Resident Baker, Justin Cherry
Culinarian historian Justin Cherry is Mount Vernon's Resident Baker and is the chef and owner of the Half Crown Bakehouse, which specializes in colonial foodways.
Cherry was a 2019 Fellow at the Washington Library. His research focused on the 18th-century foodways culture at Mount Vernon.
Heritage Grain, Ground by Water Power
Cherry uses grains ground in Mount Vernon's gristmill whenever possible.
The first white Lammas wheat ground at the Gristmill since Washington’s day was baked in Cherry’s mobile 18th-century clay oven and sold at Revolutionary War Weekend in May 2019.
Cherry continues to facilitate collaboration between heirloom grain specialists and Mount Vernon’s Historic Trades Team.
18th Century Clay Oven
In March 2020, Cherry and the Historic Trades Team installed a bake oven in Washington’s Farm. Bake ovens, also known as beehive, masonry, brick, pizza, or bread ovens, were a staple in early America.
These thick clay domes were built into kitchens next to the hearth, like the original oven in the Mansion’s Kitchen, or built outdoors. The design of Mount Vernon’s reproduction oven resembles those used throughout the Chesapeake region.
Evidence of ovens like this has not been found at Mount Vernon, but similar ovens may have existed around the estate.