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The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen
The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen.jpg
Author Sean Sherman, Beth Dooley
Country United States
Language English
Subject Native American cuisine
Genre Cookbook
Publisher University of Minnesota Press
Publication date
October 2017
Media type Book
Pages 240
ISBN 978-0-8166-9979-7 (1ed, hardcover)

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen is a recipe book written by Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley, published by the University of MN Press in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sean Sherman is an Oglala Lakota chef who was born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and is currently based in South Minneapolis. Sherman will be opening an indigenous cuisine restaurant within the Water Works park development project overlooking Saint Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, due to open in 2019.

The cookbook advocates use of Native American cuisine, indigenous ingredients and ancestral culinary techniques as a way to return to healthy collective eating habits and reduce the incidence of diabetes and other health issues which are endemic on Indian reservations and among Native people.


Recipes are grouped by where the ingredients are obtained, including 'Fields and Gardens', 'Prairies and Lakes' and 'The Indigenous Pantry.' Informative sidebars cover topics ranging from the difference between terminology, to ingredient information, to the noble way to hunt. Commonly-held information such as the Three Sisters ingredients of corn, beans and squash; and the unique, crucial aspects of hominy is enhanced with additional science/cooking/diet aspects based on Sherman's extensive research.

Sherman researched the foods and cooking methods extensively, using published sources as well as personal interviews with family members and others in his tribe in Pine Ridge, and principles of ethnobotany. The food-related disruptions of colonialism - including the additions of white flour, sugar, dairy and fat - are stripped away, replaced by food that utilizes regional ingredients to create an empowering diet.


While the health issues facing Native people are extensively researched solutions are less clear. Many groups have tackled the problems before with limited success, and for some the idea of returning to original eating habits is unrealistic. Nevertheless, the facts speaking to the misfit between government-issued foods and the genetic disposition of Native people is clear. The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen joins a decades-long, growing movement including cookbooks such as Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions written by husband/wife team Fernando Divina and Marlene Divina and published by Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian when it opened in 2004 and Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories and Recipes from the Upper Midwest by Heid E. Erdrich in 2013. Other parts of the movement include the 2006 television series called Seasoned With Spirit: A Native Cook’s Journey with Loretta Barrett Oden, organizations like Native Seeds/SEARCH and the International Institute of Indigenous Science-Indigenous Permaculture, health systems focused on Native populations, and various groups focusing on sustainable agriculture such as the USDA and the Land Stewardship Project.

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