In our September 2012 issue, we gave you an inside look at the gardens at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Now you can pull up a chair where TJ once ate, and try dishes made with produce like heirloom radishes and pea tips from his revolutionary gardens. Food and travel writer Gwen Pratesi has put together an incredible culinary adventure (April 21-23) that includes Commonweath-focused meals, tours, and tastings plus a once-in-a-lifetime lunch at Monticello.
It’s not every day that visitors get to explore the Founding Father’s Charlottesville estate with Gabriele Rausse, the director of gardens and grounds at Monticello. Nor does the average tourist get to stand in the soil that Jefferson once sowed and help chef Dean Maupin (of C&O in Charlottesville) harvest produce like bloomsdales spinach and Jerusalem artichoke from the 1,000-foot-long vegetable garden. Later, visitors will get to enjoy the fruits, err, vegetables of their labor in a three-course meal prepared by Dean and his team and paired with Virginia wines. The farm-to-table dishes include tender pea tips, flowers, and shoots with local Everona cheese and Jerusalem artichoke velouté.
Also on the agenda is a tour and dinner at Manakintowne Specialty Growers, a family farm in Powhatan, Virginia. Three of the area’s best chefs, Lee Gregory (The Roosevelt), Aaron Cross (Fossett’s at Keswick Hall), and Walter Bundy (Lemaire), are cooking up a farm-fresh dinner with Barboursville Vineyard providing the wine pairings. The next night, Walter serves up dishes off a special tasting menu–this time at his restaurant Lemaire in The Jefferson Hotel. And finally, the food-filled weekend concludes with a stop to try Olli Salumeria slow-cured salumi in Mechanicsville, Virginia.
April 21-23. Space is limited to 20 guests and filling up fast; visit On the Road culinary adventures for more information.