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City Pages: Rediscover a bounty of Midwestern flavors with 'The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen'

By Theresa J. Beckhusen
City Pages

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen (Sean Sherman)“What did my ancestors eat before the Europeans arrived on our lands?”

This question has driven chef Sean Sherman. To wonder why he can find only one Native American restaurant in the U.S. To open a food truck. To spend years foraging and researching and meeting with other indigenous folks. To run a full-service catering company. To launch a Kickstarter for a brick-and-mortar restaurant that netted nearly $150,000.

With his new cookbook, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen (written with Beth Dooley), Sherman brings that above question to everyday kitchens and seeks a return to the mindfulness of a pre-European diet. The expansive book is a goldmine of ingredients and techniques at once familiar and unusual to the average non-Native Minnesotan—familiar because the ingredients are culled from plants and game and fish surrounding us, unusual because European colonizers (often intentionally) obliterated indigenous foodways, methods, and traditions. Sherman and his team want not only to revive but reinvigorate these traditions, this way of cooking and eating and honoring the seasons and the bounty around us.

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