Bound to the Fire: How Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine

Hosted by the Historic Foodways Society of the Delaware Valley 

 

Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz

Join us to hear Kelley Fanto Deetz, program director of Stratford Hall, VA., draw upon archaeological evidence, cookbooks, plantation records, and folklore to present a nuanced study of the lives of enslaved plantation cooks from colonial times through emancipation and beyond. Dr. Deetz reveals how these men and women were literally “bound to the fire” as they lived and worked in plantation house kitchens. Following the talk, we will sample a host of period food inspired by Dr. Deetz’s book Bound to the Fire: The Story of How Enslaved Cooks Fueled What We Eat Today and then tour one of the region’s best example of Georgian architecture, home to seven generations of the influential Chew family and the site of the bloody Revolutionary Battle of Germantown. The site also has a unique interpretation of the evolution of kitchen life over the last 200 years with both the excavation of a 1767 kitchen dependency juxtaposed with a preserved 1959 kitchen the last Chew inhabitants installed. Dr. Deetz is a visiting assistant professor at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va. and Research Associate with the James River Institute for Archaeology. She has designed exhibits and consulted on various films and documentary projects such as the 2016 film, Birth of a Nation.


Schedule

  • 10:00- 10:30 a.m. Registration, Coffee and Mary Randolph’s period Bread Fritters
  • 10:30-11:30 Talk and Question and Answers
  • 11:30-noon Tasting and Book Signing
  • Noon to 1:00 p.m. Tour of Cliveden, A historic site administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Tickets are $35 for members of the HFSDV, $35 for National Trust members, $40 for non-members and available through the link above. The conversation will take place in the Carriage House, located on the corner of Morton and Cliveden Streets. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on the 24th!

In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled to Sunday, March 3rd.

Related upcoming events

  • 04/12/2019 7:00 PM - 04/12/2019 9:00 PM

    Marc Ross, Professor Emeritus at Bryn Mawr College, will discuss his new book, Slavery in the North: Forgetting History and Recovering Memory, that explores the history of Northern enslavement and its new emergence in public history.  Tracing 250 years of Northern enslavement through research and visits to historical sites, Dr. Ross explores how the memory of men and women in bondage faded from Northern consciousness, how enslavement became known as strictly a Southern issue, and how the recent discovery of this history should be shared today.

    Marc Ross is a William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus at Bryn Mawr College. He has a long-standing interest in conflict theory, conflict management and the politics of ethnicity and race. His newest book, Slavery in the North: Forgetting History and Recovering Memory, is the result of a project exploring why and how societies forget important events from their past as well as the conflict that came from the discovery of George Washington’s enslaved staff while he was living in Philadelphia and how this history should be remembered.