Would you believe that tofu is regularly being made in this building? It dates back to about 1799, when it was built by Thomas Mann Randolph, a governor of Virginia and son-in-law of President Thomas Jefferson. The President’s Monticello plantation/estate is practically around the corner from the 100-acre Clifton Inn so no doubt Jefferson spent time at Clifton. We visited the inn during our recent trip to the East Coast. Located near Charlottesville, Virginia, the inn generously hosted us for a night and dinner prepared by chef Tucker Yoder and his crew.
Having eaten pretty well in DC, we didn’t know what to expect in Virginia. We’d read about Virginia fried chicken but didn’t have a handle on what was really going on in the state. There’s a lot of talk these days about new Southern cooking.
I was curious and did a double take when I saw house made tofu on Tucker’s tasting menu at the inn. “Really?” you ask. I kid you not. Open-minded chefs in Virginia are keen on little bean curd. It’s no longer just for hippie, natural foods lovers living on the coasts. In fact, the four chefs I met in Virginia (a state that’s technically part of the South though my Mississippi friends may argue otherwise) are boldly tinkering with tofu.