The United States is a country of many cultures and food traditions. However, the traditions of the land’s indigenous ancestors have largely been forgotten. Sean Sherman, an award-winning chef, is the CEO and Founder of The Sioux Chef, an organization committed to helping us rediscover Native American culture and history, using food. He and his team prepare local, traditional foods, using ancient cooking techniques, in an effort to re-introduce Native American cuisine to his own community and to the world. His work is about more than food, clearly. It is provocative, reminding us of the past, and present, oppression of indigenous people.
Our conversation covers the intersection of food, culture, and history. We discuss what inspires Sean’s work and why he believes it’s critical to preserve ancient ways. Today, Sean leads us to encounter the lost world of indigenous food wisdom.
- Sean’s stories and experience about growing up in South Dakota
- Sean’s first experiences with native foods
- why we can’t afford to lose the wisdom of ancestral agriculture, permaculture, and eating
- the rich food culture of Native Americans
- how he’s combined his love for food with his love for his ancestry
- why he started “The Sioux Chef” organization and its purpose
- why it’s important to get healthy and get indigenous foods out there
- how he won the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award
- how he hopes to re-acquaint a people with their lost traditions
- how he is restoring his people’s health with pre-colonial, geographically-appropriate eating
- some startling statistics about Native American land grabs
- Sean’s favorite, delicious indigenous meals
- why education is a powerful tool when it comes to restoring ancestral wisdom