Season Three

Chef Walter Staib cooks in the kitchens of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Garden & Estates, James and Dolley Madison’s Montpelier, Charles Thomson’s Historic Harriton House, John Bartram’s Gardens, and visits the shores of Jamaica & Exuma to bring the cuisine of the 18th century alive! Inspired by his visits to historical locations, he cooks roasted, stuffed grouse, veal kidney dijonaise, curried tofu with shrimp, roasted leg of lamb, beef olives, mashed potatoes and more.

The Washingtons at Mount Vernon-Part 1

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.

The Washingtons at Mount Vernon-Part 2

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.

Bartram’s Gardens: A Revolution in Gardening

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.

Rye Coffee

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.

Entertaining at the Madison’s Montpelier-Part 1

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.

Entertaining at the Madison’s Montpelier- Part 2

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.

Continental Congress & Constitutional Convention

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.

Being a Reenactor

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.

Jamaican Influences

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.

John James Audubon

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.

Nothing Grows on Exuma

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.