Black History Culinary Icon
- 1st classically trained French Chef
- Chef James' cooking was so impressive that after eating a meal served during a meeting with Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton would wrote a song about it in called "The Room Where it Happen" - Hemings was responsible for introducing the European style of macaroni and cheese, French fries, crème brûlée and ice cream to America
- At the age of 8 he became the slave of Thomas Jefferson through an inheritance. He was the uncle to several of the illegitimate children Jefferson had impregnated his also enslaved sister Sally with - When Hemings was 19, he and Jefferson would travel to Paris were he started his culinary career. - Hemings became a freed slave in 1796. Sadly, in 1801 he committed suicide. Upon hearing of his death, Jefferson wrote a letter to William Evans, "...a report has come here through some connection of one of my servants that James Hemings, my former cook has committed an act of suicide. as this whether true or founded will give uneasiness to his friends, will you be so good as to ascertain the truth & communicate it to me."
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