American cuisine

A Sioux Chef’s Attempt to Reclaim Native American Cuisine: NPR

This comic, illustrated by Chelsea Saunders, is inspired by an interview with chef Sean Sherman of TED Radio Hour episode The food connection.

Panel 2:
Panel 3: "Throughout high school and college, I worked in many tourist restaurants.  After college I moved to Minneapolis and became a chef at a young age.  A few years into my career as a chef, I realized the complete absence of native foods.  I could name fewer than a handful of Lakota recipes that were truly Lakota."
Panel 3: "Throughout high school and college, I worked in many tourist restaurants.  After college I moved to Minneapolis and became a chef at a young age.  A few years into my career as a chef, I realized the complete absence of native foods.  I could name fewer than a handful of Lakota recipes that were truly Lakota."
Panel 4: "What happened?  Where was all the Native American food?"
Panel 5: "Traditionally, Indigenous education was the product of thousands of generations of knowledge and traditions passed down from family member to family member.  He gave people a blueprint on how to live sustainably using plants and animals from their area.
Panel 6: "My great-grandfather saw his children taken away to a boarding school, where they had their hair cut, they spoke English and practiced Christianity.  By the end of the 19th century, less than 2% of the original Lakota tribal lands were under Native control.
Panel 7:
Chef Sean Sherman, a member of the Ogalala Lakota Sioux Tribe, attempts to change the portrayal of American cuisine by serving dishes that celebrate and preserve Lakota cuisine.
Chef Sean Sherman, a member of the Ogalala Lakota Sioux Tribe, attempts to change the portrayal of American cuisine by serving dishes that celebrate and preserve Lakota cuisine.
Panel 9: "After years of studying, I started my business called Sioux Chef in 2014. My goal is to reintroduce native food to tribal communities and break the cycle of reliance on government food."
Panel 10:

About Sean Sherman

Chief Sean Sherman is the founder of “The Sioux Chef”, a company committed to the revitalization and recovery of Native American cuisine. He is a member of the Ogalala Lakota Sioux tribe. Her main culinary focus has been to bring indigenous food systems like land stewardship and the use of wild foods into a modern culinary context.

His restaurant Owamni in Minneapolis, MN offers dishes that prioritize foods of indigenous origin to his region and omit colonial ingredients like beef and chicken to create a “decolonized dining experience.” In 2017, he co-authored the cookbook The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.

Through his non-profit organization, NATIVES, he also co-founded the Indigenous Food Lab, an Indigenous professional kitchen and training center dedicated to preserving Indigenous food education.

He received a First Peoples Fund Fellowship in 2015, the Bush Foundation Fellowship in 2018, the National Center’s 2018 First American Entrepreneurship Award, the 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, and a 2019 James Beard Leadership Award.

This TED Radio Hour segment was produced by Rachel Faulkner and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and write to us at [email protected].