Lakota chef is ‘helping bring a Native American food culture into the modern world’
Before there was fry bread, there were sage, white pine, chokecherries and wild buffalo.
Before Europeans unloaded wheat and sugar cane and introduced beef to Turtle Island, Natives hunted and fished. They planted potatoes, squash and corn, and they flavored their food with purslane, rose hips and dandelion.
That traditional diet, or what Chef Sean Sherman calls the “pre-colonization diet,” is the bedrock for a new restaurant set to open this fall in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Sherman, who is Oglala Lakota, plans to use only indigenous foods in the restaurant, which he has appropriately named The Sioux Chef.
“I’m not using any European ingredients,” he said. “Everyone knows what meat was here, but I was interested in the other things—how they dried corn and squash; how they ground things into flour; and all the beans, berries, wildflowers and tree fruits. There are plenty of flavors to play with.”
This sounds pretty awesome.