About Historic Foodways




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

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 works in the Governor’s Palace and the Wythe House Kitches. In addition, Foodways also offers special programs such as chocolate making, brewing, walking tours, dairying, confectionary programs, and theme days such as Cooking with Mother Goose in December. Check our calendar to see what programs are scheduled.

The department runs demonstration kitchens at the Governor’s Palace and the Wythe House.  Historic Foodways staff continues to research and bring the most up to date information to visitors.  Current topic of interest are beer brewing, poultry, cider making, food preservation techniques, cheese making, and a long term research study into the myths such as burning petticoats as a significant form of death for women, and the burning down of kitchens.

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

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 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 Scherer graduated from West Cheshire Culinary College where she earned dual degrees in culinary and butchering.  Before coming to the U.S.A. she held the position of Executive chef for a large corporation.  In 2001, she became an apprentice in Colonial Williamsburg Foodways and advanced to the title of journeyman in 2005. During that time she has appeared on a wide variety of television shows, including a Taste of History, Dinner Impossible, Food TV, the Travel Channel and more.  Her specialty is butchering and roasting meats. She is the person who spearheaded and created Historic Foodways’ Jr. Interpreter program as well as training all Foundation employees basic 18th century cooking skills and techniques.







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.