George Crum was born around the year 1824. His mother was Native-American and father was African-American. During this time, his reputation as a cook earned him a position at Moon’s Lake House Restaurant on Saratoga Lake, where wealthy New England patrons built their summer camps. Crum became known for his different specialities with venison and wild game, and he was inspired to continue experimenting in the kitchen.
We don’t know exactly how the potato chip was invented, some say it was Crum’s sister, who worked in the same restaurant.
Crum’s wealthy customers included the ultra-rich Cornelius Vanderbilt, who mistakenly called him “Crum” instead of Speck, which George strategically embraced. He used his success there to open his own restaurant in 1860 called Crum’s, with very high-demand – and high-priced – cuisine.
Despite his wealthy clientele, he played no favourites and was expressly egalitarian with his food, making the rich wait their turn behind anyone in front of them. Crum served as an inspiration for numerous young Black men and women to explore their skills and creativity.
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