By JULIETTE ROSSANT
[Editor's note: be sure to visit subsequent article about Black chefs -- click here.]
[Editor's Note: See NPR's Hidden Kitchen: James Hemings and Hercules for more on African Americans in the White House]
Superchefblog readers have been writing in with the names of African-American women chefs across the country because of last April's nationwide online readers' poll Vote for White House Woman Chef. One reader said that there has already been an African-American chef in the White House, named Augustus Jackson -- who also invented much of the modern technique for making ice cream.
Initial research provides hazy details. Apparently, around the 1820s and 1830s, Jackson was a cook and possibly head cook (that is, chef) at the White House. Before and/or after this, he was a well-known ice cream maker, who developed techniques to control the temperature of custard as it froze. Among his peers (many if not most of whom were also African-American, Jackson's tin-packed ice cream was considered the best in Philadelphia. Jackson became one of the wealthier people in the city.
(Click here to read more at ChillyPhilly.com; there is also an fun article on ice cream in The Herald Democrat of Sherman, TX.)
Another website mentions what may be a self-published or small-press book The Philadelphia Confectioner about Jackson by Harriette Washington-Williams.
Jackson is mentioned on some websites and listed on many more simply as the inventor of ice cream, with little further information. He is no unsung hero, though: Jamaican-born Sound Vibration wrote "A Pattern If You Are Black":
All over the globe there is a pattern if you are blackIf you know more about Augustus Jackson, please post a comment to this article!
History of Ice Cream
Marvin Woods: Obama's Chef in Waiting
Make It Super Simple with G. Garvin
Food Network: Down Home with the Neelys
Marcus Samuelsson: Starbucks
Taste of Ebony: Black Chefs
Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin
G. Garvin: MegaFest Star
Juliette Rossant in Heart & Soul
Tell Laura Bush: White House Woman Chef
Vote for White House Woman Chef
chefs, food, restaurants, cooking, branding, cuisine, Black History, African-American History, ice cream, White House, Augustus Jackson
--> back to superchefblog