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Five Indigenous celebrity chefs will prepare traditional Indigenous dishes for the American Indian College Fund's EATSS event (Epicurean Award to Support Scholars) scheduled for the evening of April 30 at the Lighthouse Pier in New York City.

During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to admire original Native artwork crafted by students from the Institute of American Indian Arts, showcasing a diverse range of media and styles. 

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Guests will be able to indulge in a meal prepared by some of the nation's top Native chefs, including Chef Sherry Pocknett, recipient of the prestigious 2023 James Beard Award. 

"Fourteen thousand years later and we're still here,” Pocknett said in a press release. “It's our responsibility to nurture and protect the planet. My aim is not to commodify culture but to share our way of life and educate others on the importance of environmental stewardship.”  

Adding depth to the evening’s program, Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, will lead a three-generation dialogue alongside her daughter and granddaughter. The discussion will highlight how higher education has been a catalyst for personal transformation and community empowerment within their tribal contexts.

“I am deeply aware that our young people need our love and support in order to overcome the many challenges they encounter,” Crazy Bull said in a statement. “Our Native children and youth, and indeed, all young people, deserve to see themselves in positive ways. I look forward to sharing the stage with my daughter and granddaughter for a three-generation discussion on the impact of their transformative college on their lives and the role it plays in positively changing our tribal communities.”

The evening will end with a live concert by Native musician Raye Zaragoza, whose music resonates with themes of compassion, justice, and the beauty of everyday moments. Zaragoza was honored with the Rising Tide Award at the 2021 International Folk Music Awards. She is known for her powerful songs that celebrate women of color and advocate for social justice causes.

Here is a list of the featured chefs that will be attending the NYC EATTS Event:

Chef Sherry Pocknett (Mashpee Wampanoag): Pocknett brings her Indigenous heritage and culinary expertise to the forefront, specializing in the Bounty of the Season, Native American indigenous food, and New England cooking. Raised with a deep appreciation for tradition by her parents, Bernadine and Vernon, who instilled in her the values of Wampanoag culture, Sherry's passion for food and education is evident in her work. As the first Indigenous woman to win a James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast in 2023, Chef Sherry is the proud owner of Sly Fox Den restaurant and is expanding with a second location, Sly Fox Den Too.

Chef Bradley Dry (Cherokee): With over 12 years in the restaurant industry, Dry is dedicated to crafting traditional Cherokee dishes using wholesome, locally sourced ingredients. His heartfelt cooking aims to foster happiness and community, whether at special events like Pow Wows or in his future restaurant, Elisi, named after the Cherokee word for grandmother.

Chef Anthony Bauer (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa): Bauer, an Economic & Workforce Specialist with the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, brings over 25 years of culinary experience to the table. Inspired by his family's love for food and tradition, Chef Bauer combines traditional ingredients with contemporary flair at his restaurant, Traditional Fire Custom Cuisine, aiming to inspire Native youth to explore the culinary field.

Chef Andrea Condes (Murdoch): Condes, an Andean chef and entrepreneur, channels her experiences into Four Directions Cuisine, emphasizing local and indigenous sourcing while preserving traditional knowledge. Through food menus, workshops, and speeches, Chef Condes seeks to dismantle colonial perspectives and make a positive impact in local and national communities.

Chef Ben Jacobs (Osage): Jacobs is a nationally renowned chef and co-founder of Tocabe, An American Indian Eatery, which showcases Osage family recipes in a modern context. With a commitment to supporting Native American food professionals and communities, Chef Jacobs' restaurants have garnered acclaim from esteemed publications and media outlets nationwide, solidifying Tocabe's position as the country's largest Native American restaurant chain.

 

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About The Author
Kaili Berg
Author: Kaili BergEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Staff Reporter
Kaili Berg (Aleut) is a member of the Alutiiq/Sugpiaq Nation, and a shareholder of Koniag, Inc. She is a staff reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. Berg, who is based in Wisconsin, previously reported for the Ho-Chunk Nation newspaper, Hocak Worak. She went to school originally for nursing, but changed her major after finding her passion in communications at Western Technical College in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.