About Historic Foodways

Foodways. Palace Kitchen. Standing: Tyler Wilson, Kimberly Costa, Frank Clark. Seated: Tiffany Fisk, Barbara Scherer.

The Historic Foodways staff 2016.
Front Row: Apprentice Tiffany Fisk, Journeyman Barbara Shearer.
Back Row: Apprentice Tyler Wilson, Intern Alan Welch, Apprentice Kimberly Costa, Master Frank Clark.

The Department of Historic Foodways was created in 1983, with the purpose of researching and recreating the foods of the 18th century. The department currently operates daily in the Governor’s Palace kitchen and the Armoury Kitchen. In addition to the kitchen cooking programs, Foodways also offers these special programs. Check our calendar to see what programs are scheduled.

The department runs demonstration kitchens at the Governor’s Palace and the Public Armoury. Historic Foodways is currently involved in research on food-related topics including food preservation, coffee, beer brewing, dairying, and military foods.

Foodways works with Historic Area chefs at the taverns and the Williamsburg Lodge to help incorporate 18th-century recipes and terminology into modern restaurant menus, so guests can experience the flavors of the past.

Learn more about the Historic Foodways trade and other trades.

Meet the Cooks


Frank Clark, Master Historic Foodways. Palace Kitchen.Frank Clark

Frank Clark supervises Historic Foodways, a department that uses period tools and equipment in two colonial kitchens to research 18th-century food, dining practices and cooking techniques.

He has been with Historic Foodways since 1993. His primary area of research has been historic beer and brewing. Frank is the author of the paper “A Most Wholesome Liquor,” detailing brewing in 18th-century England and her colonies. He has also authored two chapters in the book “Chocolate, History, Culture and Heritage.”

Frank has appeared on the Food Network and in the documentary “American Brew.” Other television appearances include: “The Today Show,” “Unwrapped,” and “A Taste of History.” He has acted as a consultant to the History Channel and print publications such as Cooking With Paula Deen, Savor, and the Beer Advocate. Frank attended Ferrum College and received a bachelor’s degree in International Studies.


Kimberly Costa

Kimberly Costa

Kimberly Costa has worked in the field of living history for over twenty years, and holds degrees in Liberal Arts, U.S. History and Theatre from Raritan Valley College and Rutgers University. Prior to joining the Historic Foodways staff she worked for several museums in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, holding positions as Educator, Program Director and Director. As an independent historian, she provided hands-on programs and lectures all over the country.


Barbara Scherer, Foodways. Palace Kitchen.Barbara Scherer

Born in England, Barbara graduated from culinary college and went on to work as a chef and butcher. In 2001, she became an apprentice in Colonial Williamsburg Foodways and advanced to the title of journeyman in 2005.









Tiffany Fisk, Apprentice - Foodways. Palace Kitchen.Tiffany Fisk

Tiffany Fisk has been interpreting and researching 18th-century Foodways for over 17 years, cooking at historic sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In addition to her experience as a food historian, she has worked in the museum field as a curator, archivist, and non-profit management consultant. Tiffany has also worked as an editorial assistant for an international magazine, and a writer for a national non-profit. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Eastern Illinois University and a MA in history and public history from Lehigh University.






Tyler Wilson, Apprentice - Foodways. Palace Kitchen.

Tyler D. Wilson

Tyler D. Wilson has studied History, Art History, and Religion at VCU and the University of the West of England in Bristol, England. At 16 Tyler began working as a Park Ranger for Petersburg National Battlefield and later at the United States Army Quartermaster Museum before spending a year teaching at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School in Petersburg, VA. He mentors LGBTQ youth and has pioneered research in LGBTQ public history in Colonial Virginia. Tyler worked as an intern with Historic Foodways for two summers before becoming an Apprentice in the summer of 2016.






Jim Gay

Jim Gay
Memorial: Remembering Jim Gay

Jim joined Historic Foodways in 1996. He began researching chocolate in 2000, and chocolate making became a regular Historic Foodways program in 2002.

Jim has been featured on the Food Network, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the CBS “Early Show,” on PBS, and in magazines, websites and newspaper articles. He has presented lectures and training programs for several museums and universities and wrote chapters for “Chocolate, History, Culture and Heritage.”

Jim graduated in 1972 from the University of Southern California with a BA in history, and later acquired an MBA from New Hampshire College and graduate education courses for Virginia teacher certification from George Mason University.