lady Estelle in the Media.



Stages of Freedom honors South County slave

PROVIDENCE—Phillis, a South County slave from Senegambia, cooked the best jonnycake.
“She didn’t create jonnycakes, but she perfected them,” said Ray Rickman, executive director of Stages of Freedom, a Providence-based organization promoting black cultural events.
This weekend, Stages of Freedom will honor Phillis as it celebrates black history with its annual luncheon, held at Pot de Feu in Providence. Each of the dishes to be served are Phillis-inspired.
Phillis was a cook of Thomas Hazard, a major landowner in South Kingstown. Hazard, who was also known as “College Tom,” distinguishing him from the many other Thomas’ in the family, freed his slaves in the 1740s, but many stayed on to work for him. Phillis was among them.
Many Rhode Island residents, Rickman said, don’t realize the history of slavery in the state.
“And most know almost nothing about black people being the most skilled people in all of Rhode Island,” he added. “The reason for that was that you had slaves, and they were there for life. This wasn’t a temporary employee. Whatever you did, you got them to do it well, so if you were rich, like the Hazards, you had 20 slaves and each one had a specialty.”
“Phillis,” he continued, “was just the best cook in all of South County.”
In 1797, College Tom’s grandson, Thomas Robinson Hazard, known as “Shepherd Tom,” wrote a book that included an extensive recount of Phillis’ cooking. The book, which wasn’t actually published until 1915, was titled “The Jonny-Cake Papers.”
“We consider it the second black cookbook in America,” Rickman said, “so rich is it with descriptions of her dishes and cooking techniques.
Although Phillis and her cooking aren’t the only subjects of “The Jonny-Cake Papers,” Rickman said, Shepard Tom “just kept coming back to her.”
He added that the Hazard family adored Phillis, considering her to be the best cook in the state.
“And maybe in America,” he added, “and they brag about her in this book—the way she cooked, how she cooked, how much she used, where she got her milk from.”
Within “The Jonny-Cake Papers,” Phillis’ cooking technique is described in great detail. However, no actual recipes were ever recorded. The recipes have been recreated based on the cooking techniques detailed in the book by Bob Burke, owner of Pot Au Feu, with help from Commis Juwan Cook and Keith Colinsky, both graduates of Johnson and Wales.
“[Phillis] was first and foremost the authority on baking jonnycake using whitecap flint corn,” Rickman said.
That whitecap flint corn was ground at Hammond’s Mill, now the site the Gilbert Stuart Museum in Saunderstown.
Playing the role of Phillis Saturday will be actress Estelle Barada, who will double as mistress of ceremonies.
In addition to jonnycakes, Saturday’s menu will include roasted turkey breast with oyster cornbread stuffing, succotash, maple-glazed turnips and, for dessert, rice pudding with dried cranberries and sweet cream. Each dish, Rickman said, would have used ingredients completely local to South County.
“She had really quality ingredients to use,” he added. “And remember, the Hazards were rich people. So whatever she wanted—she was a cook that said ‘I want’—and she would get.”
While the event serves as a celebration of Black History Month, it will also raise funds for the Swim Empowerment program. The program provides the funds for children of color to take swimming lessons through the YMCA—black teenagers are the highest risk for drowning, Rickman explained. Last year, the program sent over 300 children ages 5 to 17 to the YMCA for swim lessons.
“And this year the goal is 500,” Rickman said. “Whatever we get we take 100 percent and pay for swimming lessons.”Rickman said he looks forward to honoring Phillis Saturday, while enjoying those delicious recipes of hers.
“The details of her secrets of, not only how to bake jonnycakes,” he said, “but how to serve them are extraordinary.”
Lady Estelle T. Barada

Step into Estelle Barada's living room in Providence, Rhode Island, and you might feel like you've traveled back to the 1890s.
Barada, a hotel caterer, sees it as an escape from her stressful job.
"I was the middle child and kind of like the dreamer, and for some strange reason I always dreamed of living not in America, but England," she explained. "I imagined having tea with the queen and touring the castle and that was my dream as a little girl."
Today, "Lady Estelle," as she likes to be called, lives out that dream by hosting tea parties for her friends while dressed in Victorian clothing, completely in character.

When going out, she's dressed in a more understated fashion, but still completely consistent with the late 1800s, with a long skirt and hat. "I always wear hats and when I go shopping, I get the attention of the older women, who say, I love the way you look," she said.
iReport: Fashions of a modern-day Victorian


Friends of Hearthside, Inc. NEWS RELEASE
 Immediate Release: Contact: Kathy Hartley 401-334-2209
 April 3, 2011
 Afternoon Tea and Toppers on Derby Day at Historic Hearthside Saturday, May 7th
 Lincoln ---To kick off its 10th Anniversary celebration, the Friends of Hearthside is sponsoring “An Afternoon Tea and Toppers” at Great Road’s historic Hearthside House, on Saturday, May 7th, from 2:00-4:00, the same day as the world-famous Kentucky Derby..
 Hearthside offers an elegant and historic setting, creating a leisurely and nostalgic afternoon to enjoy Afternoon Tea with close friends or family. And it’s educational as well.

 The featured presentation at the Hearthside Tea will be “Hats Through the Ages” being given by Hearthside volunteer Estelle T. Barada, also known as Lady Estelle, The Victorian Lady. 
Lady Estelle will discuss how women’s hats have changed drastically throughout history.  She will exhibit some of her private collection of hats spanning fashions from early 19th century up to the 1950’s.  “Hats were worn for style and elegance, warmth, and modesty,” notes Lady Estelle.
“We invite our guests to be inspired by Derby Day and use this opportunity to wear their favorite hats and have fun with it


1 comment:

Unknown said...

After reading "Feast of All Saints" I became obsessed with corsets and the old fashioned lifestyle. It's good to see another woman of color who likes these things.

portrayal of 19th century entrepreneur Christiana Carteaux Bannister

Christiana Carteaux Bannister: 19th Century Rhode Island Entrepreneur Join Mrs. Estelle Tucker Barada and the Warwick Historical Society fo...