Founding Foodies

Colonial Williamsburg’s second annual taste tradition.

Reserve wine tasting at the Williamsburg Winery, one of many events at Taste Tradition.

“We wanted to create a food and beverage destination in Colonial Williamsburg to showcase all the incredible food we have here, the artisan winemakers, the chefs, the brewers, and bring all these talents together,” says Travis Brust, executive chef of the Williamsburg Inn, who with his team is busy preparing for the second annual Taste Tradition scheduled for Labor Day weekend.

The three-day event explores the history of culinary innovation in the Commonwealth. Last year, the event drew 300, and organizers expect more this year. Guests can mingle with chefs and food experts and taste a range of historic foodstuffs, like the shrub, a colonial cocktail, and American heritage chocolate made according to an 18th-century recipe.

The Colonials who once lived and worked in and around Duke of Gloucester Street were the original farm-to-table cooks. That tradition continues today in Williamsburg, and will be one of the topics covered during the Taste Tradition. Chef Brust grows much of the produce that is used at the inn and Colonial Williamsburg restaurants, and relies on area producers for a large part of the rest. Laughs Brust, “I tell our apprentices as we work in the garden tilling, planting, weeding and picking carrots—think about when you were cooking and burned a carrot—realize you just wasted six months of work.” Here are some events not to miss at this year’s Taste Tradition:

Preserving, Equals Flavor

Colonial Williamsburg’s Chef Rhys Louis examines the 18th-century processes of canning and pickling.

Taste of the Vine

Tastings of international wines are combined with foods from the Chesapeake area.

Sip, Smoke and Savor

A bourbon master leads a tasting of spirits, charcuterie and cigars. “It’s an awesome, rocking time,” says Brust.

For more information and tickets, go to

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