Native chef gives culinary workshop in D4

Christopher Lomahquahu

Gila River Indian News



Gila River Indian Community members attended a workshop with a Native chef known for his innovative approach to healthy cooking. The Gila River Nutrition Coalition invited Sean Sherman to the Community for a cooking workshop at the District 4 Multipurpose Facility on Jan. 21.


Sherman is the owner of a self-startup catering business called The Sioux Chef, which serves the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. Born on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, he is of Oglala Lakota descent. Sherman has focused his culinary skills on bridging the gap between traditional food systems in a modern context. 


“The workshop was designed to benefit staff and Community members, who want to expand their knowledge of cooking nutritious Native foods,” said Lynn Lane, Community Health Nutrition Program Nutritionist. 


Cooks from Casa Blanca Community School, Gila River Health Care, Elderly Nutrition, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Community Health Nutrition, and individual Community members, were present to take part in the cooking workshop. 


On the menu was a three-bean turkey red chili stew, hominy, corn polenta with roasted jalapenos, squash with pesto sauce; salad with plum and toasted wheat berries, wild rice with mushrooms. Each was either made with ingredients made from Ramona Farms products or was supplied by Sherman. 


At the heart of the cooking workshop the ingredients used were Ki:Kam Huun, Stotoah Bavi, S-oam Bavi, Huun Haak Chu’I, Olas Pilkan, and Kalvash were in keeping with the traditional foods used by the Akimel O’otham. 


Lane said, “We hope to include a history presentation on Native American diets and help motivate participation and retention in tribal programs offering opportunities and support for preventive health care activities, healthy lifestyle choices and self-improvement or personal development.”