Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée by Thomas Craughwell

Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America

By Bethel author Thomas J. Craughwell!

In 1784, Thomas Jefferson struck a deal with one of his slaves, 19-year-old James Hemings. The founding Father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose” – to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.

Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in U.S. history. As James apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so they might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative nonfiction book tells the fascinating story behind their remarkable adventure – and includes 12 of their original recipes!

Byrd’s Books is holding a special food & author event for this book on Saturday, September 29th. Details can be found here. Please note that registration is required for this event!

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