Originally from southeastern Michigan, Brie Arthur studied landscape design at Purdue University. She has worked in many aspects of horticulture including estate gardening at Montrose Gardens and nursery production at Plant Delights and Camellia Forest Nursery. As a professional garden industry communicator, Brie writes, speaks and appears as the Foodscaping correspondent on the PBS Television show “Growing A Greener World.” She also designs sustainable suburban landscapes in the greater triangle area of central NC. briegrows.com
Ken Bezilla has farmed for 20 years in Oregon, Missouri, and Virginia. He is the seed inventory manager for Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE), and when he escapes the office he helps grow seed crops and variety trials for SESE, plus (of course) huge fall and winter gardens. southernexposure.com
Pat Brodowski, specialty gardener at Monticello, plants and maintains the plantation’s 2-acre kitchen garden comprised of heirloom vegetables and herbs. She researches and grows varieties most likely grown by Thomas Jefferson, and produces seeds for The Shop at Monticello. She received a bachelor’s in agriculture from Cornell University and was an educator and historian at a 19th century farm museum for eight years. She recently researched the history of Jefferson’s herbs and salad greens for her master’s degree.
Jessica Bryars joined Monticello as a fruit gardener in2015. She manages the historic vineyards, berry patches and orchard at Monticello as well as the recent Pinot Noir vineyard on Montalto. Jessica was born in Mobile, Alabama, and studied Horticulture at Auburn University with an emphasis on fruit and vegetable production. Prior to joining Monticello, Jessica planted and managed a vineyard in Five Points, Alabama.
Cindy Conner researches how to sustainably grow a complete diet in a small space at her home near Ashland, VA, and has produced the videos Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden Plan and Cover Crops and Compost Crops IN Your Garden. Cindy, a former market gardener, was instrumental in establishing the sustainable agriculture program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Goochland, VA and taught there from 1999-2010. The Heritage Grain Conservancy said her book Grow a Sustainable Diet: planning and growing to feed ourselves and the earth (New Society Publishers 2014) “stands out as the comprehensive resource written from the lifetime of rich experience of a successful gardener.” (Heritage Grain Conservancy) Cindy’s newest book Seed Libraries: and other means of keeping seeds in the hands of the people (New Society Publishing 2015) empowers communities to preserve and protect the genetic diversity of their harvest. You can check out Cindy’s website at HomeplaceEarth.com and follow her blog at HomeplaceEarth.wordpress.com.
Peggy Cornett, curator of plants, has worked at Monticello for over 30 years. She earned degrees in English and botany from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s from the University of Delaware’s Longwood Graduate Program. Peggy lectures on garden history, writes for gardening magazines and professional journals, edits Magnolia for the Southern Garden History Society, and appears on PBS’s “Virginia Home Grown” and “P. Allen Smith Garden Home.” Peggy received the SGHS Flora Ann Bynum Medal for exemplary service in the garden history field and the Garden Club of America’s Zone VII Horticultural Commendation for horticultural expertise, generosity in sharing knowledge and dedication to preserving Jefferson’s botanical legacy.
Dr. Jeanine Davis is a horticulture extension specialist with North Carolina State University. For more than 25 years, her research and extension program has been dedicated to helping farmers and gardeners grow new kinds of crops and transition into organic agriculture. She is also the lead author of the book Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals (New Society Publishers 2014). Jeanine and her family operate Our Tiny Farm in western North Carolina where they raise garlic, heirloom popcorn, honey, pastured beef, horses and mini-donkeys. ncherb.org
Pam has grown vegetables at Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia for over 20 years, feeding 100 people from 3.5 acres. Her book, “Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres,” is in the Monticello Gift Shop. Pam writes for Growing for Market magazine and is a regular workshop presenter. sustainablemarketfarming.com
Debbie Donley joined Monticello in 2004 as a flower gardener. She has led numerous workshops as part of the Saturdays in the Garden program with topics including “Seed Saving” and “Watercolor Painting in the Garden”. Also a professional artist, she has been selling her Children’s NAME Pictures at the Charlottesville City Market since 1991.
Pat Foreman is the author of the popular paradigm-shifting book: City Chicks: Employing Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Creators, Bio-recyclers and Local Food Suppliers (Good Earth Publications 2010). She is the co-author of: Chicken Tractor (Good Earth Publications 2011), Backyard Market Gardening (Good Earth Publications 1992), and Day Range Poultry (Good Earth Publications 2002). Pat has been widely published in major national magazines including Mother Earth News, Backyard Poultry, and BackHome Magazine. She is a very popular guest on local and national radio and TV talk shows, including NPR and CBS. She was the Co-host of the Chicken Whisperer Talk Show. She is a popular workshop presenter and the creator of the “Chickens and YOU” training series leading to the Master Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification. ChickensAndYOU.com
Lily Fox-Bruguiere is the Garden and Outreach Coordinator for the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Monticello. A University of Virginia graduate with an M.A. in Architectural and Landscape History, Lily has worked professionally as a gardener for fifteen years, including nine years at Monticello.
At a time when ingredients like cardamom, chilis and fresh herbs simply weren’t found in American chocolate, a globe-trotting chef dared to dream of an artisanal chocolate shop in the South. Tim Gearhart began his journey to chocolatier by wandering the world through its kitchens. He toured the Far East as a Marine Corps cook, trained in pastry at the Culinary Institute of America and then honed his craft everywhere from an English castle to a Western dude ranch. Inspired by his travels and eager to craft chocolates that reflected them, he returned home to Virginia to set up shop amid Charlottesville’s emerging food scene.
Eleanor Gould attended the University of Virginia and graduated with a masters degree in Landscape Architecture in 2010. After working for several years as both seasonal and assistant gardener in Monticello’s fruit, flower and vegetable gardens she currently serves as Curator of Gardens. This position involves programming, research, documentation and maintenance of the gardens of Monticello. She enjoys engaging visitors both on site and virtually with Thomas Jefferson’s experimental gardens and ideas.
Peter Hatch, director of gardens and grounds emeritus for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, lives in Albemarle County, Virginia, where he gardens, botanizes in the Blue Ridge Mountains and lectures about garden history. Hatch was responsible for the maintenance, interpretation and restoration of the 2,400-acre landscape at Monticello from 1977 to 2012. The author of four books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, he has lectured in 37 states on Jefferson and the history of garden plants. He travels extensively to promote his latest work, “A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello” (Yale University Press 2012), an award-winning book on Jefferson’s vegetable garden. peterjhatch.com
Mark Jones is the owner and mycologist at Sharondale Mushroom Farm in Keswick, Virginia. Sharondale Farm provides the highest-quality mushrooms, spawn, tools and materials for mushroom cultivation. Mark offers cultivation workshops for hobby growers and small farmers.
Wendy Kiang-Spray is a freelance writer and speaker. Her first book about growing and cooking Chinese vegetables, “The Chinese Kitchen Garden: Growing Techniques and Family Recipes from a Classic Cuisine,” was released this year by Timber Press. She gardens in Rockville, Maryland, where she works by day as a high school counselor. In her spare time, Wendy volunteers as a DC Master Gardener intern and blogs about gardening and family at greenishthumb.net and at www.wendykiangspray.com.
Corby Kummer’s work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him “a dean among food writers in America.”
Kummer’s 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. His book The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as “the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date.”
Kummer’s book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice.
Kummer was the restaurant critic for New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996, and since 1997 has served as the restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. Kummer was educated at Yale and began at The Atlantic in 1981. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.
Jeremiah Langhorne is the chef and partner in The Dabney, located at 122 Blagden Alley NW in the Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood.
Langhorne returned to his mid-Atlantic roots in this new restaurant venture after five years at McCrady’s restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, where he worked as chef de cuisine under Executive Chef Sean Brock. He focuses on modern American food with strong regional and historic influences and incorporate his interests in foraging, charcuterie and farming.
While at McCrady’s, Langhorne oversaw day-to-day operations at and managed a staff of over 20 employees. He worked daily with Brock and local farmers and purveyors to craft each night’s menu out of the freshest and finest products. Langhorne’s first foray into the restaurant world was at a small Italian restaurant in his hometown of Charlottesville, VA. Watching the restaurant’s kitchen staff work on a new dish – a creative and spontaneous process – inspired Langhorne to seek out further learning opportunities. He began with an externship at the acclaimed OXO restaurant in Charlottesville, where he learned under the classically trained English Chef John Haywood and soon became a part of the kitchen staff. By the time he left, Langhorne was executive sous chef.
Langhorne came to the Southeast to stage at McCrady’s in 2009. After completing a two-month stage at Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, Langhorne returned to McCrady’s to take over as sous chef. He was promoted to chef de cuisine in spring 2011.
Notable recognitions for Langhorne include being named as a member of the inaugural Eater Young Guns class in 2012, being chosen as one of the “Top 5 Rising Chefs in the US” in 2012 by Gayot and being featured in the “New + Notable” class at the 2013 Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
The Dabney was also a semi-finalist for the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant, was named one of Bon Appétit magazine’s 50 Best New Restaurants of 2016, and received a Michelin star in Washington D.C.’s inaugural Michelin Guide in October 2016.
Ronni Lundy, the author of “Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes” (Clarkson Potter, 2016), has been writing about the food, music and culture of the southern Appalachians and the American South for more than 30 years. Ronni’s other nine books include “Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken” (Atlantic, 1990), named by Gourmet as one of the six essential cookbooks on Southern food, and “Sorghum’s Savor,” (University Press of Florida, 2015). Lundy was also the editor of “Cornbread Nation 3: Foods of the Mountain South” (University of North Carolina Press, 2005).
Paula Marcoux is a food historian who lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The author of Cooking with Fire (Storey 2014), she has worked professionally as an archaeologist, cook, and bread-oven builder. She is the food editor of Edible South Shore and South Coast magazine, writes on food history topics for popular and academic audiences, and consults with museums, film producers, and publishers. She gives regular workshops on natural leavening, historic baking, and wood-fired cooking through PlymouthCRAFT. themagnificentleaven.com and PlymouthCRAFT.org
Diane Ott Whealy is co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit that has been dedicated to saving and sharing America’s heirloom seeds since 1975. Managing a living collection of over 20,000 varieties, Seed Savers Exchange distributes open-pollinated seeds, coordinates a member-to-member seed swap of homegrown seeds and teaches the time-honored tradition of seed saving. Diane has been a national leader and advocate for the protection of our garden heritage for more than 40 years. She helped develop the nonprofit’s headquarters, Heritage Farm — a scenic 890-acre farm near Decorah, Iowa — into a unique educational center designed to maintain and display collections of historic garden varieties. Today, Diane curates her cottage-style flower and herb display garden at Heritage Farm and speaks at garden conferences throughout the country.
Chef, Author, Editor and columnist for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
Scott Peacock began his career as pastry chef at Tallahassee’s The Golden Pheasant. From there he moved to the Georgia governor’s mansion where he worked for two governors over four years. A trip home to Alabama for his grandmother’s funeral led to a bite of lemon chess pie, brought over by a family friend, which reawakened his interest in traditional Southern cooking. Shortly thereafter, a national magazine planned to feature one of his menus, and he sought the advice of the doyenne of Southern cooking, Edna Lewis, an African-American chef who moved to New York City from Virginia and had become a legend in culinary circles. Miss Lewis advised Peacock to cook something Southern. Thus began not only a successful redefinition of Southern cuisine, but a lasting friendship and collaboration.
Following his years at the governor’s mansion, Scott Peacock became the founding chef of Atlanta’s Horseradish Grill. From there he moved to Watershed restaurant, also in Atlanta, which was co-owned by Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls,and others. He left Watershed in 2010 to devote his time to writing and documentary film.
Scott Peacock’s recipes have appeared in a number of publications including: USA Today, Atlanta Magazine, Cooking Light, Southern Living, The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Wine Spectator, Food & Wine, and Gourmet. He has also been a frequent guest on television, including The Today Show, Martha Stewart’s Martha,Good Morning America, and The CBS Early Show.
The James Beard Foundation awarded Scott Peacock “Best Chef in the Southeast” in May 2007.
Since February 2009 Scott Peacock has been a contributing editor and columnist for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
Award-winning writer Barbara Pleasant has been covering organic gardening and self-sufficient living for more than 30 years and is a contributing editor to Mother Earth News. Pleasant’s work has garnered multiple awards from the Garden Writers Association and the American Nursery and Landscape Association. She has written books on topics ranging from compost to weeds, including “Homegrown Pantry,” “Starter Vegetable Gardens,” “The Complete Compost Gardening Guide” and “The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual.” Her columns and articles appear regularly in Mother Earth Living magazine and at GrowVeg.com and other gardening websites. Pleasant lives in Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs and fruits along with a few chickens, who all have names.
Jason Powell grew up in Auburn, Alabama, where he learned from his parents to appreciate gardening. He received his B.S. in landscape design from Auburn University and his M.S. in horticulture from Texas A&M University.
Executive Chef and Owner, The Farmer and The Larder
CheFarmer Matthew Raiford, executive chef and owner at The Farmer and The Larder in Brunswick, featured in January 2016’s Garden & Gun as one of the South’s most exciting new restaurants, most recently served as the program coordinator and associate professor of Culinary Arts at the College of Coastal Georgia.
Raiford has a Bachelor’s of Professional Studies degree in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the University of California Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.
Raiford is also the farmer at Gilliard Farms in Brunswick, Ga. where he is the sixth generation to farm on the land that has been in his family since 1874. Gilliard Farms is a family-run, Certified Organic farm growing under the watchful eye of Matthew and his sibling Althea. Gilliard Farms was first established by Matthew’s great, great, great grandfather Jupiter Gilliard.
Gabriele Rausse, director of gardens and grounds at Monticello, first grafted Jefferson’s 1807 wine varietals for Monticello in 1984. Eleven years later he joined the staff as Assistant Director of Gardens and Grounds. Gabriele, a native of Vicenza, Italy, graduated in Agricultural Science from Milan University. He first worked for the Tenuta Santa Margherita winery outside Venice and in 1976 was invited to Virginia to begin what is now Barboursville Vineyards. Gabriele, “the father of Virginia wine,” has helped to start over 40 vineyards and ten Virginia wineries, and was nominated the Virginia wine industry’s Man of the Year in 1996.
In 2001, Charlotte Shelton and her family founded Vintage Virginia Apples LLC to develop and exploit the collection of distinctive and mostly heirloom apples they had collected on their farm at North Garden, Virginia. They established a nursery that propagates rare and hard to find fruit trees, offer workshops on related horticultural topics and in 2009 embarked on their most ambitious project, Albemarle Cider Works. Under their farm winery license, they produce a variety of distinctive ciders, using their own and other locally produced apples. The second cidery in Virginia, Albemarle Cider Works works to improve its own ciders and support the emergence of cider in Virginia. albemarleciderworks.com
Chris Smith is an enthusiastic grower and permaculturalist from a green-thumbed family. He has immersed himself in the world of seed and Southern growing. On his urban homestead, Chris is experimenting with landraces, selective seed saving, crop trials, grow-outs and edible seed oils. He is also an unlikely okra enthusiast, with many creative uses for this incredible crop.
Dr. Leni Sorensen is a culinary historian, teacher of home provisioning and rural life skills, lecturer, consultant and writer who has been working in colleges, festivals and historic house museums for more than 30 years. indigohouse.us
Dawn Story is an aspiring homesteader, earth steward, permaculture enthusiast, animal lover, plant person and fermentation fanatic. She is the creatrix of Farmstead Ferments artisanal fermented foods and brews and New Moon Alchemy & Apothecary herbal teas and elixirs. She delights in sharing her passions of making and preserving food and medicine using traditional methods, weaving together the wisdom of the “old ways” with the vision of a new, resilient future.
Michael W. Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian who interprets the experiences of enslaved African Americans through food and its preparation. He created Afroculinaria.com, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy, and was honored by FirstWeFeast.com as one of twenty greatest food bloggers of all time. He has appeared on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, Many Rivers to Cross with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, and has lectured to more than 250 groups including at Yale, Oxford and Carnegie Mellon Universities, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Michael has been invited to speak around the world, from the MAD Symposium in Copenhagen to the Guardian Festival of Ideas in London to film festivals in Jerusalem, all on culinary justice and the African American impact on Southern foodways. His work has been featured in many publications and websites including Ebony, The Guardian, Eater.com and NPR’s Codeswitch blog. He has appeared on NPR on a number of occasions including being interviewed on the acclaimed food program, The Splendid Table. He has also served as a judge for the James Beard Awards and is a Smith fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance and has most recently been named a TED fellow and speaker. He was recently named one of “Fifty People Changing the South” by Southern Living and one of the “Five Cheftavists to Watch” by TakePart.Com. HarperCollins will release Twitty’s first major book in 2016: The Cooking Gene, which traces his ancestry through food from Africa to America and slavery to freedom. Afroculinaria.com
Ira Wallace is a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (www.SouthernExposure.com ), which offers over 700 varieties of open-pollinated heirloom and organic seeds selected for flavor and regional adaptability. Ira serves on the boards of the Organic Seed Alliance, the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming. She is a member of Acorn Community, which farms over 60 acres of certified organic land in Central Virginia. Ira is an organizer of the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello (www.HeritageHarvestFestival.com), a fun, family-friendly event featuring an old-time seed swap, local food, hands-on workshops and demos, and more. She also writes about heirloom vegetables and seed saving for magazines and blogs including Mother Earth News, Fine Gardening and Southern Exposure. Her book, “The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast,” is available online and at booksellers everywhere.
Kevin West is author of Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving (Knopf 2013) and creative director of Grand Central Market, a revitalized historic food hall in downtown Los Angeles, where he now lives. His family has been farming in Blount County, Tennessee, at the foot of the Great Smokey Mountains, for 150 years, and his preserving work is inspired by Southern Appalachian food culture, historic American cookery books, and today’s progressive agricultural ideals. savingtheseason.com
Rodger Winn is a certified organic grower who produces heirloom varieties of seed for various seed companies and for preservation. He also runs a seasonal greenhouse business selling vegetable, herb, and flower plants in central South Carolina. When not at his day job, Rodger actively promotes sustainable agriculture by giving seminars and tours to garden clubs about the need to conserve and preserve our resources and environment rodgersheirlooms.com
Author and Caretaker of the Roughwood Seed Collection
Internationally known, William Woys Weaver is considered America’s leading food historian. The author of 17 books he is the caretaker of the Roughwood Seed Collection begun by his grandfather in 1932, now the oldest private seed collection in Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. from University College, Dublin, Ireland, in food ethnography and is committed to promoting the regional foods and foodways of the Middle Atlantic States.