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First People's Cuisine: Indigenous Restaurant Moves Forward

The Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman launches Kickstarter.

Sean Sherman outside his food truck.
Sean Sherman outside his food truck.

Tatanka Truck, which serves exclusively First People's cuisine, or pre-contact Native American fare, will soon be a bricks and mortar restaurant, if Chef and owner Sean Sherman gets his wish. Sherman, a Oglala Lakota known as the Sioux Chef, is dedicated to bringing indigenous food to a broad audience. His truck serves a menu void of beef, pork or chicken. Pre-contact food also does not use any dairy, wheat or refined sugars. The menu centers on items like wild edibles, wild game and fish, and refined heirloom seeds like corn, squash and beans. His company, called Sioux Chef, also caters events and teaches classes to indigenous communities.

Now, The Sioux Chef team wants to open an Indigenous restaurant featuring Minnesota and Dakota territories cultures, including the Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota. While Sherman, a Charlie Awards winner, and his partner Dana Thompson look for a space for The Sioux Chef, an Indigenous Kitchen, he and his team have launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raise at least $100,000 toward their goal. The team would like to purchase their own building with space for gardens where they can grow native plants. The Sioux Chef, an Indigenous Kitchen will be a restaurant, a culinary training center for Native peoples, and a new celebration of  American culture, according to their Kickstarter page. The restaurant will feature communal tables, wood ovens and traditional cooking on open comal grills, which are large natural untreated clay griddles, coveted for their slow heat distribution and beautifully seasoned surfaces.

The team is looking for a large space of at least 4000 sq. ft. in order to seat a minimum of 100 people for lunch, dinner, and possibly brunch. They are also looking for a large enough kitchen to facilitate their catering operation and allow for more teaching opportunities.

Kickstarter rewards for backers will include a copy of Sherman’s cookbook, VIP admission to the soft opening, Sioux Chef swag, Indigenous Cooking Class and more. Click here to help The Sioux Chef bricks and mortar come to life. Sherman hopes for a late 2016 or early 2017 opening.