Important things are happening at Jefferson’s Monticello.
At Monticello’s Farm, dedicated growers are hard at work restoring farming to our 1,000-plus acre property, implementing top-line, sustainable agricultural systems and practices. All of the plants we harvest are sent up the hill to our newly opened Farm Table, a cafe that embraces Jefferson’s own enthusiasm for local agriculture, seasonal produce and his reputation for hospitality.
Essentially, we’re growing what we’re cooking.
Join Monticello’s Farm and Nursery Manager Keith Nevison, along with our Café Managing Director Wilson Richey as we explore the flavors of Virginia – featuring crops and recipes that define the Commonwealth. Historically, Virginia was an important center of crop development and a regional contributor to the southern culinary experience. Learn about the food and recipes that put Virginia on the map and see what we’ve recently begun to grow once again at Monticello.
Special appearance by our festival co-chair, Alice Waters, who has championed locally grown, organic agriculture for more than four decades. Waters helped guide Monticello’s commitment to promoting agricultural stewardship at the farm and inspired the creation of our Farm Table Café.
Come learn — and taste – Virginia’s culinary past and future!
Manager of Farm and Nursery Operations at Monticello
Keith Nevison serves as manager of farm and nursery operations for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello. In this role, he oversees a thriving nursery business at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants and is working to successfully launch a 21st century center for innovative farming, which aims to engage a broad audience in discussions on food, public health and sustainable agricultural issues. He earned his Master of Science in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware through the Longwood Graduate Program and his Bachelor of Science cum laude in Environmental Studies from Portland State University in Oregon. For more than a decade, Nevison’s work has included organic food production, ornamental horticulture, landscape design and ecological restoration. His passion for environmental restoration led him to serve as board secretary and Student Guild representative for the Society for Ecological Restoration’s Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic chapters. In addition, he is an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist, an FFT2 certified wildland firefighter, and holds certifications as a Master Naturalist and Master Composter.
Managing Director, Monticello Farm Table café
Wilson Richey is a local restaurateur focusing on original concepts, sustainable agriculture and strong community links. He has built and maintained over ten restaurants in the Charlottesville area, including Alley Light, Whiskey Jar, The Bebedero, and Revolutionary Soup. Richey has formed a partnership of service professionals with his management group, Ten Course Hospitality. From 2010 until 2018, he maintained and operated an organically run, sustainable farm to supply the group’s main restaurants with a continued source of fresh, seasonal produce.
The core values of Ten Course Hospitality are in sustainability, strong regional influences and enlightened hospitality — making them a perfect fit for the Farm Table café project at Monticello. The Ten Course vision aligns perfectly with the café’s goals – to create an authentic dining experience that draws on the gardens and produce from Monticello’s reinvigorated Tufton farm, offering seasonally-appropriate, regionally-focused and historically-influenced menu selections for its guests.
Chef, Author & Food Activist
2019 Festival Co-Chair
Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school.
She has been Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. She conceived and helped create the Yale Sustainable Food Project in 2003 and the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome in 2007.
Her honors include election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007, the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award, which she shared with Kofi Annan in 2008, and her induction into the French Legion of Honor in 2010. In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, proving that eating is a political act, and that the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change.
Waters is the author of sixteen books including her critically acclaimed memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook, the New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food I & II, and The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea.
Senior Editor and Food Columnist, The Atlantic
2019 Festival Co-Chair
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.