Kansas’ historic Fort Larned is the subject of a cooking show


Crews are filming in Fort Larned on Sunday for a future episode of the show “A Taste of History.”


An Emmy-winning cooking show that has aired on PBS since 2008 was in Kansas this weekend, filming an episode at a historic attraction.

Crews from ‘A Taste of History,’ a show hosted by chef and cookbook author Walter Staib, were at Fort Larned National Historic Site in Larned on Sunday to tape an episode that will air next year as part of from the show’s 12th season.

The show visits historic sites across the country and brings history to life by recreating recipes cooked by its founders: think cabbage pudding at Monticello and roast venison leg at Philadelphia’s City Tavern.


George Elmore, Fort Larned’s chief ranger, said the site first heard a few years ago from the show’s producers, who wanted to film an episode exploring the military kitchen along the Santa Trail. Fe. Fort Larned, which served as a military post on the Santa Fe Trail from the 1860s through the 1870s, housed troops in buildings constructed of sandstone. The troops that remained there were known as the Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail.

Chef Walter Staib, right, was in Fort Larned on Sunday to film an episode of his Emmy-winning show “A Taste of History.” Courtesy picture

Staib – a German-born chef and culinary historian who has opened restaurants around the world – was on site with his teams all day Sunday, Elmore said, and it was clear they were thrilled with the place.

“They just fell in love with it,” he said. “They didn’t understand everything we had to offer. They just kept filming and filming and couldn’t believe the unique shots here.

During filming, Staib baked bread in the site’s historic bread oven, something re-enactors regularly do for visitors. They also prepared split peas and salt pork at the barracks kitchen, where meals would have been prepared for the soldiers.

Finally, crews filmed a segment on peach pie, something officers’ mothers would make and bring to their sons stationed at Fort Larned, Elmore said.

Episodes of “A Taste of History,” which won 15 Emmy awards, show Staib cooking the historic dishes and also feature historical re-enactments of what life was like in the past at the locations chosen for filming. Several volunteers from Fort Larned were chosen to appear in the shots, including six dressed as soldiers.

Elmore said shooting day was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and he can’t wait to see how it all translates to the screen. The show is scheduled to air between May and July next year on PBS, Amazon Prime, Hungry Channel on Apple TV and Roku streaming devices.

“It was fun to see how they actually film a program like that,” he said.

I will let you know when there is a release date.

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Chef Walter Staib, right, was in Fort Larned on Sunday to film an episode of his Emmy-winning show “A Taste of History.” Courtesy picture

This story was originally published September 1, 2021 5:45 a.m.

Denise Neil has been covering restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is where diners can get local restaurant information. She is a regular judge at local cooking competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about the restaurant business.