Sean Sherman is a chef on a mission - to reclaim the lost cuisine and food heritage of his Lakota ancestors, and in the process rediscover the lost chapter of indigenous American foodways, and empower a new generation to live their cultural identity through food.
While working as a chef in Mexico, Sherman had his ‘Eureka moment’ when he realised he didn’t know of one single Native American restaurant. Not only that, but he could only list maybe a handful of Lakota recipes that he had learned from his grandparents, while he knew hundreds from the classical French cannon.
This realisation started Sherman on a path that took him into the past to meet his ancestors, along the forest trails and through the oral tradition of his people, to rediscover the sophisticated ingredients, techniques and ecologies of the original inhabitants on North America, which were lost under colonialism and the resulting genocide.
Today Sean is the founder of The Sioux Chef, a group of indigenous American ethnobotanists, food preservationists, adventurers and foragers, committed to revitalising Native American cuisine. After years of fieldwork and research into a lost knowledge base, Sherman and his wife Dana Thompson have opened their first restaurant, Owamni, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Serving Native American-inspired cuisine, Sherman hopes it will become a template to empower other indigenous communities to reclaim their lost food histories, not only in the US but also across the world.