Leni Sorensen

American Chef, Culinary Historian 

Leni Sorensen was born in California, was a member of the 1960s folk music recording group The Womenfolk, farmed for eight years in South Dakota, and is the mother of four and the grandmother of seven. Throughout all those years she cooked, taught cooking, and talked about food; at one time catering to movie crews, at another, starting a tamale business. After moving to Virginia in 1982 she majored in History at Mary Baldwin College and earned her MA/PhD at the College of William and Mary in American Studies. She worked for over thirty years as a university lecturer, museum consultant, hands-on presenter and researcher with a focus on African American slavery, American agriculture, and women’s work in colonial and post-colonial America. Retired from six years as the African American Research Historian at Monticello she now continues to lecture, consult and write on issues of food history and teaches home provisioning and rural life skills from her home in Western Albemarle County. Her recent appearance in the television series High on the Hog (3rd episode) cooking in the Monticello Hearth Kitchen can be seen on Netflix. 


TOPICS: Food, History, Race