Old Salem Honors Presidents' Black Chefs

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- In honor of Black History Month and Presidents Day, Old Salem Museums and Gardens is offering opportunities by which Triad families can step back in time to experience an authentic replica of a pivotal period in history.

Saturday marks an Old Salem first--a new event called "Black Chefs in the White House featuring Adrian Miller" in which guests can see and taste dishes that once were cooked and baked by the African American chefs of several American Presidents. The dishes, as explained by chef Don McMillan of Catering by Simple Elegance, will utilize ingredients made here in the Triad. Approximately 150 people are expected to attend the event, which is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 at the James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium in the Old Salem Visitor Center (900 Old Salem Road). Registration can be made by calling 336-201-5177 and cost $50.

Cheryl Harry, the director of African American programming at Old Salem Museums and Gardens, explained African American history is of great significance in Old Salem history. She explained President George Washington, whom also had a black chef, once stayed two nights in Old Salem during the Revolutionary War. During his visit, he toured the southern battlefields, spoke to townspeople and attended a service at St. Philip's African American Church (the oldest-standing African American church in North Carolina). Harry said proceeds from the Black Chefs in the White House event will go toward the St. Philip's Church and toward the furthering of African American programming in Old Salem.

Harry also invited Triad families to attend the Old Salem Presidents Day event, also being held Saturday. It is from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. and will begin at the Old Salem Visitor Center. Activities include hands-on crafts, demonstrations, a puppet show and mock election from 1868. All activities are included with the purchase of an all-in-one ticket.

RECIPE provided by Adrian Miller:

Buttermilk Blueberry Bundt Cake (as made by President Barack Obama's executive pastry chef Bill Yosses)


1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature), plus additional for greasing the pan

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 3/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs (room temperature)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 pints blueberries (washed and dried)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray a five-quart Bundt pan

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and soft.

Add the eggs, one at at time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. With the mixer set on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides between additions.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the berries. Scrape the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.

Bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for at least 20 minutes and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.


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