Rear Adm. Michael Weahkee

The American Indian College Fund is bringing back its Epicurean Award to Support Scholars (EATSS) fundraising event to New York City on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. The evening will feature four renowned Indigenous chefs who will prepare some of their favorite recipes.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and sample dishes prepared by the chefs. The four Indigenous chefs are: Chef Stephanie “Pyet” DeSpain, Chef Crystal Wahpepah, Chef Elena Terry, and Chef Freddie Bitsoie.

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Chef Pyet (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is a Native American and Mexican American award-winning private chef and the first winner of Gordon Ramsay’s new televison show, Next Level Chef. As a culinary student, Pyet says she struggled to find her identity in the curriculum as traditional Indigenous recipes were missing. She featured some of her Indigenous recipes on Next Level Chef causing Ramsay to say he loved her frybread.

Chef Crystal (Kickapoo Nation of Oklahoma Sac and Fox) is the owner and executive chef of Wahpepah’s Kitchen in Oakland, Calif. Crystal understands the deep and powerful role that food has in our lives and uses it as a bridge to connect others with Native issues that are important to her and Wahpepah’s Kitchen. Wahpepah is a James Beard Award finalist for Emerging Chef with best new restaurant of the Bay Area of 2022.

Chef Elena (Ho-Chunk Nation) is the executive chef/founder of community outreach catering organization Wild Bearies, which services individuals recovering from alcohol and drug abuse or emotional traumas. Elena emphasizes the healing nature of working with traditional Indigenous ingredients while building community. Terry started the Honoring our Farmers, Foragers, Growers and Producers tours, which crosses the nation and honors Native producers in-person. Terry is also a butcher and wild game specialist.

Chef Freddie (Diné) is the owner of FJBits Concepts, a firm that specializes in Native American foodways. In addition to being considered one of the leading Native food educators in the country, he is also the former Executive Chef of The Mitsitam Native Foods Café, and his first cookbook, New Native Kitchens, is a 2021 best-seller. Originally a student of anthropology and archeology, Chef Bitsoie was drawn to food during an archeology course when studying the people from Chaco Canyon and what they ate. Freddie’s realistic (and delicious!) perspective is that it is better to center on indigenous ingredients instead of ever-evolving food trends.

In addition to learning more about our chefs and what inspires them, American Indian College Fund scholarship recipients will address some of the most pressing topics affecting Indian Country today.

Redhawk Native American Arts Council  will provide a dance and students from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) selling their handmade artwork and jewelry.

For get your tickets, CLICK HERE

WHAT: Epicurean Award to Support Scholars (EATSS) fundraising event

WHEN: Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

WHERE: The Lighthouse - PierSixty, Chelsea Piers, New York, New York 10011

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