Duluth News-Tribune: 'What did my ancestors eat': Sean Sherman’s cookbook ‘The Sioux Chef’ is a return to from-the-land, pre-colonization foods

By Christa Lawler
Duluth News-Tribune

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen (Sean Sherman)If you're foraging in Duluth this time of year, think chaga, highbush cranberries — not to mention cedar, which Sean Sherman would use for tea, cedar-braised beans, soup stock. In fact, whenever someone is coming up this way, he said he asks them to bring some cedar back to Minneapolis.

"It's nice, it's tangible, it's everywhere," said Sherman, the chef-educator-historian-food activist behind the Sioux Chef, a movement to bring back Native American cuisine — the from-the-land pre-colonization traditions.

Sherman's book, "The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen," written with Minneapolis chef Beth Dooley, is part textbook, part cookbook for what to find in the wild and what to do with it. Sherman, a member of Oglala Lakota tribe, tells the story of growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and his route to researching the simple and healthy food and drinks made from local animals and seasonal plants. It includes recipes divided by regions, pantry staples and plant guides, and a dismissal of fry bread — unhealthy, originating with government-issued foods, and not nearly as tasty as alternatives like corn cakes with braised bison or smoked duck.

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