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Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine

Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine
Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 20:50:06-04

KESHENA (NBC 26) — A renowned indigenous chef stopped on the Menominee Reservation Friday to reintroduce native cuisine to the local community.

Chef Sean Sherman is the owner of ‘Owamni by The Sioux Chef’, a well known restaurant in Minneapolis that serves native cooking.

Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine

Sherman’s restaurant has been recognized nationally and globally, recently being honored as 'Best New Restaurant' at the James Beard Awards.

With his expertise, the chef is in Keshena this week to share his delicious creations with people in the area.

“We do a lot of education, training, development, around indigenous food ways and especially working with indigenous food communities to teach them how to make healthy indigenous foods,” Sherman said.

Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine
Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine
Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine

Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Sherman described having only one grocery store on the entire reservation.

“There is very little nutritional access. A lot of us grow up with the commodity food program. Very little nutrition in that situation,” Sherman said.

Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine

Because of his lived experiences, the chef collaborated with the Menominee Nation and hopes to make indigenous food accessible to areas that need it most.

“We’re not trying to cook like it’s 1491. We’re just using the indigenous pantry and just being creative and making a whole bunch of great food. Mostly cutting out European colonial ingredients so there’s no wheat, flour or cane sugar,” Sherman said.

Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine

And for Francisco Alegria, a member of the Menominee Nation who runs an indigenous catering business on the reservation, he said working alongside with someone as prominent as Sherman has been nothing but an amazing experience.

“He’s really helped us open our culinary ideas, and versatility, and how to use this and that more properly,” said Alegria.

Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine

So as indigenous people have a history of rich and innovative food traditions, the two hope to one day see more indigenous restaurants across the nation.

Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine

“There’s indigenous people around the globe, and they all went through the same history of colonialism, and a lot of their culture has been erased and a lot of their foods have been removed. But we can work towards reclamation,” Sherman said.

Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine
Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine

Throughout his visit to the Menominee Reservation, community members learned to prepare and cook a few recipes from the NATIFs.org cookbook.

NATIFS is a non-profit that Sherman started. Click here to learn more.

Sherman also went to the College of Menominee Nation’s Sustainable Development Institute & Menominee UW-Extension to harvest produce and plants.

If you’re interested in tasting some of Sherman’s food, you can attend Saturday’s free community event at Menominee High School. Details are below:

Sean Sherman 'the Sioux Chef' makes a visit to the Menominee Reservation, reintroducing native cuisine

If you’re interested in making the trip to Minneapolis to try Sherman's food, click here for more information.