Chocolate and Soul Food, from Colonial Virginia to Contemporary Kitchens

  • Tue, Dec 7, 2021 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Eastern Standard Time

Ticket Price Free This event is now over

Join us for a short lecture, a cooking demonstration, and a discussion led by Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz, joined by YouTube star Cheyney McKnight, historian/interpreter Nicole Moore, commentary from historian Ramin Ganeshram, and an appearance from celebrity chef Tanya Holland.  This program will demonstrate historical chocolate recipes and discuss how chocolate made its way into historical and contemporary African American cuisine. 

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

This free program will be offered virtually. Pre-registration is required.

Cheyney McKnight is a Living Historian and visual artist.  She make connections between the past and the present through her art and historical interpretation in order to make a better future. Cheyney is owner of Not Your Momma’s History, a public history consulting business that aids museums, historical sites, historical societies, and private businesses in developing specialized programing about the African experience within 18th and 19th century America.

Nicole A. Moore is a public historian with 10 years of experience in interpreting the lives of the enslaved. She has facilitated workshops on best practices around the interpretation of slavery and how race and identity impact visitor learning. Bridging the gap between first and third person interpretation for all age groups, Nicole has conducted training sessions at various historic sites across the Southeast. She serves on the board of directors for the National Council on Public History as well as the Slave Dwelling Project and is an active member of the American Association for State and Local History. Publications include chapters for Interpreting Slavery and Interpreting the Civil War for Museums & Historic Sites as well as Radical Roots: Civic Engagement, Public History and a Tradition of Social Justice Activism. 

Ramin Ganeshram is the Executive Director of the Westport Museum for History & Culture in Connecticut. Ganeshram has been widely recognized for evolving the 131-year-old Westport Museum toward an inclusive interpretation of local history as part of the larger American story by reintroducing race, ethnicity and gender into the narrative.  As a public historian, Ganeshram studies foodways and food commerce among enslaved African and mixed-race people with a focus on the Atlantic Trade. She spent ten years researching Hercules Posey, the chef enslaved by George Washington for her book The General’s Cook. In 2019, Ganeshram discovered Hercules' fate, solving what had been a 218-year-old mystery to that date. A professionally trained chef, Ganesham holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, is the author/co-author of eight cookbooks and has written numerous articles on food history.

Tanya Holland is a professional chef, restaurateur, podcast host, cookbook author and owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, CA. Holland, a graduate of the University of Virginia and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in France, appeared on Top Chef on Bravo and is a frequent contributing writer and chef to the James Beard Foundation. 


Date & Time

Tue, Dec 7, 2021 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, Inc.

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.