Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

July 3, 2007

Chefs at July 7 farmers market to stage cook-off as tribute to CW Chef Swann

Members of the Virginia Chefs Association (VCA) will hold a round robin cook-off at the Williamsburg Farmers Market on Saturday, July 7 and dedicate the day to the legacy of Colonial Williamsburg chef, William Swann, who died suddenly May 16.

“Chef Swann was a staunch supporter of the farmers market and well known as a benefactor to young culinarians with whom he enthusiastically shared his knowledge of food,” said market assistant Jordan Westenhaver.

Featuring ingredients from the market and starring Williamsburg’s up-and-coming young chefs, the continuous demonstrations will begin at 8 a.m. and continue through the morning. Each participating chef will work with a basket of foods gathered that day at the market to create a finished dish within a half-hour time limit. After each chef completes his dish and plates it for presentation, it will be divided into small samples for guests to enjoy.

Renny Parziale, chairman of the board of the VCA, will moderate the fast-paced event. “The idea is to get in as many demonstrations as possible using food from the market, and the spectators will get to watch us turn a station around in a matter of minutes. Some of the chefs will get to create their own versions of Chef Swann’s favorite dishes because we’ll use a couple of his recipes. He loved to feed people.”

Chef Swann spent his culinary career in the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg. He was guest chef at the market on several occasions and his demonstrations always drew crowds eager to watch him prepare one of his specialties. He came to the market almost every week to talk with the farmers and add to his knowledge about foods.

Chef Swann was known as a big man with a big heart and a warm smile. Colonial Williamsburg culinary director Hans Schadler describes him as “a remarkable man who did not have an opportunity to achieve advanced degrees but had the wisdom and soul of a well-educated scholar. The Farmers Market provides us with the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to our well known and respected colleague.”

For more information about this event, contact Schadler at (757) 220-7679.

The Williamsburg Farmers Market was established for growers and producers of Eastern Virginia to sell fresh seasonal food and farm products directly to the residents and guests in the Greater Williamsburg area.

For more information, contact Libbey Oliver at (757) 259-3768 or visit the Web site at

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121