Honoring my ancestors through food is one way I remain connected to my culture. So being asked to participate in the first ever Native Chef Competition, in the mountains of Idyllwild, CA was an honor. I was blessed to meet one of my mentors, Chef Loretta Barrett Oden (Potawatomi), who validated that I am on the right path, and I was excited to work alongside two well known Native chefs, Chef Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota) on the left, and Chef Freddie Bitsoi (Navajo). Chef Sherman and Chef Bitsoi made incredibly tasty dishes showcasing indigenous foods using ingredients such as duck, salmon, blue corn, and squash. As the only vegetarian of the group, I was looking forward to showcasing my beloved plant relatives! I prepared a savory dish of Pawi and Wild Greens, which went over well and can be found on my Cocotzin's Kitchen tab.
It was a great weekend creating new food memories as well as remembering old ones.