Caesar's Chocolate: The History and Legacy of one of Virginia's Earliest Chocolate Makers

  • December 15, 2022 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Eastern Standard Time

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Come join us for a cooking demonstration and discussion with Celebrity Chef, Christopher Scott, and Stratford Hall's Resident Historical Interpreter, Dontavius Williams, as they make two chocolate dishes in our historic 1738 kitchen. Hosted by Stratford Hall's Vice President of Collections & Visitor Engagement, Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz, this program will discuss the history of Caesar, Stratford's colonial chocolate maker and chef,  highlighting the role of chocolate during the 18th century, and then pivot to the present with Chris Scott's cooking demonstration. 

This program will be offered virtually and pre-registration is required. We invite you to pay as you wish to support lectures like this and future programs at Stratford Hall.

Funded by Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant, Mars Wrigley.

About the Presenters: 

Chris Scott:

With over 30 years of professional experience, Chris Scott has cooked in five diamond restaurants like Charlie Trotter’s, Lespinasse and Le Bec Fin. He has been featured in notable publications like Food and Wine Magazine, The New York Times, Brooklyn Magazine, Elle Japan, and the mini magazines in the chair pocket of United Airline flights. He shares what sets him apart is how he pays respect to the craft and the culture of cooking “I don’t try to upstage the food that I prepare, it is and will always be about the food. I am just someone that holds the torch proudly while I’m still able to do my thing.”

One of the most notable aspects of his career is having the platform and the ability to inspire young cooks and individuals across this country. He hosted several events at the James Beard Foundation including the very first Juneteenth Day event co-hosted with other fabulous chefs of color. He was a finalist on Bravo TV’s Top Chef season 15, an experience that completely changed his life, and most recently, finished as the runner up on “The Great Soul Food Cookoff” produced by the Oprah Winfrey Network. He also teaches at the Institute of Culinary Education and his TV work includes Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Tostitos, Wisconsin Cheese, NFL Sports, Omaha Steaks and other major companies. He recently published his cookbook, "Homage: Recipes and Stories from an Amish Soul Food."

Dontavius Williams:

A proud graduate of Clinton College, an HBCU in Rock Hill, SC, and the founder and CEO of The Chronicles of Adam. He is also the resident historical foodways interpreter at Stratford Hall. For over a decade, Dontavius has dedicated his life to the field of Public History, through storytelling, interpretation, and consulting. His work was featured in the PBS documentary “Slavery and the Making of America” and the PBS program “Making it Grow,” among others. Recently, he launched a signature kitchen pepper spice blend, called Adam’s Kitchen Pepper, which is available on his website. Dontavius is a resident historical interpreter and hearth cook at Stratford Hall where he honors enslaved chef Caesar through his interpretation.

Date & Time

Thu, Dec 15, 2022 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Stratford Hall Historic Preserve

Stratford Hall brings together people from around the world to experience two-thousand acres of natural and human history, preserved and presented so that we can all learn from the courageous struggles of our ancestors, taking inspiration both from what they endured and what they accomplished. There are few places in America where people can travel down small, rural roads to arrive at a vast site that preserves so many aspects of early-American life, from the Great House where the influential Lee family helped to forge a new nation, to the fields worked by enslaved Africans, to the waters of the rivers that fueled trade, to the ground, which still yields secrets about the people and animals that lived before.

Come experience this extraordinary place and learn about a layered history that began millions of years ago - a history that continues to educate, inspire, and influence Americans to the present day.