The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is part memoir, part cookbook, part promotion for indigenous chefs and food. Chef Sean Sherman is a member of the Oglala Sioux nation and is working to revive indigenous foods, ingredients, and methods of preparing food. He brings his skills learned working as a chef at other restaurants to create some delicious recipes.
I’m ignorant when it comes to indigenous foods. I mentioned this sad fact in a conversation with a friend and she recommended this book to me. It’s changed how I perceived indigenous culinaria and also how I view the foods and recipes I cook.
Several characteristics stood out to me after reading the book and recipes. A vast majority of the recipes are naturally vegan or could be adapted to be so. There’s no dairy and the only eggs that are used are duck. The meats are from elk, bison, venison, pheasants, game hens, etc. The basic grains used are corn, amaranth, and wild rice which are all gluten free. Basically, if one were to eat more indigenous foods not only would you be naturally eating locally, you would also be eating seasonally.
Reading this book has sparked my interest to read more about indigenous food. I’m already seeing how some of the ingredients from Mr. Sherman’s recipes appear similarly in dishes from American cookbooks. I’d like to challenge myself to eat more indigenously or at least highlight more indigenous ingredients into my diet.