Sean Sherman, the mind (and hands) behind The Sioux Chef in Minneapolis, has a cookbook hitting shelves this month.
He also (finally) has a restaurant space. This is important. The restaurant will anchor the new pavilion at St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge, but it’s more than that: As the site of Minneapolis’ first mills, this is more or less where the city was born. It is also a sacred site of peace for the Dakota and Anishinaabe people, known as Owamni Yamni, the “Place of Whirlpools.”
Sherman’s Tatanka Truck has been rolling around Twin Cities streets for a few years, and The Sioux Chef has catered countless local/regional events, but the brick-and-mortar will allow the chef (and his team, of course) to take things to the next level.
“We are a team of Anishinaabe, Mdewakanton Dakota, Navajo, Northern Cheyenne, Oglala Lakota, Wahpeton-Sisseton Dakota and are ever growing. We are chefs, ethnobotanists, food preservationists, adventurers, foragers, caterers, event planners, artists, musicians, food truckers and food lovers…”
Much to be excited about the upcoming restaurant. We all are. But until the doors open (sometime in 2019) and we can sit down to enjoy Sherman’s modern twist on indigenous cuisine (items like rabbit and venison and freshwater fish, turnips, blueberries, roasted corn, fiddlehead ferns…), his first cookbook, created with noted local chef/writer Beth Dooley, will give us a taste of things to come.
That we can make in our own kitchens.
It’s an underrepresented cuisine from an underrepresented culture. It’s using what our fertile lands had to offer originally, untouched by science and “progress.”
But, surprisingly or not at all, it’s also a new (well, actually pretty ancient), different (better?) way to eat that fits snugly into current trends and mindsets: “Artisan” and “organic” food is all the rage. Labels abound. Sherman’s cooking ditches Western mainstays like wheat, dairy, and refined sugar in favor of natural ingredients that just may redefine eating in America.
Or at least Minnesota.
The book is due everywhere October 10. This is a good day for Twin Cities eats, as it’s also the day Market House Collaborative is supposed to open its doors.
The book release party, hosted by Sherman and Dooley, will take place October 18 at the Aster Cafe on St. Anthony Main. Learn more about the event, and RSVP, here: Book launch for The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen