
Dan Pashman: Why was rubbing the clay on your hands specifically the ...
Gayle Jessup White: My people touched that ground. I wanted to be as close to them as I possibly could. And that for me was the closest I've ever been to them physically.
Dan Pashman: Michael, how do you feel when you’re in spaces like this?
Michael Twitty: Like I need to get to work. My job is bring spaces like this to life.
Dan Pashman: This is my third guide on this tour, Michael Twitty. He's the author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South. Michael's also an historical interpreter, so he cooks at former plantations using the methods of enslaved chefs. He described what the cooking process in this kitchen was actually like over 200 years ago.
Michael Twitty: Right now, it’s about between going on 9 o’clock ...
Dan Pashman: In the morning?
Michael Twitty: Yeah, the family would have already eaten breakfast by then. So your job between 9 and 2 is the biggest hustle of the day.That's the time period when you have to pull together the main meal. Cause remember, there's no ... [LAUGHS] like, it's not like Disney movies, where there's all these candles, all right? People eat and socialize with natural light and firelight. By the time the true supper comes on, it’s gonna be dark and those are generally leftovers. So you have to think about going to a garden, the keys of the pantry being opened by the lady of the house.
Dan Pashman: I would love to get a little but technical here about the type of cooking that was happening in this space. So, am I right to divide the timeline between before and after James came back to France?
Michael Twitty: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
Dan Pashman: Coming up, when James Hemings goes to France, food in America is changed forever and so is James
CLIP (NIYA BATES): Slavery is illegal in France and James was free while he was there. The only thing he would have had to do to claim that freedom is to petition a French court.
Dan Pashman: Stick around.
+++ BREAK +++
Dan Pashman: Welcome back to The Sporkful, I’m Dan Pashman. And I've got some exciting news from my friends at Banza. Now, you know, they make the only gluten free cascatelli, from chickpeas, available nationwide in Whole Foods. Well now, Banza has a new shape out. It’s not one I invented, but it’s still very exciting. The new shape is one you know and love, I'll bet. It's bucatini! They tell me this is the only gluten free bucatini available in a national U.S. retailer. I mean, thank goodness Banza is here! I can’t wait to try it. You can get it at Amazon, Whole Foods, eatbanza.com. And again, Banza Castatelli, also available nationwide at Whole Foods.
Dan Pashman: Now, back to my tour of Monticello. I was joined by Monticello historian Michael, historian and writer Michael Twitty, and Gayle Jessup White, a direct descendent of Thomas Jefferson and of enslaved chef Peter Hemings, brother of James and Sally Hemings.
Dan Pashman: In 1784, James had already spent time working in the kitchen at Monticello. Then, President George Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson as commerce minister to France. Jefferson brought Hemings with him, for the specific purpose of training in the art of French cuisine. James was 19-years-old. As our tour moved from the first kitchen at Monticello to the second, I asked Niya about that time ...
Niya Bates: James trains in France. He's training under a French chef. He's put into a world that he's never seen. You know, they're on the other side of the world and while plantation culture is something to learn, like, French elitism is an entirely different world to step into.
Dan Pashman: And he learned the French language too.
Niya Bates: Yeah, he learned to speak French. He learned to write, you know? You know, he's dealing with a lot of different things. As much as Jeffereson stepped into a world that he was out of place in, imagine James having grown up here in Virginia on this plantation, traveled — I mean, he's been to Richmond, to Williamsburg, to Philly, right? But Paris is a world class city. And James would of had probably a network of people that he got to know while he was there. He's working not only in elite kitchen spaces but also negotiating a world there are free Blacks — where there's a movement even, because slavery is illegal in France. And James was free while he was there. The only thing he would've had to do to claim that freedom is petition a French court for it, right? And Jefferson was aware of that. So he's navigating a space where it's like, I can be free but I don't have any family here. Or I can go home and be a slave where my family is. You know, like he's just in a very tough position.
Dan Pashman: So it's like, he could have been free but then it's like where do you go?
Niya Bates: Yeah, where does a man like James Hemings go right ahead of the French Revolution?
Dan Pashman: So Hemings continues his culinary training. After three years working under the most famous chefs in France, he becomes the chef de cuisine at Jefferson’s private residence in Paris, which is America’s first embassy. Hemings is cooking for aristocrats, diplomats, the most discerning palates in Europe. And it’s here that he develops his signature style of cuisine: half French, half Virginian. In 1789, five years after going to Paris, Hemings and Jefferson return to the U.S.
Niya Bates: James is gaining all these skills he brings them back here and he negotiates his freedom with Jefferson at that moment. You know, when they arrived back in Philadelphia, James says I want to be free. And Jefferson, of course, is like, well, I just spent all this money having you trained to be a chef and to make the food I want at my house in Monticello and if I let you go, who's gonna to do that? So the agreement with James is that James has to train someone else if he wants his own freedom.
Dan Pashman: So James Hemings comes with Jefferson back to Monticello, and he revolutionizes the kitchen there. He has a new stove built. You know how these days rich people have these like super fancy 20,000 BTU 6-burner Viking ranges that cost who knows how much? James’s new stove at Monticello was the 1790s equivalent of that. As our tour continued, we entered that second kitchen and saw the stove ...
Michael Twitty: The stew stoves is very French, the raised hearth is very German, and the open hearth is very English. So each of these cultures had this own unique way of preparing and cooking the food that is because they have certain kinds of dishes they want.
Dan Pashman: Before James Hemings goes to France, cooking at Monticello and most other plantations in the area, was done in the English style, in a big pot over a wood fire. Once that fire’s going, you don’t have a lot of control over the heat. But as Michael explains, the French style stove works with charcoal, and it has metal grates on top. It almost like an old fashioned grill. So you can make those more delicate French sauces by banking the coals to one side, that way you get different parts of the stove at different temperatures. Those cooking grates can be raised or lowered, closer or farther from the fire. You can set different pots in different areas, move things around.
Michael Twitty: You can get really, really, really precise. Now, this is the more exciting part to me is the description. Jefferson's table is half Virginia and half French in style with everything served in good taste and abundance. It's a very famous quote about the Hemings table. And what's spectacular about is ...
Dan Pashman: That was … sorry, that was some other ... was he ...
Niya Bates: Daniel Webster.
Dan Pashman: Was it Daniel ...
Michael Twitty: Daniel Webster.
Dan Pashman: Thank you.
Michael Twitty: There you go.
Dan Pashman: Like, in his diary or journal or whatever ...
Michael Twitty: Right.
Dan Pashman: Said that of coming here to eat.
Michael Twitty: Right. And so when we hear the words half Virginian, we know what the heck they mean by half Virginian. We knew that they're talking about corn and semlings and green beans and squash and tomatoes and fresh field peas ... and peanuts and okra and watermelon, and all the things that have come from Black and Brown people. But you take that and you give it this delicacy of french sauces and preparation — and the light hand at pastry and it becomes something totally different. You see that's that's the thing about — that’s why the Black cook was so important.
Dan Pashman: Is there one specific dish that you can tell me about that sort of like, this is sort of the way it was done before James went to France and then how it was adapted when it became this sort of half Virginian, half French thing?
Michael Twitty: I think the coolest example is always going to be macaroni and cheese. You know, so the form is Italian and French. Right? He made it very British. It's very custardy and very pudding like, right? But then there comes us. The spices, the little pop, the little, whatever, the color, and also the fact that it’s for us. The purpose is to serve food that’s communally engaging. Our food is designed — it’s not individualistic. So so that everybody can dig in as a family, as a community and eat well and celebrate each other. That’s the heart of the west African aesthetic with food. So you add all those things together. I mean, think about it. We didn't have no macaroni and cheese in Africa. But it doesn't matter because we blackified the macaroni and cheese and made it ten times better. That’s what we do.
Dan Pashman: Gayle, when I think of how much — what a staple mac and cheese is across this entire country. I mean, mac and cheese is a bedrock food that children all over America grow up eating. You go to the supermarket and see rows and rows of mac and cheese. What would James would make of that?
Gayle Jessup White: I don't know what James would make of that, so I'm not gonna say James would feel about it. I'll say how I would feel about it if it were to happen to me. And my mind would be blown, I would think it was wonderful. I would think I was a badass. Because guess what, James was a badass. So yeah, I would be blown away by it.
Dan Pashman: At the same time that James Hemings is doing all this incredible work with food at Monticello, he’s also preparing to leave. As you heard, Jefferson said he would not free Hemings until a replacement had been trained. So James trains his brother Peter ...
Gayle Jessup White: So imagine this scenario if you would: two brothers. And the Hemings were close. And how do you know they were close? Because they named — their siblings named their children after each other. So there was a closeness with that family. So you think of these two brothers, they're probably close. One brother is to walk away in a few years as a free man, while the other brother is to remain enslaved until he's in his mid-50s, which then would have been an old man. Think of the exchange between them. Think of the sacrifice it must have felt like for one to be making for the other. Think of what James might have said to Peter, you know, this will put you in better stead with the master. So between the two of them there must have been this swirl of emotions, maybe even some resentment. Because one man was going to walk away and another man was going to stay, but ultimately it was love. So I could see those two men working together, knowing this might be toward the end the last time they get to spend any extensive time together, and supporting each other for what might lie ahead. James, you’re going to be okay. Peter, you’re going to be okay.
Dan Pashman: And so eventually Peter was trained and Jefferson freed James Hemings.
Gayle Jessup White: Yeah. Oh, Jefferson — there's a manumission page. We know what was written in it. We know that, yes, he was freed. James was freed. Jefferson kept his word. Jefferson kept his word to Sally Hemings, James' — James Hemings's sister, that in fact, their children would be freed upon the age of 21.
Dan Pashman: What happened to James Hemings after he was freed?
Gayle Jessup White: This was have been — what happened to James Hemings was a true tragedy. Apparently, he died from drinking. It's sad. In documents, he was working in Baltimore at a tavern and it said he committed suicide. He was only 36-years-old. Well, think about this man. He couldn’t live in a white world and feel safe. He couldn’t be in a Black world. He could have been re-enslaved for that matter. Somebody might have captured him. You know, you lived in a perilous world when you were a Black person. And we’re assuming he could have passed. We don't actually know that. That's an assumption we're making.
Dan Pashman: Whether he could pass for white?
Gayle Jessup White: Yeah, we don't actually know that. He couldn't be with his family really. He came back here to visit for a couple of months at one point. He traveled around the world but he never really found his place. And in addition to that, he was free but people he loved most in the world were not. And these emotions, the strain, the stress of what James Hemings felt really wasn’t unusual for Black people. They all felt, if they were free, they felt those constraints. They felt those dilemmas. They felt those losses.
Dan Pashman: As for Peter Hemings, after years as the head chef at Monticello, he became the plantation’s master brewer. He was so good that Jefferson told his buddy James Madison, who lived down the road, “Hey, send your brewer to train here. My guy’s really good.” Actually Jefferson wrote, “Our malter and brewer is uncommonly intelligent and capable of giving instruction."
Dan Pashman: When Jefferson died, most of his slaves were auctioned off on Monticello’s lawn to pay off the family’s debts. Peter Hemings was purchased by a relative and given his freedom. By then, he was in his late fifties. He lived into his mid-sixties, working as a tailor in Charlottesville. Even after James and Peter Hemings stopped cooking at Monticello, their legacy continued for years, through the enslaved chefs Edith Hern Fossett and Frances Gillette Hern.
Dan Pashman: And the food that all these chefs made over the years was known far and wide at the time as one of the highlights of a visit to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
Dan Pashman: I have this perception of Jefferson as sort of the original — America’s original fancy foodie.
Gayle Jessup White: Okay. You know ...
Dan Pashman: Is that a fair characterization?
Gayle Jessup White: Yeah. I would say that is fair. I mean, Jefferson ...
Dan Pashman: What are some examples of that?
Gayle Jessup White: I mean, Jefferson is all about cultivation of taste not just food but also architecture and fashion. We’ve got historians here who study these things. But I think what was important about him is Jefferson considers himself a model for what other Americans should be and that includes food — especially, food. People came to visit Monticello all the time. And part of that experience was getting food that you would not get in Virginia. You know, like this half Virginian, half French cuisine is so important to people that at first they don't know how to handle it. When they come here to eat, they're like, what is this on this plate, you know?
Dan Pashman: Wait, you're saying it's so important to people?
Gayle Jessup White: Well, yeah. I'm saying, it’s so important. Food is so critical to the conversations that are happening at the table. I mean, the early American republic is almost entirely fueled by conversations that happened over dining tables. I think Jefferson is cognizant and aware that the things he’s putting on the table. And I also want to qualify that and say that the women in this house really determined the menu for the day. So it would have been Jefferson’s daughter setting the meals for guests. But you know, the food that goes on the table here is important to the conversation as well. Jefferson would have been aware that this is not typical, that this is not what people are used to eating. We have lots of letters and evidence of people coming to Monticello, sitting down for dinner and then being confused by what’s on their plates and not know what to do with that. Jefferson, of course, is like, give it a chance.
Dan Pashman: Right. [LAUGHS]
Gayle Jessup White: You know, you'll really like this food. So that in some ways makes him a foodie but also he's — Jefferson’s got a scientific mind. He's thinking of how to diversify crops here in the U.S. So throughout his travels in Europe, he's sending back seeds here that are later cultivated in garden by Wormley Hughes. And that garden, that we call The Retirement Garden, it's really an experimental place. Jefferson is trying to figure out what will survive on the grounds here. You know, he's got like 56 different types of beans, over 300 trees in the orchard. I mean, just different varieties of different plants to see what is hearty, what can withstand winter. You know ...
Dan Pashman: So he was really committed to nation building in a ver practical way.
Gayle Jessup White: Mm-hmm. In a very practical way that intersects with food.
Dan Pashman: Despite the importance of food at Monticello, until a few years ago, this kitchen wasn’t a standard part of the tour. In fact, you could easily have spent a day at the plantation without hearing much about slavery at all. Today, the lives of enslaved people are part of every tour.
Dan Pashman: These kinds of changes are happening at a lot of former plantations. Whitney Plantation in Louisiana now focuses exclusively on the lives of enslaved people. Meanwhile at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, more information about the enslaved people there has been added to their tours in the last seven years or so. They’ve even created a database with biographies of each person. Matt Briney, the VP of media and communications at Mount Vernon, wrote in an email that the new information about enslaved people “has generally been well received, I believe mostly because it’s additive and hasn’t distracted us from our main focus to talk about the life and achievements of George Washington.”
Dan Pashman: Online reviews of Monticello are overwhelmingly positive, and while they don’t have hard data, Niya says anecdotally, more Black Americans and other people of color are visiting Monticello because of these efforts to tell a more complete history. But some white Americans are pushing back against these changes happening around the country.
Dan Pashman: One visitor to a plantation in South Carolina complained in 2019 that she, “didn’t come to hear a lecture on how the white people treated slaves.” Michael Twitty saw that comment and responded on his blog, “I take my job seriously because frankly you’re not the one I’m centering. I’m performing an act of devotion to my Ancestors.” I asked Niya, the historian at Monticello, what she makes of the pushback.
Niya Bates: [LAUGHS] I find it kind of funny in way that anyone believes that they learn about the founding of our country and not learn about slavery. And further, that they could learn about slavery but not learn about enslaved people. Or that they can learn about any of things and not see how it connects to our present. What I hope for our visitors is that they come here and they're able to connect with the experiences of the enslaved community, whether that's motherhood, whether that's work in the kitchen. I hope they see something that they're able to connect and identify with.
Dan Pashman: For Gayle Jessup White, visiting Monticello is much more personal. As I said to her, on one hand, her ancestors made incredible contributions to American history in these kitchens, contributions that you can see today in every supermarket in the country. But those accomplishments are inextricably tied to a pain that I can’t begin to imagine. I asked Gayle Jessup White: How do you process that?
Gayle Jessup White: How do I process the pain?
Dan Pashman: And or the contradiction?
Gayle Jessup White: Well ...
Dan Pashman: Cause there's the pain and the pride that you can't separate from each other.
Gayle Jessup White: Well, but here's what I remind myself when I think of these things. That the people who were enslaved here didn't think — wake up everyday and go, oh, I'm a slave. They saw themselves as people who had lives and had families. It was hard but do you think those people would've been able to keep going if they hadn't found some joy in their lives? Of course, not. So when I come to work everyday, I think of them as fully developed humans. I think of their pain too because it would've been a lot of pain. I think of their crying. I think of their laughing. I think of their playing games — children here played games. We have artifacts. There were toys. There was a mouth harp. They were entertaining themselves. One should never think there was never laughter and there was never joy on a plantation. They had lives.
Dan Pashman: If Thomas Jefferson saw the four of us here in this kitchen having this conversation, and in particular, me speaking with the three of you, what would he think?
Gayle Jessup White: You mean, you, a white guy speaking with three Black people in a plantation?
Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] Yes.
Gayle Jessup White: [LAUGHS] I think, first of all ...
Dan Pashman: And the three of you being the spokespeople for Monticello.
Gayle Jessup White: Yeah, he'd probably be like, who invited these people to come challenge me in my own place like this? [LAUGHS] He'd probably also be wondering why there's no food in this kitchen currently. And I can't cook so he wouldn't want that.
Gayle Jessup White: But I think he really would be kind of appalled, honestly. I don't know that he every envisioned a world where the three of us talking with you is a possibility. You know, that we've been educated in public and private school, that we've gone to his — I went to his university, and I know he didn't envision that happening. You know, I think this is just not a space that he's even able to process, if I'm able to even imagine what Jefferson would think in this space. You know? I think, he might actually be impressed that people are still here? That might be the only enduring legacy of his home that he actually considered, you know? In some ways, the entrance hall at Monticello was a museum and he intended it to be as such, but it might surprise him to see — you know, I don't know how people we're expecting today, probably somewhere between 1500 and 2000 people coming to his house to talk about food. I don't know that he ever imagined that.
Dan Pashman: French fries, ice cream, mac and cheese, meringue, all of these foods came to America through Monticello. Which makes the enslaved chefs who lived and worked here our culinary founding fathers and mothers.
Dan Pashman: That was Gayle Jessup White, Community Engagement Officer in Monticello. When we recorded this episode, Niya Bates was the Public Historian of Slavery and African American Life at The Thomas Jefferson Foundation in Monticello. She’s now a PhD candidate in history and African American Studies at Princeton. And Michael Twitty remains one of our nation’s foremost food writers, culinary historian, and historical interpreter. His books are The Cooking Gene, Rice, and Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew.
Dan Pashman: My thanks to Leslie Bradley and everyone at Monticello, the Heritage Harvest Festival was a really great event. I wanna go back and bring my whole family. I got so much from touring the grounds there and learning more about the enslaved people who lived there, and about Thomas Jefferson. I highly recommend a visit to Monticello.
Dan Pashman: Next week, we’re playing the 2023 edition of our popular game show: Two Chefs and a Lie! I talk with three people, two of them are real chefs, one of them is a liar. I know nothing about any of them going in and I have to guess which one of them is faking it — and guess what? So do you. We'll play together. That’s next week.
Dan Pashman: While you’re waiting for that one, check out last week’s show about what people eat when they hike the whole Appalachian Trail.