Brandon Dillard is manager of special programs at Monticello. Dillard joined the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in 2010 and worked as a frontline interpreter for six years before assuming his current position. Prior to joining Monticello, Dillard worked for twenty years in the food and beverage industry. He spent most of these years as a bartender, but has held almost every conceivable restaurant position.
Dillard worked in several nationally acclaimed restaurants in the Central Virginia and Atlanta areas. He relished his time in the industry as it afforded him the opportunity to create cocktail pairings alongside James Beard nominated chefs. He helped pioneer the modern resurgence in “farm to table” concepts, and was instrumental in bringing the craft cocktail movement to Charlottesville. Dillard loved his time as a bartender because he loves people – happily serving a pousse café or a Bud Light with equal levels of hospitality.
His people-love translates into his current work at Monticello where Dillard teaches staff to interact with people from all over the world and bring complex history to life for the general public.
The constant interaction with visitors from around the world makes the work at Monticello especially enjoyable for Dillard. As he says, “It’s a lot like bartending, only now I serve up remarkable history instead of liquor.”