, 2023-01-10 09:15:00,
Sean Sherman, better known to his fans as “the Sioux Chef”, began hosting pop-up dinners around his adopted hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2012, using foraged ingredients like sunflowers, milkweed and sage. After finessing his craft – and writing a successful cookbook – he finally decided to up the ante, opening Owamni, a modern Indigenous restaurant overlooking the Mississippi River.
The 80-seat establishment, which opened in July 2021 and won the James Beard award for best new restaurant the following year, has a refreshing view of what constitutes upscale fare. There are none of the ribeye steaks or deconstructed crème brûlées that proliferate on top-flight American menus. Instead, you’ll find plates of wild game tartare topped with duck egg aioli and pickled carrots, maple baked beans and chewy wild rice dotted with foraged currants and rosehip. The food served at Owamni – the traditional Indigenous name for the site where the restaurant is located – is made without flour, dairy, cane sugar, pork or any other ingredients that were introduced to the North American continent after Europeans showed up in the 16th century.
According to the US Census Bureau, there were an estimated 24,433 Native American- and Alaska Native-owned businesses in 2018. Sherman grew up on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota and his restaurant is an extension of his philosophy of decolonizing cuisine, which involves learning how to cook the food of his Lakota…
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