A Taste of History® is a TV cooking series that explores America’s culinary beginnings from the birthplace of American cuisine. This innovative series brings America’s history to life and makes it vibrant as we step back in time and get to know the founders of our country through the food they ate and the recipes they prepared.
Chef Walter Staib pays tribute to Charles Thomson, designer of America’s Great Seal. Chef Staib dedicates this meal to Thomson with: Crawfish Bisque and Wether Stew. Bee Sting Cake, infused with honey from this founding father’s estate, is baked in an 18th century beehive oven and completes the meal.
It’s A Taste of History when Chef Walter Staib tells the amazing story of young George Washington’s only trip abroad. From the luxurious setting of Sandals Barbados in St. Lawrence Gap, learn all about the unique connection between Barbados and the United States and enjoy some specialties of Barbados: Bajan Fish Cakes, Flying Fish and Cou-cou prepared and explained by Sandals’ finest Chefs.
Chef Walter Staib presents the story of Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the most influential figures in the history of American medicine. To honor Dr. Rush, Chef Staib prepares Seafood Vol-au-Vent and a Leek and Crimini Mushroom Ragu, completing the meal with an Apple Tart.
Cognac is a sophisticated libation that thrived during prohibition and continues to influence food trends to this day. It is also the name of a French town where Chef Staib travels and reveals the fascinating history of this celebrated spirit. The story of this unique liquor is told by the experts at Hennessy, the name synonymous with cognac, who explain their heritage and passion for their continuing pursuit for l’art de vivre. In Cognac, Chef Staib visits a sturgeon farm and prepares A Taste of History with Smoked Sturgeon, Roasted Breast of Pigeon with Foie Gras and Chocolate Sabayon with Cognac.
Situated on Boston’s Freedom Trail, the Omni Parker House has a rich history in both cuisine and politics. Chef Walter Staib is your tour guide from Haymarket Square to the kitchen of the Parker House. For this episode, Omni Hotels have teamed their acclaimed Chefs with Walter Staib to showcase the very best of Boston fare with Boston Scrod, the famous Parker House Rolls, and of course, Boston Cream Pie.
Chef Walter Staib showcases the history of the Moravians and how the population grew from twenty people on 500 acres along the Lehigh River, to a thriving community whose influence is still felt today. In honor of this German-speaking society, Chef Staib prepares: Beef Rouladen and Stir Fried Cabbage. He completes meal with the Moravian Sugar Cake.
Chef Walter Staib demystifies the “Dark Horse,” James K. Polk, known as “the most important President that you know the least about.” In Polk’s kitchen, Chef Staib showcases the farm-to-table Southern fare that was dear to Polk’s heart: Fried Chicken and Chess Pie.
George Washington’s tent, his mobile headquarters, survived both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Chef Walter Staib serves up A Taste of History, preparing contrasting Army cuisines with the rustic Pot-au-Feu to Whiskey Cake, Washington’s indulgence.
In the late 18th century, the French population of Philadelphia swelled as did its influence. Chef Staib delves into the stories: how they lived, worked and ate on the Champs Elysees of Philly: South Second Street. The Berley Brothers of Shane’s Candy and Franklin Fountain join Chef Staib to share the history of ice cream making from their historically accurate operations in Old City, Philadelphia.
The history of Jamaica is examined in this fascinating episode of A Taste of History. Chef Staib examines the 1800s orchid craze, reveals a present-day Maroon tribal leader, and uncovers the art of making rum. Rum is a staple in the preparation of ceviche and a complement to one of the featured recipes: Brown Stew Pork. From the modern luxury of Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios to villages where time has stopped, Chef Walter Staib is your guide through this diverse and beautiful island.
Eliza Powel was the premiere hostess of the 18th century. She prepared decadent feasts that inspired John Adams to write a letter to Abigail, describing dinner as “sinful.” Now, for the first time since Mrs. Powel’s presentation, Chef Walter Staib recreates her “Sinful Feast,” preparing it in her historic Philadelphia home.
Chef Walter Staib highlights the cuisine and history of Pittsburgh and one of its grandest landmarks: The Omni William Penn Hotel. This historic hotel opened its doors in 1916 to host heads of state and movie stars alike. Omni hotels have restored this iconic Pittsburgh building with a multi-million dollar renovation so that today’s guests may feel the same inspiration experienced by the first guests in the early 20th century. Marvel at the transformation of Pittsburgh from the French and Indian War to the opulence of the industrialists who dined on Chateubriand.
Chef Walter Staib travels to Bordeaux: a region in the south west of France that inspired America’s First Gourmand, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was so inspired with the region that he brought his chef to be trained in France and, upon his return to America, filled his cellars with his favorite French wine from Barton & Guestier. Chef Staib explores B&G from their beginnings in the 18th century to how they continue to inspire love for fine French wines today. The specialties of this distinct region are prepared by Chef Frederick, alongside Chef Staib, revealing the influence of the sea and the vineyard. Together they have prepared a wine tasting menu featuring sea scallops, duck breast, and pears poached in the region’s wines.