NTU Culinary Arts Students Prepare Indigenous Cuisine at Fundraiser for American Indian College Fund

Navajo Technical University culinary arts students, Angelena Sheppard (Left) and Lucinda Begay (center) were invited to prepare Indigenous foods at the AICF fundraiser. Chef Brian Tatsukawa was their chaperone.

Published October 23, 2019

DENVER — Navajo Technical University Culinary Arts students Jucinda Begay and Angelena Sheppard attended an annual fundraiser sponsored by the American Indian College Fun known as the Denver Epicurean Award to Support Students (E.A.T.S.S.). Begay prepared blue corn tamales with rabbit while Shepard made a traditional Navajo cake for the event that was held September 17th at the Mile High Station in Denver, CO.  NTU is the only tribal college or university with a culinary arts program that is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

“Events like these help expose our students to the bigger picture of our industry that includes interacting with guests so they may share the stories behind their dishes,” said NTU Culinary Arts instructor Brian Tatsukawa about his students preparing the food at the fundraiser. “Another perk is that our students often receive job offers from other chefs during these events.”

Denver E.A.T.S.S. assembled some of the more renowned chefs in the region and invited culinary arts students from NTU and Lac Courte Ojibwe Community College from Hayward, WI. Overall the fundraiser introduced everyone who attended the event to learn about the variety of Indigenous cultures and the foods from each tribal nation.

Each year the American Indian College Fund (AICF) schedules events to raise money toward scholarships for American Indian students attending a tribal college or university.  Denver E.A.T.S.S. was a promotion to share food and culture through the revitalization of Native American food.

Navajo Technical University’s Culinary Arts students will participate in three more fundraising events this semester according to Chef Tatsukawa. The next event for the students will take place in Minneapolis, MN and will feature Chef Sean Sherman. The other two events will take place in Seattle, WA and New York City, NY. To learn more about NTU’s ACF accredited Culinary Arts program, contact Chef Tatsukawa at btatsukawa@navajotech.edu or call (505) 786-4100.

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