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William Barnhardt - Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

William Barnhardt


Willaby's

William Barnhardt was born in Richmond, in 1964. When he was a child, his parents moved to rural Urbanna, Virginia, to run a duck farm. At its height, the farm processed seven thousand ducks per day for northeastern markets. As a student at Lynchburg College, he cooked duck from his family’s farm for friends and organized local food festivals. He opened his restaurant, Willaby’s, in 1992. He maintains close relationships with local suppliers of eggs, meats, and seafood. Barnhardt moved his restaurant to the Rappahannock riverfront in 2010. Willaby’s expanded to include dinner, live music, and a brewery. Barnhardt is especially proud of his crabcakes and oyster soup, adapted from Tangier Island recipes, and his mother’s chili.

Date of interview:
2018-05-22

Interviewer:
Jessica Taylor

Photographer:
Beth Wood

Download Transcript

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.

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