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Ancestral Cooking Forum

AA White House Cooks

My husband's father once worked as a cook in the White House maybe during FDR's administration. I ran across an interesting article about AA cooks in the White House. It's about a slave-cook named Hercules owned by George Washington, and how he was an accomplished chef and how he successfully fled to freedom. Also, the article mentions James Hemings, a slave-cook for Thomas Jefferson:

"The president's kitchen - African American cooks in the White House; includes recipes; Special Issue: The Untold Story of Blacks in the White House
American Visions, Feb-March, 1995 by Sharron E. Wilkins

The intimate link between black cooks and presidents dates back to George Washington. Long before he assumed the presidency, Washington was accustomed to welcoming both friends and strangers alike to Mount Vernon, his grand Virginia home. His guests were served sumptuous meals prepared by slave cooks, one of whom, Hercules, was especially esteemed for his culinary mastery. Indeed, Hercules often traveled with Washington to the presidential mansion in Philadelphia, in the days before the District of Columbia became the nation's capital."

Full story http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1546/is_n1_v10/ai_16769688

Georgia Walker-Adams

Messages In This Thread

AA White House Cooks
Re: AA White House Cooks

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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