Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The Birth of Southern Cooking: Food, Politics, and Mary Randolph

December 9, 2021 @ 6:00 pm

Join us for Wilton House Museum’s 2021-2022 virtual lecture series!

Our fourth lecture of the season features Christopher E. Hendricks.

When Mary Randolph (1762-1828) published her cookbook, The Virginia House-Wife, almost two centuries ago, she created an American classic. The work was the first regional American cookbook, the first published work on Southern cooking, and according to some food scholars, the first authentically American cookbook, period. The book is a fascinating historical document, providing insight into Southern culture, food traditions, household organization and management, and women’s position and role in society. The story of Randolph, her book, and its impact on American foodways is a tale involving family turmoil, political rivalry, financial ruin, female agency, and above all else, good cooking.

Christopher E. Hendricks has worked extensively in archaeology, historic preservation, and museum interpretation with many organizations including the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Old Salem, Inc., and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. He is the author of numerous publications, including The Backcountry Towns of Colonial Virginia and Old Southern Cookery: Mary Randolph’s Recipes from America’s First Regional Cookbook Adapted for Today’s Kitchen. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History and English from Wake Forest University and his Master of Arts and Doctorate in History from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he specialized in early American history and material culture. He is Professor of History at the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University in Savannah, where he has been teaching since 1993.

This virtual presentation will take place on Zoom. While we hope you can join us live, a recording of this lecture will be available for viewing for one month after the lecture date.

Tickets for this event are available on Eventbrite.


December 9, 2021
6:00 pm
Event Category:


Virtual Presentation


Wilton House Museum