They say experience is the best teacher. After 25 years working in every nook and cranny of the food service industry, Monticello’s Farm Table food and beverage manager David Givens knows that’s true.
Growing up in Florida, Givens began his culinary career as a teenager washing dishes, and eventually worked his way to executive chef and manager of outlets that included multi-starred fine dining establishments and two of the biggest restaurant corporations in the world.
Today, he shares his many talents with Monticello’s guests, and is responsible for bringing Farm Table’s mission to life for its patrons: connecting history with food to serve as a source of inspiration. At Farm Table, visitors share in the pleasures of sustainable, organic and locally sourced ingredients. Incorporating produce from Monticello’s farm and gardens and regional food suppliers, Givens is integral in designing menus rooted in 200 years of history – featuring the unique blend of the European and African cultures that shaped the legendary cuisine of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and tell the stories of the enslaved gardeners and cooks who raised the vegetables and served the food at his table.