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The 'Sioux Chef' Highlights Indigenous Foods

Sean Sherman
Dana Thompson
Sean Sherman

Sean Sherman is a Minnesota-based chef on a mission to revitalize Native American cooking and culture. His cookbook,  The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, won the James Beard award for Best American cookbook in 2018.

Sherman, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, will be visiting the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art this weekend.

His cuisine uses no wheat, dairy products, sugar, pork or beef – which he says were foods introduced by Europeans. Instead, Sherman’s dishes feature wild game, local fish, and native plants and herbs. He says he hopes to revitalize Native American cuisine while spreading an understanding of indigenous food systems.

“Today, when you drive across North America, you’re going to see the exact same menu across the board – the same hamburgers, the same soda," Sherman says. "Whereas if we had indigenous restaurants across the nation, every few hundred miles would be a different language, a different culture, and people could start to understand the true flavors of the regions of land.

"There are so many biodiverse regions across the nation that the indigenous cultures and indigenous foods showcase so well.”

Sherman spoke with WUSF’s Robin Sussingham, host of The Zest podcast.

THE ZEST: Check out recipes and listen to past episodes

SUBSCRIBE: To The Zest podcast

NEWSLETTER: Subscribe to the weekly Zest newsletter

Robin Sussingham was Senior Editor at WUSF until September 2020.
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