The Sioux Chef: An Indigenous Kitchen.


I know I have been asking half the world of people lately, and yes, here I am again, asking. This too, is important. Chef Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge rez, wants to change a serious absence in the food scene. Where’s all the Indigenous food? Traditionally based indigenous food is delicious, healthy, and sustainable. This also marks a great potential for so many Indigenous kids, who are looking more and more to traditional foods, and would like to be able to earn a living cooking, doing what they love. The kickstarter for the restaurant is so close, so very close. If you have a few bucks, please become a backer in this most important venture. (Oh yeah, I’m a backer. I want travel over and eat, so gotta make this happen.)

There is a great deal of information at the site, so I’ll just include a bit here, but I’m putting up lots of photos of amazing, delicious food. Foooooooooood. If you haven’t eaten Indigenous food, seriously, you are so missing out. If we can get one Native restaurant up and running, others will happen. So please visit, and back if you can. If you can’t, please signal boost, spread the word everywhere!


The Sioux Chef – An Indigenous Kitchen

Culture is the weave that holds people together. At the center of culture is food: This is a sacred element which connects family with neighbors, friends, and distant relatives across generations. In our country, we get to enjoy neighborhood Italian or Chinese restaurants, where patrons re-connect with what was the glue for grandparents and their parents before them. Yet, where are our First Peoples foods and accompanying restaurants? What is the Indigenous cuisine that weaves together and builds our original nations of the Lakota, Ojibwa, Iroquois, or Yurok? How strong can culture be, without our Indigenous foods sustaining us, connecting us to our ancestors?

Today, we have an opportunity to celebrate the historic foods of each North American region, starting with the foods of the Dakota and Ojibwa. Under the guidance of Chef Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Reservation, the first all Indigenous Native American restaurant can become this sacred gathering place.

Our First Nations mastered wild edibles, wild game and fish, and refined heirloom seeds that have been domesticated for centuries. With over 500 tribes across the country, these cultures and their accompanying flavors and food systems were diverse and rich. It is time for The Sioux Chef, an Indigenous Kitchen to become a gathering place for exceptional pre-colonial food, a culinary training center for Native peoples, and a new celebration of our American culture.

Be a part of a new relationship with Indian Country. Sit at our table. Pass a bowl of bison with a chokecherry demi-glaze over wild greens. Drink a cup of cedar tea. We have a new history to write over a beautiful, perfect meal.


The Sioux Chef team wants your help to open the first all Indigenous restaurant featuring the foods of our region, namely the Minnesota and Dakota territories. These are the foods of many great cultures including the Ojibwe, Dakota, Lakota, Hidatsa, Arikara, Mandan, Cheyenne, Crow, Arapaho, Winnebago, Ho-Chunk and more!

Chef Sean Sherman is Oglala Lakota and was born on Pine Ridge Reservation in SD, and one day he asked, “Why is it that you can find cuisine from all over the world in our many great cities, but not the food that comes from right under our feet, the food that is Native to our regions and the Indigenous Peoples?” We want to change that and we want you to help us redefine Native American Foods for the modern world!

Chef Sean after teaching Indigenous Food Systems to youth from 51 Tribal Nations...

Chef Sean after teaching Indigenous Food Systems to youth from 51 Tribal Nations…


Chef Sean and the Tatanka Truck, MN's only all Indigenous food truck!

Chef Sean and the Tatanka Truck, MN’s only all Indigenous food truck!


Rabbit, Wild Rice, and Cedar getting ready for a long stew...

Rabbit, Wild Rice, and Cedar getting ready for a long stew…


Native Tart: Sunflower Cake, Berry Sauce, Fresh Berries, Honey Dried Squash.

Native Tart: Sunflower Cake, Berry Sauce, Fresh Berries, Honey Dried Squash.


Spring Spruce Tips and Wild Ramps.

Spring Spruce Tips and Wild Ramps.


Maple + Hominy Cake, Cedar-Corn Broth, Smoked Trout, Sorrel.

Maple + Hominy Cake, Cedar-Corn Broth, Smoked Trout, Sorrel.


Acorn & Honey Cakes, Dried Apple, Chokecherry Sauce.

Acorn & Honey Cakes, Dried Apple, Chokecherry Sauce.


Red Lake Walleye, Rosehip Sauce, Sorrel, Corn Broth.

Red Lake Walleye, Rosehip Sauce, Sorrel, Corn Broth.


Sioux Chef team Member Tashia Hart, Culinary Ethnobotonist.

Sioux Chef team Member Tashia Hart, Culinary Ethnobotonist.

I could keep going here, there are many more photos, much more information, articles, and videos! Foodies everywhere, unite and spread the word! Pilamayaye.

THE SIOUX CHEF: A Native American Restaurant

Check out the website, too, and the amazing community involved.


  1. says

    Really? I guess the Great Sioux Nation sees it differently, and an Oglala Sioux (Lakota) chef sees it differently too. :shrug:

    We got stuck with ‘Sioux’ a long time ago, and it’s what is most recognizable to most non-Indians. Really, I don’t see anything wrong, because if it can make people become more familiar, to help them learn, to go from sous to Sioux, it’s all good. But I guess some people are going to settle with “wow, bad pun” and wander off. Thanks for the scintillating input.

  2. Raucous Indignation says

    Caine, I’m feeling you, but most puns are bad. That food on the other hand looks righteous.

  3. screechymonkey says

    FYI, there was a segment on this project on the most recent episode of the America’s Test Kitchen podcast.

  4. says

    Raucous Indignation:

    That food on the other hand looks righteous.

    Oh yeah. I want to be able to reach into the screen…


    FYI, there was a segment on this project on the most recent episode of the America’s Test Kitchen podcast.

    Thanks! I can’t watch podcasts, it costs me too much money which I don’t have.

  5. stellatree says

    Wow, the food looks delicious! I didn’t know you could eat spruce tips. Trying to imagine the flavors of the rabbit, wild rice and cedar is making me hungry.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Looks tasty. The Redhead is up to all cuisines.

    Caine, OK to link to Cooking with Wolfman? Native cuisine with a modern twist?

  7. Ice Swimmer says

    The ingredients seem a mixture of familiar, cousins of familiar and unfamiliar. The presentation is delicious.

    stellatree @ 6

    Yes, you can eat them, you can even drink them, they are also known here on the other side of the Atlantic, a company makes a beverage for festive occasions (i.e. non-alcoholic alternative to Champagne) from them, IMHO the best of its kind, much better than the stuff made from blackcurrant leaves, apples or cranberries.

  8. chigau (違う) says

    I love the presentation.
    Country food as haute cuisine.
    and I totally missed the pun

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Thanks Caine.
    Wolfman was trained in French cooking, but has been adapting the techniques to classic native American cuisine. He has cooked for state dinners in Ottawa. His guests typically prepare the bannock for the meals.
    Cooking with the Wolfman web site.
    Seen, as far as I know, on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) and FNX (First Nations Experience). In my area, it’s on FNX via a PBS subchannel, carried by my cable company. I see via Google that there is a Native American TeleVision network, but I have no idea of any affiliation.

  10. screechymonkey says

    Caine @5,

    ATK’s podcast is free (and also airs on certain public radio stations, I believe). Available for download here

  11. says


    ATK’s podcast is free

    Thanks, but that’s not what I meant. I’m on a 10gig a month datacap, and videos and podcasts have to be severely limited, because they push me straight over that limit in not time, and you would not believe what verizon charges for overages.

  12. Kengi says

    Yeah, I’d like that. When I lived in Chicago I wondered why we didn’t have a Native restaurant. I knew of a good Kazakhstani breakfast place. I had a favorite place for a Nepalese and Northern Indian lunch buffet. You never just went out for Chinese, but went for the food from the specific province.

    But no Native places that I knew of.

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    Caine: It’s a damn good pun. People who call puns bad are the ones who can’t make them ;-). I still fondly remember some great pun exchanges over at Chris Clarke’s old place. One was about cheese, another about ancient middle eastern history…good times.

    Anyway, food…I’m sad to say that cooking bores me, but I’d been looking forward to retirement so I could grow some of my own. One of the methods that really fascinates me is common to a lot of First Nations people; the Three Sisters. I reckoned the Haudenosaunee version would best suit my area (Southern Ontario). Unfortunately, it turns out my knee and back preclude garden work, but that would have been a great way to spend my autumn years.

  14. says

    Rob @ 17:

    The three sisters works great! The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux have a great garden going, Wozupi Tribal Gardens.

    Don’t let crumbling body bits stop you! I have a crumbling back, and can’t do the hours of bending anymore, so raised beds it is! They are great, can be done to custom height, and they can be done on the cheap, too. Especially cheap is picking up hard plastic kiddie pools, drill a few holes, put those suckers up, and there you go. You can stand, or take a stool / chair out, and sit to get your garden on.

  15. says

    The pun is brilliant!! (reminds me of a friend who wanted to open a place called “The saucier’s apprentice”)

    I am droooooling. That looks amazing.
    Bison with chokecherry demi-glaze? (whines)

    With respect to ATK: I am not much of a fan. Most of their recipes are pointers to their website, which is paywalled. Admittedly, the recipes are generally great (though sometimes I think they force the user through too many unnecessary steps just because they can) The podcast is basically a great big teaser for the site. I get the paper version “Cooks” illustrated instead. I’m also a little nonplussed to hear the podcast start off with a plug for blueapron. Considering that ATK is sort of the antithesis of blueapron…

    I can’t watch podcasts, it costs me too much money which I don’t have

    I know someone who travels a lot and is often in hotels with loads of bandwidth, who would totally not mind downloading a ton of podcasts and sticking them on a USB stick. Actually, I probably have 100+gb of podcasts in my archive already… I may already have all of ATK. (whistles innocently) The hard drive space, costs keep going down, I can’t control myself.

  16. rq says

    This looks amazing -- and some of the best puns are the really, really cringe-worth ones, so I think ‘Sioux Chef’ is 100% a win. I love it. The food intrigues me, and if they ever end up publishing a do-it-yourself-friendly recipe book (because obv. for the fancy stuff as pictured here, it would still be worth going out), I would buy it for attempting at home.

  17. says


    “The saucier’s apprentice”

    I would so go there.

    Bison with chokecherry demi-glaze? (whines)

    I am whining with you. But cake first. Sunflower cake. Acorn cake. Caaaaaaaaaake. with wojapi.

  18. says

    Rob @ 23:

    “Sommelier is icumen in”.

    Now that is bloody brilliant! Most people wouldn’t get it, but I do, and I love it.

  19. Rob Grigjanis says

    Caine @24: I’ve read enough of your comments over the years to be pretty damned sure you’d get it. Thanks.

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but the Sioux Chef Cookbook will be out in 2017

    I’ll have to make a note somewhere as the Redhead and a couple of her friends would be interested.

  21. dakotagreasemonkey says

    Caine #7: You have had my spruce tip wheat beer, so you know. 1 pound of fresh spring spruce tips, harvested right after they lose their bud cap, soft as an eye make-up brush, added to a 5 gallon boil at the 5 minute mark. Three times I have made that beer, always gets rave reviews.
    Wild plum I have growing in the yard, still too young to produce, 2 had a few flowers this year, but not enough bees. wild plum are almost ready to harvest at places I have permission to get them.
    I have already harvested 9 pounds of chokecherries. 5 pounds to make a Choke Cherry Stout. It’s an all-out competition between the birds and people to get the chokecherries. Wait one day because you’re too busy, and they are gone.
    In the video, I saw the Fiddlehead Fern used in the Souix Chefs dishes. When at boy scout summer camp one year in Southern California when I was 12 or 13 we were assigned foraged foods to gather and cook for an evenings meal. I got Fiddlehead Fern. They grew all over the place in that mountain camp. This is a fuzzy memory, but I remember that I boiled them, dumped the water, then sauteed them in butter. I didn’t make enough. Everybody wanted more, and I only got to taste the two heads I tasted to see if they were done enough.
    When I get to the Souix Chefs place, I’ll be sure to order something with them in it. I haven’t been in Fiddlehead country for a long time.

  22. says

    DG @ 29:

    You have had my spruce tip wheat beer, so you know.

    Yep. Very tasty that. You need to make me a spruce root beer that isn’t alcoholic.

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