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How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America

By Thomas J. Craughwell

Narrated by Alan Sklar

5 Audio CDs List Price: $29.99    Your price: $14.991
EAN: 9781452611907
Mp3-CD List Price: $24.99    Your price: $9.992
EAN: 9781452661902
Audio Download Available at
Publication Date: 03/04/2013 Running Time: 5 hrs 30 min
  • 1Price reflects a sale price of $14.99.
  • 2Price reflects a sale price of $9.99.


Thomas J. Craughwell relates the remarkable story of Thomas Jefferson and one of his slaves, James Hemings, as they seek to master the art of French cooking.


Review Excerpts

"Alan Sklar's rich voice is well suited to the book." ---Library Journal Audio Review

"Alan Sklar expresses the Jeffersons' awe of their new glamorous surroundings and recounts their experimentation with international culinary trends." ---AudioFile

"[A] tasty addition to the long list of Jefferson's accomplishments." ---Kirkus

"Craughwell capably sets the scene and places his story in historical context, with a focus on Jefferson's time in France and the gastronomic angle." ---Library Journal

"[A] well-researched look at the impact Jefferson and Hemings had on our eating habits." ---Chicago Tribune

"Thomas Jefferson's Crème Brûlée is a charming book that will appeal to both foodies and lay readers." ---ForeWord


In 1784, Thomas Jefferson struck a deal with one of his slaves, nineteen-year-old James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along for a particular purpose—to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James's cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.

Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history. As Hemings apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so that they might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, Champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative history tells the story of their remarkable adventure.

BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHYPresidents & Heads of State
COOKINGRegional & EthnicGeneral
HISTORYUnited StatesRevolutionary Period (1775-1800)
HISTORYUnited StatesGeneral

Thomas Jefferson's Creme Brulee

MP3 Audio Sample
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