Chef of ‘best new restaurant in the U.S.’ to discuss ‘The (R)evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America’ Oct. 4

Part of URI’s fall Honors Colloquium

KINGSTON, R.I. – Sept. 27, 2022 – Chef, restaurateur and indigenous food advocate Sean Sherman will present at the 2022 University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium Tuesday, Oct. 4, on “The (R)evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America.” A member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, Sherman was born and raised in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Cooking in kitchens across the U.S. and Mexico for over 30 years, Sherman is renowned nationally and internationally in the culinary movement of Indigenous foods, focusing on the revitalization and evolution of Indigenous food systems throughout North America and showcasing Native American cuisine in today’s world.

Sherman will speak at 7 p.m. at Edwards Hall on the Kingston Campus and online, as part of the fall Honors Colloquium, “Just Good Food,” which will be presented in person and streamed live (video links available on the day of each event, at the link above).

In 2014, Sherman opened The Sioux Chef in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota. He and his business partner, Dana Thompson, also opened the Tatanka Truck, featuring 100% pre-contact foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories. In 2017, he and his team presented the first decolonized dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in Manhattan. His first book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, received a James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook and was chosen as one of the top 10 cookbooks of the year by the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Smithsonian magazine. Sherman has also received a Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation and an Ashoka Fellowship; he currently serves on the leadership committee of the foundation’s Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.

Last year, Sherman and Thompson opened Owamni, Minnesota’s first full-service Indigenous restaurant, featuring healthy Indigenous food and drinks. Owamni received the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant this June.

Sherman and his team have made it their mission to help educate and make Indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible through their nonprofit, North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems, and its accompanying Indigenous Food Lab professional kitchen and training center. Working to address the economic and health crises affecting Native communities by re-establishing Native foodways, the kitchen and Indigenous lab imagines a new North American food system that generates wealth and improves health in Native communities through food-related enterprises.

The URI Honors Colloquium is the University’s premier lecture series. Hosted by the University’s Honors Program, this university-wide educational forum is open to the public. This year’s free lecture series will bring several experts to the Kingston Campus to examine local and global food systems, examining ways to create equitable, sustainable and resilient food systems, on Tuesday evenings through Dec. 13; also online. Learn more about the fall colloquium.