This Chef Is Decolonizing the Kitchen by Only Using Ingredients Native to North America

Contemporary cooking goes beyond food and tries to tell a story about the origin of ingredients and how they are an essential piece of the culture we live in. More and more chefs around the world are trying to change the narrative around cooking and bringing back native elements to the kitchen that help connect the local community with its ancestry.

Indigenous cuisine navigated some risky waters because of colonialism and a lot of traditional recipes were lost along the way.
But chef Sean Sherman, who is a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe is doing his best to preserve traditional dishes and ingredients.

Sherman worked in a lot of restaurants when he was younger but felt that he lacks knowledge when it comes to authentic Lakota recipes. He became interested in Native American recipes while working for the U.S. Forest Service in South Dakota and started studying what the forest had to offer in terms of ingredients.
In 2014 he established his own company, called The Sioux Chef, and later published a cookbook about decolonizing the American kitchen with the help of indigenous dishes. Such an inspiring story!

Chef Sean Sherman, known as The Sioux Chef, shines a light on Indigenous cuisine and Native American ingredients.

To fully decolonize the kitchen, he leaves things like dairy, wheat flour, cane sugar, beef, pork, and chicken off the menu.


His vision comes to life at Owamni, the restaurant he opened in Minneapolis and won a James Beard Award for earlier this year.


“If we can control our food, we can control our future. It’s an exciting time to be Indigenous because we can use all of the teachings from our ancestors, and apply them to the modern world.”


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