Best Host - Cultural or Historic Series

Congratulations to Chef Walter Staib for receiving his fourth Emmy Award!

Ash Lawn-Highland

Our latest journey brought us to the homestead of James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States!

James Madison's Montpelier

Learn about the feast Chef Staib created during our visit to Montpelier!

A Taste of History

Cooking in historic Pomona Hall!


Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Monticello is such a spectacular Presidential destination that we devoted four full episodes to it. From Jefferson’s refined sense of architecture to his epicurean tastes in food  and wine, Jefferson was a most impressive character. Touring Jefferson’s gardens is a solemn and moving experience, once you understand how his approach to planting mirrored his sense of nation-building.
We started our four-part series cooking in Thomas Jefferson’s actual kitchen at Monticello, his Virginia home. Chef Staib prepared Jefferson’s favorite exotic dish, Stuffed Cabbage with Fried Asparagus. We also toured Jefferson’s estate and gardens, where we learned how important discovering and growing foods was to our third President.
In the next episode from Monticello, we toured “the Dependencies” that housed the beer and wine cellars, and the ice house, to learn how 18th Century food was harvested and stored. Chef Staib also borrowed Jefferson’s kitchen to prepare Bouilli, a favorite boiled beef dish of Jefferson’s, along with Bouillon Potatoes.
In the third Monticello episode, we learned about how Jefferson cultivated over 330 vegetable varieties, along with a host of fruits, in his legendary garden. Chef Staib prepares White Bean and Bacon Soup, Chicken Fricassee, and Herbed Barley. We also toured the amazing Monticello Visitor’s Center.
During his five years abroad as Minister to France, Jefferson’s culinary tastes were refined, and he sought to bring all of French cooking’s recipes and ingredients to the US. In the fourth episode from Monticello, we get to know James Hemings, Jefferson’s slave cook who accompanied Jefferson to learn the ways of French cuisine. We also meet Jefferson’s long-time Monticello cooks, Edith Hern Fossett and Fanny Hern. Chef Staib prepares a tour-de-force final meal in Jefferson’s kitchen: Curried Lamb and with Rice Pilaf and Stewed Mushrooms, along with Leni Sorensen, Monticello’s expert on the slave cooks who worked there.

Watch Chef Staib prepare Thomas Jefferson’s favorite stuffed cabbage!

Thomas Jefferson's Stuffed Cabbage
A Taste of History
A stroll through Jefferson's gardens
Beef Bouilli

Monticello Image Gallery