Learn culinary traditions from the masters at folklife showcase

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Third-generation candymakers Gene and Dave Williams of H.E. Williams Candy Company make sweets the old-fashioned way in their family’s Chesapeake factory. Gene is one of the masters featured in the Virginia Folklife Program Apprenticeship Showcase that takes place this Sunday, May 6, at James Monroe’s Highland. Photo by Pat Jarrett/Virginia Folklife Program Third-generation candymakers Gene and Dave Williams of H.E. Williams Candy Company make sweets the old-fashioned way in their family’s Chesapeake factory. Gene is one of the masters featured in the Virginia Folklife Program Apprenticeship Showcase that takes place this Sunday, May 6, at James Monroe’s Highland. Photo by Pat Jarrett/Virginia Folklife Program

For those of us who prefer to eat our way through Virginia history, the Virginia Humanities Virginia Folklife Program Apprenticeship Showcase, which takes place Sunday, May 6, at James Monroe’s Highland, is a must-attend annual event. It’s a chance to see how different Virginia culinary traditions are preserved as they are passed down from master to apprentice, and this year’s lineup is pretty sweet.

Third-generation candymaker Gene Williams of H.E. Williams Candy Company is famous for his peach buds, cinnamon swirls, fancy Christmas candy and other old-fashioned delectables, which he and other family members make by hand in Chesapeake. He and his apprentice, his cousin, Lee Bagley, will be on hand to share how the colorful, glossy treats are made (and, of course, how they taste). H.E. Williams Candy Company has been in the Williams family for nearly a century, and it’s one of the last remaining family-run hard-candy factories in the country.

But wait, there’s more! There will be tastings and demonstrations from master baklava maker Sondus Assas Moussa of Harrisonburg and apprentice Sanaa Abdul Jalil; as well as soul food cooking master Tina Ingram-Murphy of Henrico County and apprentice Cheryl Maroney-Beaver. The Ingram family of Richmond will prepare and serve a soul supper and the Proclamation Stew Crew will ladle out real Brunswick stew while Frances Davis fries apple pies. As for what to do when you’re between meals, take in some of the music and craft offerings as well.

Expanded menu

City Market smoothie seller FARMacy LLC has recently revamped and expanded its offerings to include not just superfood smoothies and no-bake, gluten-free peanut butter brownies, but Mexican cuisine made with organic, locally sourced ingredients. It’s all available at the weekly market, with a food trailer coming later this year.

Taking stock of new owner

Calder Kegley is now the owner of JM Stock Provisions, the butcher shop at 709 W. Main St. focused on locally sourced, sustainably raised meats. Kegley, who doesn’t plan to change much about the shop (except for the fact that it’s now offering the tasso ham biscuit all day every day), takes over ownership from Matt Greene and James Lum III, who founded JM Stock four and a half years ago.

Another Reason to cheers

Local brewery Reason Beer, which founders Mark Fulton, Patrick Adair and Jeff Raileanu opened in Charlottesville in August 2017, has been named one of Beer Advocate’s 50 Best New Breweries of 2017. The lineup, announced in the craft brew magazine’s spring 2018 issue, was selected by the publication’s writers, subscribers and followers.

Goodbye, Greenie’s

Greenie’s, known for its vegan barbecue and collard wraps, has left The Spot at 110 Second St. NW. On Wednesday, April 25, balloons and colorful signs reading “Happy Final Day” and “Well Done Greenie’s” decorated the front of the tiny takeout window. Greenie’s owner Kathy Zentgraf says she’s accomplished what she set out to do when she opened the takeout window a few years ago, and it’s time for her to move on to something new and similarly unusual. “I [will] miss—without adequate words—so much, seeing our Spot people every day, from the guys at The Haven who stopped by to remind us to keep our tip jar inside the window, to our regulars who shared news, worries and plans.” Julie Vu’s Vu Noodles aren’t going anywhere, though, and will remain at The Spot as well as at The Jefferson School Café.

Oakhart hosts wine dinner

On Thursday, May 10, Oakhart Social will host a ticketed wine dinner featuring a four-course tasting menu with 12 wines from Flying Fox Vineyard, Early Mountain Vineyards and Lightwell Survey Wines, a raw bar and, as chef Tristan Wraight promises, “crazy snack stations.”

Firsthand farming

On Sunday, May 6, at 2pm, Doniga Markegard, California rancher and author of the book Dawn Again: Tracking the Wisdom of the Wild, will visit The Living Earth School and Farfields Farm in Afton to discuss how knowledge of the wilderness and permaculture can inform farming practices. Tickets to the event cost $10 in advance and $15 day-of.

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