• This year… A Virtual Juneteenth at Montpelier

    Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas in 1980, and a number of other states subsequently followed suit. It is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States. When I was growing up in immediately…

  • 13 vegetable soup

    In Which We Create A 13 Vegetable Soup

    Someone asked me for the recipe and I’m glad to share my method but you will notice that this is more a detailed guide than a traditional recipe. I do that because some basics (like many soups) are best learned…

  • Summer 1795: A James Hemings Dinner

    “Summer 1795: A James Hemings Dinner”

    On Saturday, June 22, 2019 I will be celebrating the early summer 224 years ago when Chef James Hemings cooked at Monticello. Archaeologists have recently uncovered the original hearth and stew stoves on which Hemings taught his brother Peter the…

  • My Winter Turns to Spring

    My Winter Turns to Spring

    Perhaps because so much out in the world seems uncertain this winter has seemed a bit drear but I always look forward to spring . . . A wind swept beach was my Thanksgiving destination late last November. It was…

  • prepping for the holidays

    Prepping for the Holidays

    Thanksgiving is just about my favorite meal to cook. Under the guidance of my New Orleans born stepfather I cooked my first thanksgiving dinner when I was 9 years old and with few exceptions I’ve cooked one every year for…