Chef’s 411: Bill of Fare (Menu) Browns Hotel Washington D.C. 1847

Bill of Fare Browns Hotel, Washington D.C. 1847

The authentic truth about American History and Soul Food History is the boulevard to enduring peace and harmony”. It’s time to move beyond futal discourse and inconsequential difference. It is our civil duty. History has a way of amending disregarded record! Life dictates that moment.

In the 1800’s the Browns Hotel in Washington D.C. was a place of gathering for societies elite. Presidents, cabinets, congress and the rich and famous all dined and danced the night away at the Browns.

Note that this menu showcases many traditional Soul Food dishes. On February 27th 1847, the Browns Hotel in Washington D.C. served Stewed Duck, Kidney Beans, Pork Chops, Beef Pies, Beef Liver, Pigs Feet, Wild Duck, Stewed Chicken, Calf Brains, Rice, Grits, and a variety of pies. Pound cake was also served at President Abraham Lincoln’s Presidential inauguration in 1865.

This Bill of Fare serves as evidence of the dominant influence of Soul Food on American history and culture at all levels. Soul Food has beyond question shaped the entire food landscape of American culture and the World.   The overwhelming majority of planters were European. Countless numbers of them took these new foods back to Europe and claimed them as their own creations, although we all know that their African American cooks created them. Fried chicken was claimed by the Scottish and Fried Tata’s were claimed by the French and the Belgians. That is how they got the name French fries. There is no such thing as French fries. They were called ‘Fried Tata’s’ then and that is what they are called today. These are just a couple of examples.

“Everyone loves Soul Food. We can celebrate it’s creative genius by setting the record straight”!

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12 Responses to Chef’s 411: Bill of Fare (Menu) Browns Hotel Washington D.C. 1847

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  4. imarzipan says:

    Chef Emanuel, I really appreciate this site. A lot of research and work has obviously gone into it. What would you say is the oldest soul food restaurant in the country?

    • Chef Emanuel says:

      Thank you very much. Yes, this content is the result of many years of study and research. There is much consternation about which Soul Food restaurant is actually the oldest in America. There are at least five that I know of that could take the title. I am currently in conversations with them to help make that determination. I’ve eaten at all of them. There are however many in there 50’s, 60’s and one that is approaching 70 years of age. The latter is the historic ‘Dookie Chase’ Soul Food Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. It first opened it’s doors in 1941. It was opened by Edgar Dookie Chase, the husband of the World famous Master Chef Leah Chase.
      I will post the research results soon. Please stay tuned!

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