Author Ramin Ganeshram on "The General's Cook"

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Join author and Westport Historical Society executive director Ramin Ganeshram for the the launch and signing of her new book, The General's Cook: A Novel. Philadelphia 1793. Hercules, President George Washington’s chef, is a fixture on the Philadelphia scene. He is famous for both his culinary prowess and for ruling his kitchen like a commanding general. Hercules is enslaved in a city where most black Americans are free. Even while he masterfully manages his kitchen and the lives of those in and around it, Hercules harbors secrets. Eventually Hercules’ carefully crafted intrigues fall apart and he finds himself trapped by his circumstance and the will of George Washington. Based on actual historical events and people, The General's Cook follows Hercules' precarious and terrifying bid for freedom.

Reserve a copy of the book from the Library catalog.

Partners: TEAM Westport and the Westport Library

Location: The Westport Woman's Club, 44 Imperial Avenue

Ramin Ganeshram is a veteran journalist, who has written features for the New York Times and for New York Newsday. She is a celebrated food columnist who has been awarded seven Society of Professional Journalist awards for her work and an IACP Cookbook of The Year Award. A professionally trained chef, Ganeshram is the author of several cookbooks. She specializes in writing about multicultural communities as a news reporter and about food from the perspective of history and culture.
More on Ramin Ganeshram from Dan Woog's 06880.

Author photo credit: JP Vellotti


"Brilliantly suspenseful, The General’s Cook offers a swift ride in the company of fascinating characters. Readers will never again see the first president in the same way, nor should they."—Elizabeth Cobbs, author of the bestselling The Hamilton Affair

"The General's Cook intriguingly and vividly brings to life Hercules--President George Washington's enslaved African American cook, and a truly fascinating figure in early U.S. History. Ganeshram's thorough research and extensive culinary knowledge adds a depth to Hercules's biography that other historical accounts lack. You'll definitely hunger for more!"--Adrian Miller, James Beard Award winner and author of The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas

"The General's Cook is redolent with savory details. Ganeshram brings Hercules, President Washington's cook, to mouth-watering life! This novel casts new valuable insight on the complicated legacy of our founding father and the institution of slavery, while showcasing the heartbreaking choices Hercules is forced to make. " —Michaela MacColl, bestselling author of Prisoners in the Palace

"A chef and award-winning journalist of the culinary arts, Ramin Ganeshram offers us a deeply-researched story of a life erased from history, a man whose last name is not mentioned in the record books. As Hercules ushers the young people in his kitchen out of slavery’s shackles, you’ll find yourself cheering for him to throw down his chef’s hat and make his own bid for freedom."—Minrose Gwin, award-winning author of Promise

"This book is the true juxtaposition of food and history, taking us back to the days of George Washington and into the world of his chef, a slave named Hercules. Told with vivid and delicious description about a little known part of our American history, The General's Cook is a book that food lovers really should not miss."--Crystal King, author, Feast of Sorrow

"The General's Cook introduces the reader to a complex mix of people living in and surviving places that have rarely been described with such accuracy; kitchens, urban market places and back alleys, the rural plantation slave quarters and the elite dining rooms of an America predicated on and ruled by slavery." -- Dr. Leni Sorensen, Food Historian, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (retired)


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