We all know Martha Washington from her portraits as a dowdy grandmother, but did you know that there is new evidence she was a beautiful and passionate wife befitting her handsome George? And that Martha was the secret weapon that kept troop morale high during the hard winter’s encampment at Valley Forge? We prepare Martha’s authentic Turkey Stew with Oysters and speak with well-known Martha Washington expert Patricia Brady.
As early as 1690, German settlers left Europe for religious freedom in the new world of North America. They settled in the Philadelphia area, and immediately started to contribute to the innovations and spirit of our new country. In this episode, Chef Walter Staib prepares ale-braised sausages and shows us how his German ancestors helped to make America great.
General von Steuben was a German officer who volunteered to help Washington battle the British monarchy. Before von Steuben was finished at Valley Forge, he had instituted a discipline to the rag tag army that made them a determined fighting force that would eventually win the war. Chef Staib prepares Braised Rabbit Legs and Potato Cakes in honor of his favorite Continental soldier, General von Steuben.
In preparation for that all-important Christmas night in 1776 when Washington led his troops across the Delaware River for a surprise attack on the British at Trenton, he ordered one of their heartiest and favorite meals to be ready upon their return, Pepperpot Soup with Cornbread. We conclude the first season of A Taste of History as Chef Staib makes this West-Indies influenced dish again, right at that same spot along the Delaware, with revolutionary troops at his side to celebrate that all important victory.
We start a special four-part series cooking in Thomas Jefferson’s actual kitchen at Monticello, his Virginia home. Chef Staib prepares Jefferson’s favorite exotic dish, Stuffed Cabbage with Fried Asparagus. We also tour Jefferson’s estate and gardens, where we learn how important discovering and growing foods was to our third President.
In this next episode at Monticello, we tour “the Dependencies” that housed the beer and wine cellars and the ice house, to learn how 18th Century food was harvested and stored. Chef Staib also borrows Jefferson’ kitchen to prepare Bouilli, a favorite boiled beef dish of Jefferson’s, along with Bouillon Potatoes.
Jefferson carefully cultivated over 330 vegetable varieties, along with a host of fruits, in his legendary garden. It has been said that everything we need to know about human nature can be learned in Jefferson’s garden. Chef Staib prepares White Bean and Bacon Soup, Chicken Fricassee, and Herbed Barley. We also tour the amazing Monticello Visitor’s Center.
During his five years abroad as Minister to France, Jefferson’s culinary tastes were refined, and he sought to bring all of French cooking’s recipes and ingredients to the US. In this episode, we get to know James Hemings, Jefferson’s slave cook who accompanied Jefferson to learn the ways of French cuisine. We also meet Jefferson’s long-time Monticello cooks, Edith Hern Fossett and Fanny Hern. Chef Staib prepares a tour-de-force final meal in Jefferson’s kitchen: Curried Lamb and with Rice Pilaf and Stewed Mushrooms, along with Leni Sorensen, Monticello’s expert on the slave cooks who worked there.
Wild geese were plentiful in 18th Century America and were prized both for their meat and their layer of fat. Chef Staib prepares a typical winter meal of Goose with Turnips, along with Crab Cake with Herb Remoulade. We also visit Harriton House and see how a root cellar was a key part of 18th Century kitchens.
The foundations of the President’s Residence in Philadelphia, where Washington lived, have recently been excavated, showing where the slave quarters were located in the original White House. The Washingtons relied upon and highly regarded their slave chef, Hercules, who was known to all guests as the best chef in the country. In this episode, Chef Staib prepares a Hercules signature dish, Veal Olives, along with a White Bean and Shallot Purée.
18th Century Philadelphia was on the Southern trade route, with ships arriving daily from the West Indies. In this episode, we discover that dishes like Salmon Escoveitch and Salmon Corn Cakes got their flair from West Indies spices, which were abundant in that era. We are also introduced to the Subscription Room – the world news headquarters of its time.
From discovering how to harness electricity to inventing reading glasses and publishing the first daily newspaper in America, Ben Franklin’s genius was a spark that helped to launch a country. We visit the American Philosophical Society, which Franklin founded, to learn more about this most amazing man. Chef Staib prepares Braised Oxtail, and he toasts Franklin with his authentic Spruce Beer.
Philadelphia’s docks were very busy in the 18th century, receiving ships from as far away as Portugal, laden with precious cargo, Madeira wine. George Washington and the rest of the country was in love with this new wine, which was all the rage in America. Chef Staib prepares Chicken Madeira using this wine along with Spätzle and Chestnut Fritters.
In this episode, we visit the farm home of Charles Thomson, the Secretary to the Continental and the Confederation Congresses. Thomson is little remembered in history, but was influential in helping to argue the cause of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, a close friend, loved to ride out to Harriton House after a long day of debating, and relax with good food and wine with Charles and Hannah Thomson. Chef Staib prepares Shrimp in Saffron Cream, Marinated Asparagus and Fennel Puree in the Thomsons’ kitchen at Harriton House.
Samuel Powel has the distinction of being the last mayor of Philadelphia under British Rule, and the first after the War of Independence. Powel hosted elegant parties at his residence for his friends George and Martha Washington, along with Jefferson, Adams and Franklin. In this episode, we tour the Powel House, and Chef Staib prepares a Washington favorite: Forced Cabbage and a Traditional Beef Stew with Egg Noodles.
Dr. Philip Syng Physick is considered the father of American surgery. His string of innovations include using cat gut for sutures and inventing the tool still used today for performing tonsillectomies! But Dr. Physick also came up with the idea of flavoring carbonated water, something we now call soda pop! In this episode, we tour Physick House, and Chef Staib prepares Smoked Brook Trout on Potato Pancakes, Coq au Vin Chicken , and Brussel Sprouts in honor of the Doctor.
In 1793, Yellow Fever that was running rampant in Philadelphia, President Washington made the wise decision to move the government’s operations north to Germantown, a settlement miles away from the plague-ravaged city. He set up his offices in a charming rented home, Deshler Morris House. We’ll tour the house and Chef Staib will prepare Shrimp Toast, along with a Larded Heart of Beef Tenderloin in Washington’s honor.
Betsy Ross is one of the most celebrated women in American history. Although there is still controversy around her story, the details appear to support a woman of great courage who was asked by Gen. Washington to defy the British and secretly give our nation its identity. Ironically, there were very few rules for how the US Flag should look until the 20th century! Learn why in this episode as Chef Staib prepares meals Betsy would have made, Oyster Stew and Roasted Duckling Glazed with Honey.
No Colonial American has contributed more to our understanding of nature and science than Benjamin Franklin. From electricity to ecology to the Gulf Stream – and let’s not forget bifocals, we have Franklin to thank for its discovery. And that’s in addition to being one of our Founding Fathers. What a resume! In this episode, we salute Benjamin Franklin by preparing a favorite French dish of his, Vol au Vent with Sweetbreads, Beef and Pork Pie, and Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage.
David Rittenhouse taught himself Newton’s Laws by the age of 13. Soon after he became an expert clockmaker, and then a Professor of Astronomy. Rittenhouse created an orrery, an elaborate machine to track the movements of the sun, the moon and the stars that is as beautiful as it is spectacular. We’ll see Rittenhouse’s orrery, and learn about his life as Chef Staib prepares a Crown Roast of Pork with Madeira Sauce along with Sweet Potatoes and Apples in his honor.
In the summer of 1793, a terrible plague swept through Philadelphia. Yellow Fever wiped out ten percent of the population. People of means escaped, leaving their African-American slaves behind to tend to the sick. The slaves cared for their patients so selflessly that the city awarded them two churches in thanks – the first African-American owned properties in America. The plague was also the reason Dolley Madison end up a First Lady. Find out how on this most remarkable episode, as Chef Staib cooks Citrus Marinated Salmon with an Eggplant Doré.
We all know the story of Benedict Arnold, and how he betrayed his new country to the British. But few know the role his wife, Peggy Shippen Arnold, played in his treasonous act. And few realize how close Arnold was to being caught on the dramatic day of his flight across to British lines. In this episode, we’ll tell the story of Benedict and Peggy Arnold. In spite of them, Chef Staib prepares a favorite dish of the time, Lobster and Corn Fritters and Baked Veal Chops with Braised Artichokes.
The variety of livestock we see on farms today differs significantly from the ones that were common during the Revolutionary Era. Washington is actually credited with being the “Father of the American Mule.” Modern techniques have plumped animals up and induced them to grow much more quickly. But an effort is underway at Colonial Williamsburg to get back to those original breeds. In this episode, Chef Staib cooks at Harriton House, preparing Beef Barley Soup, Pork Ragoût and Sally Lunn Dumplings.
Colonial Williamsburg is one of the oldest settlements in America, and the British assumed the once thriving city would become America’s capital. Today, it is a rich teaching environment, where visitors can experience an entire village of Colonial life and authentic foods, including a recreated Coffee House. Chef Staib cooks in Peyton Randolph’s (the President of the Continental Congress) actual kitchen, preparing Chicken Vermicelli Soup, Veal Fricassée and Curried Rice Pilaf.
Lafayette is portrayed as the dashing young French General at Washington’s side. We forget the misery and heartache Lafayette’s support of America’s cause brought him in France, where he and his wife ended up penniless, dishonored and imprisoned. In contrast, his American victory tour of 1824 was a sold-out event wherever he went. In this episode, Chef Staib pays tribute to Gen. Lafayette by making a very French meal of Tripe Soup, Roasted Sweetbreads and Creamed Savoy Cabbage.
The Governor’s Palace at Colonial Williamsburg was the epitome of fine dining and cultured cuisine. In this episode, we get a rare tour of the Palace kitchens, and see how the “beautiful people” of the Colonial Era lived. Chef Staib also gets elbow deep in chocolate making, after preparing Cod Fish Fritters, Stuffed Roasted Quail, Virginia Ham and Pineapple Sauerkraut in Peyton Randolph’s kitchen.
When George Washington wasn’t busy governing a fledgling nation, he enjoyed spending time at his family plantation, Mount Vernon. Tour the “jewel of the Potomac” and join Chef Walter Staib in Washington’s very own kitchen as he prepares some of the first President’s favorite dishes such as Roasted Beef Marrow, Baked Stuffed Sturgeon, Roasted Root Vegetables and Citrus Vinaigrette.
Meet “Martha Washington” as she brings her years with George to life. Always a gracious hostess, “Martha” invites Chef Walter to tea. We also see the Washingtons’ personal china and silverware from Mount Vernon. In the kitchen, Chef Walter’s menu includes Pickled Herring Bonne Femme, Roasted Stuffed Grouse, Braised Sunchokes and Sweet Potato Biscuits.
The Philadelphia gardens of botanists John and William Bartram were a favorite excursion for our founding fathers, including Ben Franklin. In this episode, learn how Franklin introduced tofu to America and watch Chef Walter cook Fried Lafayette Fish, Curried Tofu with Shrimp, Turbot and Braised Romaine, in the hearth of Bartram’s kitchen.
Discover why Rye Coffee became a popular drink in America after President Jefferson and Congress imposed a foreign trade embargo in 1807. Chef Walter shows how rye was harvested, made into bread and brewed to drink. From the kitchen at Harriton House, Chef prepares Madeira Onion Soup, Periwinkles (sea snails), Beef Tongue with Caper Sauce and Pennsylvania Dutch Dumplings.
Dolley Madison was the toast of Washington, hosting her famous “squeeze” parties at the White House first for Thomas Jefferson, and then for her husband, James. When the Madisons left Washington, they continued these traditions at Montpelier, their lavish home in Virginia. Chef Walter throws a party, Dolley-style, making ice cream with Dolley and cooking up a feast, which includes Artichokes, Veal Kidney Dijonnaise, Hoppin’ John and Cornmeal Fried Catfish for their guests.
In this second episode at James and Dolley Madison’s estate, Montpelier, Chef Walter learns more about how the Madison’s dined and entertained at their beautiful home. In honor of the Madisons, Chef Walter prepares a menu befitting a Presidential state dinner: Virginia Ham and Oysters, Roast Pheasant with Cornmeal Stuffing and Peas a la Française.
Once home to Benjamin Chew, a Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Cliveden Estate is the site of the Battle of Germantown, where the British victory enabled their continued occupation of Philadelphia. Chef Walter talks with a surviving member of the Chew family and he prepares Potato Leek Soup, Roasted Leg of Lamb and Cardoon au Fromage.
Join Chef Walter as he tours Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia, home to the first Continental Congress and Benjamin Franklin’s library. We then learn about James Madison and the Constitutional Congress. In honor of Franklin and the Congress, Chef Walter prepares Fried Calves Feet with Curried Remoulade along with Beef Olives, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli.
Reenactment is a way of bringing history to life and preserving it for the next generation. In this episode, we learn just how much fun it is to keep history alive on the battlefields, in the mess tents and camped along the rivers of our history. Chef Walter is busy keeping the fire going in John and William Bartram’s kitchen as he prepares Mushroom Toast, Venison Stew, Bread Dumplings and Fried Celery.
In this very special episode, Chef Walter takes us to Jamaica to show us how Caribbean cuisine and ingredients greatly influenced American Colonial recipes. Chef Walter prepares classic Jamaican dishes, such as Mannish Water (made from goat’s head), Akee and Saltfish (the most famous of Jamaican cuisine), Curried Goat, and Festival – a cornmeal fritter. We also tour the Southern Coast of the island, learning about pirates and being serenaded by a Mento band playing Jamaican folk music.
Join Chef Walter as he tours artist/illustrator John James Audubon’s farm and bird sanctuary near Valley Forge. Originally from France, Audubon toured his vast new country, capturing and drawing in vivid detail the amazing array of bird life he encountered along the Mississippi. Chef Walter prepares a very unusual poultry recipe, Stuffed Cock’s Comb. He also makes Chicken Curry, “the Indian Way,” from Hannah Glasse’s 1745 cookbook, along with Almond Rice Pilaf.
After the Revolutionary War, many British Loyalists, who were no longer welcome in America, packed up their belongings, including their slaves, and sailed to Exuma, an island in the Bahamas, to start plantations there. Unable to farm on a tropical island where nothing useful would grow, the plantation owners returned to England, leaving the land to their slaves. The descendants of these slaves have kept their ancestors’ rich culture alive on the island. Chef Walter introduces us to the recipes of Exuma: Conch Salad, Conch Fritters, Fish Fry and a Guava Duff.
Chef Walter follows The Freedom Trail, a walking tour of famous sites from 18th century Boston, then inspires us with more historic Boston favorites, Clam Chowder and Tripe a la Mode.
“The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”, Henry Longfellow’s poem, made an obscure silversmith into an enduring Revolutionary legend. The poem is retold as Chef Walter accompanies the prose with Lobster Pie and Deep Fried Quail Eggs.
John Adams, 2nd President and a founding father, feared history would not remember him. Chef Staib honors Adams with a classic New England Boiled Dinner, and visits Adams’ birthplace home in Quincy.
18th century Antigua was home to Britain’s second largest naval port, commanded by Lord Admiral Nelson. Chef Walter invokes these spirits in his preparation of Seafood Water and Pumpkin Pancakes in the shadow of a sugar plantation windmill and archeological dig.
St. Lucia is an island of mixed cultures: East Indian, African, French and British. The island played a critical role in winning the American Revolution. But it’s the cultural stew that Chef Walter blends in these brilliant recipes: Curried Chicken and Buillion.
Rum was so valuable in the 18th Century that some preferred it as currency. We travel to Guyana, where Rum is made today in much the same ways as before, and visit an Amerindian village and 700 feet high Kaieteur Falls, Chef Staib cooks traditional Guyanese dishes using local ingredients.
Catchup originated as a fish sauce in Asia. From there British sailors incorporated it into their cooking. Chef Staib travels to Malaysia to trace the origins of catchup visit an organic farm, and prepare local Malaysian specialties in bamboo rice.
The freedoms asserted in the Declaration of Independence are a direct result of William Penn’s “Grand Experiment”. In this episode, we visit Penn’s North American home and learn about his planned city, Philadelphia. In Penn’s honor, Chef Staib prepares Oxtail Soup and Rib Roast with Yorkshire Pancakes.
Three seminal cookbooks are the inspiration for Chef Walter’s 18th Century American recipes: Mary Randolph’s “Stuffed Veal Breast,” Hannah Glasse’s “Braised Veal Heart and Martha Washington’s Excellent Cake.
Our 5th President, James Monroe, was taught law by his close friend and neighbor Thomas Jefferson. We learn about the Monroe Doctrine, and Chef Staib cooks at Monroe’s Ash Lawn estate, preparing Fried Lake Perch and Kohlrabi in his honor.
At the end of the 17th Century, Port Royal in Jamaica was awash in pirates, including famous Captain Morgan. Their endless partying suddenly came to a stop when an earthquake gobbled up the tawdry town. Chef Walter visits Port Royal to see the amazing intact underwater city, then cooks on the Rio Grande river, as the Arawaks have done for centuries.
Coffee came to Jamaica in 1740. We climb Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountains to visit a modern-day coffee plantation, and Chef Watler prepares an elaborate Jamaican Plantation brunch.
In this very special season finale, we look back at our profiles of the first five presidents, the foods they loved, and highlights from each of their lives. We do this from the White House, site of many of those memorable feasts. A very fitting way to end the Fourth Season of “A Taste of History.”
Chef Walter Staib cooks favorite European specialties: Hungarian Goulash, Cabbage Potato Stew with Kielbasa and Strawberry Tarte in honor of Polish hero, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, the ‘architect’ of West Point.
In honor of our national anthem, Chef Walter Staib celebrates the Star Spangled Banner at Ft McHenry with a red white and blue feast: Eel and Mussel Chowder, Smoke Pheasant en Croute, Roasted Veal Shank, and for dessert, Bread Pudding with Black Currants.
Chef Walter Staib pays tribute to the Liberty Bell and the symbolic role it has played in American history by preparing Sautéed Shad Roe, Coq au Vin Rouge with Herb Spaetzle.
Chef Walter Staib travels to New Mexico and recounts the incredible journey of migration to our early Southwest .Chef Staib visits Taos Pueblo, and prepares authentic People of the Red Willow recipes of Atole, a Blue Corn Porridge, and Elk Stew for a special Taste of History.
Chef Walter Staib visits New Mexico for the chili pepper harvest and learns the many wonderful ways they are prepared for a delicious and spicy Taste of History from New Mexico. Chef Staib prepares Short Ribs, Red Polenta and a Wild Boar Chile.
Berlin has had its fair share of war and peace. Berlin also has a connection to Colonial America through the King of Prussia. Chef Staib prepares authentic German favorites, Konigsberger Klopse Meatballs in Caper Sauce, Eisbein Pork Shanks, and Apple Strudel for dessert for a genuine Taste of History
On location in the Bahamas, Chef Staib prepares Boiled Fish, Curried Lobster and Johnny Cake. This Historic Caribbean setting was also the target of America’s first amphibious assault during the Revolutionary War.
Join Chef Walter Staib on an incredible journey to South Africa, where he encounters giraffe, rhinos and zebras in their natural habitat and learns about the Dutch who settled the country in the 1600’s. He visits an authentic Zulu village and prepares South African specialties featuring local game: Warthog Kebobs and Ostrich Stew, for this unforgettable Taste of South African History.
Before Europeans landed in North America, Native Americans lived in respect for the land, and did not feel they owned it. When Europeans arrived, everything changed. In this touching episode, Chef Staib shows us two 18th Century examples of how the Colonists devastated and displaced the Native Americans living here. He cooks Cornmeal Fried Catfish, Stuffed Squash, Maple Baked Beans and Corn and Cranberry Pancakes in honor of them.
Various religions coexisted and flourished in colonial America – a nation founded in part on the principal of religious. To celebrate our pluralism, Chef Staib prepares Calf Brains with Butter and Capers and Beef Royale, for a Taste of History.
Washington, DC is the capital of the USA that began as a grand vision of Pierre L’Enfant. Chef Staib honors this French architect by preparing a Taste of History: Liver Dumplings, Veal Tongue Fricassee, Sautéed Heirloom Carrots and for dessert, Chocolate Mousse Cake.
Chef Staib discovers A Taste of History in the origins of Japanese sushi. Kobe Japan is the backdrop for the secrets of sushi-making and demystifying the most prized and pampered beef in the world, Kobe Beef. This visual spectacle from Japan includes a tour of the Imperial Palace grounds and a visit with geisha.
On this special episode, Chef Walter takes us to the island of Turks and Caicos, and prepares Caribbean delights such as Conch Chowder and Cod Fish Cakes. We tour the Caribbean to see how important it was to the Revolutionary War, and to remember the wonderful Tastes of History we have sampled there.
Touring City Tavern’s hallowed grounds - Chef Walter Staib celebrates the history of the venerable City Tavern, Philadelphia’s historic restaurant that John Adams called “the most genteel tavern” in America. George Washington used City Tavern as his headquarters during the Revolutionary War, and it was the Merchant Exchange. Chef Staib operates it now for guests to experience 18th century dining. In this episode, Chef Staib cooks Roast leg of venison, yellow beets and walnuts gratin, sage potatoes and crème brûlée.
Winning the war with bread – Chef Walter Staib bakes some of America’s favorites, inspired by George Washington’s Baker General, Christopher Ludwig. A native German, he brought the art of gingerbread making to Philadelphia and volunteered his services to the army to keep everyone fed in camps. Chef Staib roasts a turkey to demonstrate how to make a classic turkey pot pie from scratch, then makes the dough and filling then finishes the meal with gingerbread and poached pears.
Battlefield Artillery marching to victory – Boston book shop owner, Henry Knox, used his bookish interest in military manuals to become the chief artillery officer General Washington. Chef Walter Staib visits Fort Mercer to learn how Knox and a rag-tag militia acquired artillery and gained the discipline to swing the balance of the war for America’s independence. Chef Staib cooks “pease” soup with pork shanks and Sally Lunn toast, Hunter’s stew with rabbit, beef, turkey and pork, skillet potatoes and lights cannonball punch on fire.
Fight battles beyond land, on a River War - After the British invaded Philadelphia, Washington sent soldiers to Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer to delay supply ship and give the Continental Army time to escape to Valley Forge. We visit the forts on opposite sides of the Delaware River near Philadelphia and Chef Staib makes shrimp and rutabaga fricassee, corn fritters, okra fish stew and baked fennel.
First generation Irish American – General Hand – Born in Ireland, General Hand came to America in the British army. Hand exemplifies the spirit of the colonists that viewed themselves as the New American and was eager to fight for his newly adopted country. Chef Staib cooks cabbage soup with meat dumplings, roasted stuffed pork stomach with pan gravy, steamed leeks with Irish bacon and Irish soda bread.
Take to the waters at The Jefferson Pools at Hot Springs Virginia - As the tide of settlement pushed Native Americans further west, many aristocrats found a respite at the Jefferson Pools in Warm Springs Virginia. Chef Staib explores immerses in the history of the Hot Springs and retraces the path of 22 presidents at the historic Omni Homestead. Chef cooks with the resort’s chefs to make mountain trout, honey stung Brussels sprouts, “hausenpfeffer” braised marinated rabbit and roasted, stuffed tenderloin of venison.
The intoxicating island of spices – Grenada - America’s War of Independence took hold, the South East Caribbean became a powder keg of activity. Chef Staib visits Grenada, the spice capital of the world and the home of nutmeg, a spice that in the 18th century was worth its weight in gold. Chef Staib cooks with local chefs to make oil down and more famous local island dishes.
Discovering China’s past - From the Great Wall to the forbidden city, Beijing is steeped in history. Join Chef Staib as he treks the Great Wall and battles mana-shrimp. Then Staib travels up the Yangtze River through City of Ghosts and into Sichuan to cook with the famed Sichuan peppercorn and sample the original hot-pot. Along the way he cooks on board a ship and makes a classic Chinese feast of tripe, spicy peanut and peppercorn sauce, pot stickers, Chonging style chicken, steamed buns and more.
Benjamin Franklin – at Home in London - Benjamin Franklin lived in London prior to the America’s Declaration of Independence, hoping to assuage Britain’s abuses of the Colonies and prevent war. Chef Staib visits London and the Ben Franklin House while illuminating this entrepreneur, scientist and diplomat who helped mold the new America. Chef Staib cooks Ben Franklin’s own recipes for Lettuce and anchovy soup, stuffed lobster, venison loaf, succotash and parmesan cheesecake.
L’ Hermione – Lafayette’s Ship - At age 19, the Marquis d’ LaFayette arrived in the Colonies onboard the frigate, L’Hermione. He was to change the course of America’s war for Freedom. Chef Staib travels back to the port of La Rochefort, France for the final phase of reconstruction and to discover what drove LaFayette to become Washington’s Major General. Chef Staib makes calf livers in Calvados with apples, potato gratin, poached leeks in vinaigrette, dandelion salad with lardons, a salad of mussels, barley, artichokes and tomatoes and the famous “floating island” dessert.
Chef Staib’s journeys back to The Black Forest – Chef Staib returns to the Black Forest in Germany, synonymous with Grimm’s Fairy tales and where Staib cultivated his culinary prowess growing up in a family restaurant. This is where old-world craft meets creativity, on the border of France, and Switzerland, and the ideal setting for a very personal Taste of History. He cooks Maultaschen, or Black Forest Ravioli, mache salad with eggs, bacon and hazelnuts, Black Forest potato salad and Black Forest cake.
The roots of Creole cooking in St Lucia – In the 18th century St. Lucia changed hands between the British and English fourteen times. The indigenous Amerindians lost much from these battles, but to this day, they display the British language and government and the French flair for cuisine, art and culture. Chef Walter Staib returns to St Lucia to explore the Creole influence and sample a Taste of History. On this show, Chef Staib cooks Creole cooking with local experts.
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.
The Season 8 premiere explores George Washington's retirement years during a visit to Mount Vernon. Recipes include Washington's unaged rye whiskey, produced and sold from the on-site distillery, pecan-stuffed suckling pig, pork kidney and plum pudding.
The world of the Maroons of Accompong Town is explored during a visit to Jamaica. Recipes include a traditional roasted jerk pig and a savor pepper pot soup.
A visit to Henry Muhlenberg's family home in Trappe, Pa. Muhlenberg, an immigrant pastor, was father to Peter (Washington's general) and Henry Jr., a renowned botanist. Recipes include such German fare as pickled lamb tongue, stuffed cabbage and more.
The Battle of New Orleans, which catapulted Andrew Jackson to fame, is spotlighted. Recipes include redfish courtboullion, brandied bananas with rum and cream cheese ice cream and more.
Philadelphia's Christ Church, which dates to 1695, is explored. Recipes include sauerbraten, spicy cabbage slaw and more.
Saint Lucia, the contested jewel between the English and the French and also the hotly debated birthplace of French Empress Josephine Bonaparte, is discussed. Upper-class French recipes include Navarin d'Agneau and more.
The story of Alexander Hamilton is explored. Dishes include fricassee of veal with turnips, soft shell crabs and a classic dessert.
A visit to Louisiana explores the Cajun culture and discovers the unique cuisine of the American South. Authentic Cajun recipes include rabbit and squirrel jambalaya; and turtle sauce piquante.
The Battle of Yorktown, the final land battle of the American Revolution, is explored. Dishes include seafood stew; broad beans with pork and duck; and fried rabbit.
The Mummers, a unique part of Philadelphia's culture, are spotlighted. They're known for their vibrant costumes and New Year's Day parade. Recipes include Philadelphia pepperpot, braised bluefish, skillet cornbread and more.
A visit to one of Philadelphia's longest running coffee producers. Java-inspired recipes include coffee-marinated tenderloin of beef, coffee-infused diver scallops, and coffee cake.
The tiny island of Nevis, known as the "Queen of the Caribbean" during the 18th century, is visited. Recipes include a plantation-style pig roast feast.
The Season 8 finale compiles Chef Walter Staib's favorite segments spotlighting George Washington.