The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen


Sean Sherman
With Beth Dooley

James Beard Award: best american cookbook
james beard award: best new restaurant, to owamni (co-owned by sean sherman)
CBS Sunday Morning segment
TIME Magazine
Named one of the Best Cookbooks of THE YEAR by NPR, The Village Voice, Smithsonian Magazine, UPROXX, San Francisco Chronicle, and others


MORE awards:

  • INDIES Editor's Choice Prize Winner from Foreword Reviews
  • Midwest Booksellers Choice Award (Nonfiction)
  • Gourmand World Cookbook Awards (US Winner, Culinary Heritage)
  • Nautilus Book Award (Silver Award in Food, Cooking, and Healthy Eating)


Award-winning recipes, stories, and wisdom from the celebrated indigenous chef and his team

Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef, dispels outdated notions of Native American fare; no fry bread, dairy products, or sugar here. The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen features healthful plates that embrace venison, duck, blueberries, sage, amaranth, and abundant wildflowers. This volume is a delectable introduction to the modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories. 

"Mr. Sherman is joining a vital group that stretches across North America and Canada, using food culture to celebrate and empower native people."—Tejal Rao, The New York Times

Here is real food—our indigenous American fruits and vegetables, the wild and foraged ingredients, game and fish. Locally sourced, seasonal, “clean” ingredients and nose-to-tail cooking are nothing new to Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef. In his breakout book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, Sherman shares his approach to creating boldly seasoned foods that are vibrant, healthful, at once elegant and easy.

Sherman dispels outdated notions of Native American fare—no fry bread or Indian tacos here—and no European staples such as wheat flour, dairy products, sugar, and domestic pork and beef. The Sioux Chef’s healthful plates embrace venison and rabbit, river and lake trout, duck and quail, wild turkey, blueberries, sage, sumac, timpsula or wild turnip, plums, purslane, and abundant wildflowers. Contemporary and authentic, his dishes feature cedar braised bison, griddled wild rice cakes, amaranth crackers with smoked white bean paste, three sisters salad, deviled duck eggs, smoked turkey soup, dried meats, roasted corn sorbet, and hazelnut–maple bites.

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is a rich education and a delectable introduction to modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories, with a vision and approach to food that travels well beyond those borders.

Chef Sean Sherman was born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and has been cooking in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana for the past twenty-seven years. He works as a caterer and food educator across the country through his business The Sioux Chef, based in South Minneapolis. He has earned plaudits and profiles in such venues as National Public Radio, Guardian UK, Saveur, and the New York Times.

Beth Dooley is author of many award-winning cookbooks, including Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen, Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook, and The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. She has also written a memoir, In Winter’s Kitchen: Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland.

Mr. Sherman is joining a vital group that stretches across North America and Canada, using food culture to celebrate and empower native people.

Tejal Rao, The New York Times

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is inspired and important. Sean Sherman and his team remake indigenous cuisine and in doing so show us all a new way to relate to food. This book and what it offers is nothing short of thrilling.

David Treuer

Sean Sherman is doing some of the most important culinary work in America. In The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen, he takes a forward-thinking approach to indigenous cuisine, bringing his culture into the light to share with the rest of the world.

Sean Brock, James Beard Award Winner, author of Heritage, and Executive Chef at Husk, Charleston, South Carolina

I am impressed by Chef Sean Sherman’s dedication to a cuisine that has long been lost, his respect for his heritage, and his passion to bring the beauty of this tradition into the world. This is remarkable work and I look forward to learning from this talented chef!

Maneet Chauhan, Food Network Celebrity Chef, founder & CEO, Indie Culinaire

The Sioux Chef provides food for thought as well as for the body. The recipes will teach cooks everywhere how to pay attention to the world around them for sources of ingredients and how to prepare those ingredients. The personal stories—the wisdom they share—will teach all readers about sustainable living—the interdependence of beings, living with the earth instead of on the earth.

Indian Country Today

There are cookbooks from which one simply cooks the recipes, and cookbooks from which one learns how and why to cook. Chef Sherman’s book is in the latter. It is a cookbook meant to be studied, one where the recipes are not its most important feature, but rather a part of an overall call to reclaim the history and culture of indigenous peoples. Chef Sherman observes that controlling food is a means of controlling power. With this cookbook, he is taking that power and giving it back to its rightful owners.

Foreword Reviews, starred review

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen offers more than just delicious recipes - it offers empowering historical, cultural, and environmental lessons that may hold a key to our future.


Sherman appears less a culinary historian than an avant-garde chef. He succeeds in making authentic Native American cuisine approachable for the home cook.


Readers willing to venture beyond the bounds of convenience cooking can learn much from this thoughtful title. Highly recommended for food history collections.

Library Journal

I admire Sherman’s dedication to continually learning, educating others, and innovating on native cuisine before it is lost to us.

New York Magazine

More than just a cookbook, this is an act of reclamation of Native Americans' history – and their future.

National Public Radio/NPR

An edible connection to the gifts of this land—and a celebration of the culinary culture of its indigenous people.

The Washington Post

This is an essential book for any kitchen shelf.



How to Use This Book
(Not) Fry Bread

Fields and Gardens
Roasted Corn with Wild Greens Pesto
Three Sisters Summertime Salad with Smoked Trout
Wojape Mint Sauce
Locavores and Trade-a-vores
Salad of Griddled Squash, Apples, Wild Greens, and Toasted Walnuts
Maple Dressing
Spring Salad with Tamarack Honey Drizzle
Deviled Duck Eggs
Duck Egg Aioli
Wild Greens Pesto
Wild Greens
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Corn Mushrooms
Sautéed Corn Mushrooms with Fresh Corn and Fried Sage
Braised Sunflowers (or Sunchokes)
Griddled Maple Squash
Gete Okosomin—Big Old Squash
Cedar-Braised Beans
Crispy Bean Cakes
Three Sisters Mash
Smoked Whitefish and White Bean Spread
Maple–Sage Roasted Vegetables
The Language of Corn
Simple Corn Cakes with Assorted Toppings
Blue Corn Cake Variation
Hominy Cakes
Kneel Down Bread
Sioux Chef Tamales
Old-Fashioned Cornmeal Mush with Poached Eggs
Amaranth Crackers
Wild Rice Cakes
Sorrel Sauce
Summer’s Vegetable Soup with Wild Greens
Missouri River Pozole
Hearty Mushroom, Sweet Potato, and Bean Soup
Fish Head and Wild Rice Soup
White Bean and Winter Squash Soup
Wozupi—An Indigenous Farm of the Mdewakanton Tribe, Minnesota
Smoked Turkey and Acorn Soup
Squash and Apple Soup with Cranberry Sauce
Black Bean and Yucca Soup with Warming Spices

Prairies and Lakes
Wild Rice
Real Wild Rice
Tatanka Truck Fried Wild Rice Bowl
Wild Rice Pilaf with Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Chestnuts, and Dried Cranberries
Timpsula Cakes with Cedar-Braised Beans
Smoked Whitefish or Trout
Wild Rice–Crusted Walleye
Red Lake Walleye—the Good Fish Story
Herb-Roasted Fish
Tatanka Truck Sunflower-Crusted Trout
Maple–Juniper Roast Pheasant
Grouse with Cranberry and Sage
Sweet and Sour Roast Goose with Autumn Squash and Cranberries
Seared Duck Breast with Cider Glaze
Sage and Rose-Hip Roasted Duck
Crispy Duck Legs
Rendering Duck or Goose Fat
Duck Pâté, with Dried Apple
Duck and Wild Rice Pemmican
Smoked Duck or Pheasant
Roast Turkey, Wild Onions, Maple Squash, and Cranberry Sauce
Maple-Brined Smoked Turkey
Cider-Braised Turkey Thighs
Old-Fashioned Rabbit Stew
Rabbit Braised with Apples and Mint
Bison Tartare
The Noble Way to Hunt
Bison Ribs
Braising, an Ancient Method
Cedar-Braised Bison
Grilled Bison Skewers with Wojape
Indigenous Tacos
Bison Wasna
Hunter’s Stew
Lamb Sausage
Venison Chops with Apples and Cranberries
Venison or Elk Stew with Hominy

Nature’s Sweets, Teas, and Refreshing Drinks
Sunflower Cookies
Edible Flowers
Corn Cookies
Autumn Harvest Cookies
Amaranth Bites
Chocolate Pecan Bites
Raspberry–Rose-Hip Sauce
Acorn and Wild Rice Cakes
Popped Amaranth Cakes (Alegría)
Wild Rice Pudding
Ricing Moon
Sunflower Milk Sorbet
Sweet Corn Sorbet
Hazelnut Maple Sorbet
Wild Rice Sorbet
Maple Squash Sorbet with Cranberry Sauce
Blueberry–Raspberry–Bergamot Spoon Sweet
Wild Apple Sauce (Savory or Sweet)
Caramelized Seed Mix
Roasted in the Shell Sunflower Seeds
Seed Savers Snacks
Roasted Maple Seeds
Toasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
Toasted Sunflower Seeds
Indigenous Granola
Native Granola Bars
Maple Bruleed Squash with Blueberries
Teas and Refreshing Drinks
Labrador Tea
Cedar Tea
Mint Tea
The Firewater Myth
Bergamot Tea
Raspberry Leaf Tea
Sumac Lemonade

The Indigenous Pantry
Sunny Butter
Indigenous Flours
Wild Rice Flour
Vegetable Flour
Acorn Meal Flour
Hazelnut Flour
Chestnut Flour
Indigenous Stocks
Wild Rice Stock
Corn Stock
Cedar Bean Stock
Fish, Game, Meat Stock
Wild Onions and Ramps
Puffed Wild Rice
Corn Nuts
Dried Mushrooms
Dried Apple Slices
Tapping Trees—More Than Maple
Maple Wine and Vinegar
Native Herbs and Seasonings
Staghorn Sumac
Mineral Salt
Smoked Salt
Culinary Ash

Indigenous Partners and Guides
Chef Rich Francis
Scallops with Three Sisters Reduction and Four Medicines
Chef Karlos Baca
Labrador Tea–Smoked Quail with Manoomin Fritter and Wojape
Chef Lois Ellen Frank
Juniper-Cured Elk with Dried Chokecherry Sauce
Chef Andrea Murdoch
Inca Trail Mix
Chef Freddie Bitsoie
Corn Broth
Chef Brian Tatsukawa
J. D. Kinlacheeny’s Chilchin (Sumac) Pudding
Terri Ami’s Blue Corn Mush
Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz
Two-Fruit Jam Scattered with Seeds
Valerie Segrest
Wild Berries with Amaranth
Nourishing Tradition

Feasts of the Moon
Spirit Plate
Dinner of the Flower Moon, Waabigwanii-giizis
Dinner of the Chokecherry Moon
Dinner of the Midsummer Moon, Moningwunkauning and Aabita-niibino-giizis
Feast of the Wild Rice Moon
Dinner of the Great Spirit Moon, Gichi-manidoo-giizis
Feast of the Sorcerer and the Eagle
Owamni and the Buffalo Sky

Photography Credits