Serving up Some Summer YUM

photos by Monticello Guide Holly Haliniewski

Food and Beverage Manager David Givens is delighted to welcome guests back to Monticello’s Farm Table café. And to celebrate, he’s sharing a favorite summer recipe!

David Givens, Monticello’s Farm Table

Givens began designing farm-to-table recipes and menus almost a decade ago. A passionate mixologist and wine connoisseur with more than 25 years in the food and beverage industry, he has served as an executive chef, a fine dining general manager and the head of restaurant operations at top-notch establishments in Florida and Virginia. 

At Farm Table, Givens helps bring the café’s mission to our guests. With menus rooted in 200 years of history, visitors learn about the culinary legacy of enslaved gardeners and cooks who raised the vegetables and prepared the food for Thomas Jefferson’s table. Today’s menus continue to connect food with history, and to serve as a point of reference where visitors can learn to eat more responsibly and more joyfully – sharing in the pleasures of sustainable, organic and locally-sourced ingredients from our own farm and gardens and from the best of Charlottesville’s food suppliers.

Fried Chicken Cutlets with Sweet Summer Coleslaw

This recipe screams summer – it’s easy to prepare and delicious! Coleslaw ingredients and herbs were gathered fresh from Monticello’s gardens and the fields at Tufton Farm.

Givens’ recommends pairing the meal with a respected Virginia chardonnay available for purchase at The Shop when you visit Monticello, or online direct from the vineyard. Jefferson Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay tasting notes include rich oak and vanilla greeted with abundant green apple and pear flavors. A sip of this balanced, elegant wine finishes with hints of butter and toast.

And if you’re like us, there’s no such thing as fried chicken without honey! Monticello grown, small batch farm and garden raw honey is the perfect pick! Drizzle generously for that sticky-sweet, lip-smacking southern taste!

We hope to welcome you to Monticello and our Farm Table café soon. Until then, dig in!


  • 2 organic lemons
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch ground pepper
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 7 cups chopped organic white cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped organic purple cabbage

Combine cabbage, onion, mayo, sugar, milk, buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Add the juice of the lemons and mix well. Refrigerate for at least two hours. 

Chicken Cutlets

  • 3 cups Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 4 boneless, organic free-range skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 large eggs
  • lemon wedges and honey for garnish

Slice the chicken breasts in half so each breast becomes two cutlets. Lay the cutlets between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Set out three large bowls or casserole dishes and add the flour to the first, whisk together the eggs and water in the second, mix the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in the third. Dredge each cutlet first in the flour, second in the egg mixture and third in the breadcrumb mixture. 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the cutlets in batches cooking for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove to a paper-towel covered plate to drain and season again with salt. Place plate in the warm oven to hold while you cook the other batch. Serve with lemon wedges and Monticello’s Raw Honey.