Three generations of enslaved cooks prepared the meals in Jefferson's kitchens. All except one were French trained, either in France itself, or by French chefs. No wonder the meals at Monticello are still famous today after 200 years. In this talk, attendees will learn the names and stories of these chefs and spend some time in their kitchens to see the skills and technologies they used to produce meals "half-French half-Virginian."
Leni Sorensen was born in California, was a folksinger and a member of the cast of the musical HAIR, and at one time catered to movie crews and started a tamale business. She farmed for eight years in South Dakota and earned her MA/PhD from William & Mary. Retired from six years as the African American Research Historian at Monticello she lectures and writes on issues of food history and teaches rural life skills from her farmstead home in western Albemarle County (www.indigohouse.us).