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Musical history dinner to explore Hemings family's talents

A musical history dinner, “The Hemings Family of Monticello,” will give visitors a taste of the many talents of the Hemings family, once enslaved at Monticello.

The event begins at 6 p.m. on April 27 at Montfair Resort Farm in Crozet. Reservations are due by April 7.

Leni Sorensen of Indigo House, a food historian and chef recently featured on “High on the Hog” on Netflix, will introduce guests to the culinary skills of chef James Hemings, who was enslaved at Monticello and trained in French cooking while Founding Father Thomas Jefferson lived in Paris. Hemings drew on these skills to cook for diplomats and political figures while Jefferson served as secretary of state. Other members of the chef’s extended family cooked at Monticello after his death.

Sorensen’s four-course menu includes 1770 Tomato Soup, salad with 1824 Tarragon Dressing, 1824 Curry of Chicken with Rice, honey-butter carrots and 1824 Raspberry Cream.

David McCormick of Early Music Access Project will be playing fiddle tunes that have been associated with several members of the Hemings family; all three of Sally Hemings’ sons with Jefferson were fiddlers, and there were fiddlers in three generations of their cousins in the Scott family.

Tickets are $225 per person, and proceeds will support Early Music Access Project; $45 of the ticket price will be considered a tax-deductible donation. Seating is limited, so save a seat by April 7. To pay online by credit card, go to To pay by mail using a check, go to For information, email or go to


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