Walter Staib, chef/proprietor of Philadelphia's City Tavern and member of Chef Magazine's editorial advisory board, made history in late July when he became the first modern-day chef to cook in Thomas Jefferson's kitchen at Monticello.
Chef Walter Staib prepares for filming "A Taste of History" at Monticello.

Staib and a crew from Multi Media Productions filmed four shows for his upcoming television series, "A Taste of History." He artfully prepared some of Jefferson's favorite dishes: fried asparagus, stuffed cabbage, chicken fricassé and more, with recipes from his cookbook City Tavern: Recipes from the Birthplace of American Cuisine and from Dining at Monticello.

The shows were shot over a period of four days at the Monticello estate in an 18th century hearth with authentic and replica colonial cookware and tools. Staib spent hours each day in front of a roaring fire in an open hearth preparing various dishes with temperatures soaring over 800°.

When he wasn't in the kitchen, Staib was busy filming other segments, including touring behind-the-scenes with Monticello curator Susan Stein, sampling vegetables in Jefferson's garden with Peter Hatch, director of gardens and grounds (pictured, right), visiting various "dependencies" with dependencies project coordinator Justin Sarafin and learning more about the important role of Jefferson's cook and slave James Hemings from African-American research historian Dr. Leni Sorensen.

"A Taste of History" explores America's culinary beginnings and brings its rich history to life exploring the founders of the country through the food they ate and the recipes they prepared. The show is scheduled to air on public television beginning in September. It will also air on WPHL (MYPHL-17) in the Philadelphia area.