The Slave Who Brought French Food to America

Do you like french fries, ice cream, and Champagne? Of course you do; you're not a monster. If you're an American, don't forget to thank James Hemings for bringing these delicious French delicacies to your plate. Read more about his brief yet lasting legacy below.


French food was introduced to the U.S. during the American Revolution, but it didn't stick around until it was popularized by Thomas Jefferson and JamSource: Mental Floss


Thomas Jefferson brought his 19-year-old slave James Hemings to Paris in 1784. Jefferson wanted Hemings to learn how to cook French food. CRACKED COM


In a cruel arrangement, Jefferson promised Hemings his freedom if he learned French cuisine and passed it on to another slave. Slavery was illegal in


Jefferson and Hemings were brother-in-laws. Jefferson had inherited the Hemings family. Hemings was Jefferson's wife's half brother - as in Jefferson'


Hemings excelled at cooking. After three years of study, he became the head chef of Jefferson's French residence that also served as the American emba


Hemings also played an important part during the Compromise of 1790. It was over one of Hemings' meals in the room where it happened when Jefferson,


After returning to the States, Hemings was eventually freed, per their agreement. After transforming Jefferson's Monticello kitchen with his French cu


Hemings went on to work as a cook in a Baltimore taven. After he was elected president, Jefferson offered for Hastings to be a chef at the White HouseSource: Chicago Tribune


Hemings is survived by only 8 receipes, but his legacy continues to influence American cuisine to this day. Hemings died, supposedly by suicide, at agSource: Monticello