Indigenous Cuisine from Around the World
About This Project
“IndigeNOW! Presents Indigenous Cuisine from Around the World” is an in-person annual international Indigenous culinary festival/trade show to showcase Indigenous chefs and Indigenous food producers from around the world and to promote buying Indigenous and hiring Indigenous in the culinary industry.
The time has arrived for an annual international Indigenous culinary showcase event that will serve as a trade show in the context of a contemporary, sophisticated Indigenous setting. Such an event will provide workshops, cooking demonstrations, tasting meals, panel discussions, book signings, media panels, employment opportunities and more.
Why This is Important
Indigenous diets have been wracked by the destruction of many Indigenous food sources and the imposition of colonial foodstuffs, often laden with sugar and calories and fats, such as American Indian fry bread, which is little more than flour and lard and has been criticized by numerous Indigenous chefs as well as tribal healthy departments and other health and wellness organizations. Indigenous chefs and food producers and tribal health departments in the United States and around the world are decolonizing Indigenous diets and restoring food sovereignty.
Past, Present and Future Events
- Zimbabwe Chef Mhlelusizo Ncube—Zoom presentation to Indigenous culinary students at Navajo Technical University, Crownpoint, New Mexico
- Freddie Bitsoie, then-Executive Chef Mitsitam Cafe, National Museum of the American Indian—Zoom presentation to virtual conference “Our Food Our Heritage, Our Future”, Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe Chef Mhlelusizo Ncube—in person visit to New Mexico
- worked with Native American students at SIPI (Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute, a tribal college) to create a Zimbabwe corn dish that was served at the reception hosted by SIPI
- meeting with the Zimbabwean community in NM
- meeting with Native American chef Lois Ellen Frank
- meeting with Acoma farmer and Seedkeeper Aaron Lowden
- meeting with Kenya chef Ahmed Obo at his restaurant, Jambo, in Santa Fe
- meeting with the directors of institutions in Santa Fe about possible joint projects with Zimbabwean counterparts
- meeting with educators about possible educational exchanges with Zimbabwean and other international counterparts
- reception and Zimbabwean cooking demonstration hosted by the Black Leadership Council of NM
- live interview with the Voice of America Zimbabwe desk
2023 Plan – In-Person Events
- Zimbabwe Chef Mhlelusizo Ncube—in person visit to New Mexico
- presentations, workshops and cooking demonstrations on Indigenous cuisine and reclaiming food sovereignty to Indigenous restaurateurs, chefs, food producers and culinary students in New Mexico and the Navajo Nation and beyond
- promotion and marketing of Indigenous foods and cookbooks from the chef’s country
- meet with economic development, tourism, and agricultural officials—tribal, city, county, state; foundations—regarding economic benefits that participation in IndigeNOW! can offer Indigenous chefs and food producers, tourism, etc
- dinner for donors, prepared by the Indigenous chef and focusing on Indigenous foods and techniques with a representative from the embassy of Zimbabwe as a guest of honor
- Similar events are planned for the partner chefs in 2023-2024
2024 Plan – Continued Success
Building on the culinary events and collaborative organizational experience gained in years 1-3, IndigeNow!, its Indigenous advisory board, and investors will launch the first annual IndigeNOW!—an Indigenous culinary festival and trade show
- showcasing Indigenous chefs and Indigenous food producers from around the world
- promoting Buy Indigenous, Hire Indigenous in the culinary industry
Meet Our Chefs
Enoch, Alberta, Canada
Shane Mederic Chartrand of the Enoch Cree Nation is at the forefront of the re-emergence of Indigenous cuisine in North America. Raised in Central Alberta, Canada, where he learned to respect food through raising livestock, hunting, and fishing on his family’s land, Chartrand relocated to Edmonton as a young man to pursue culinary training. In 2015, Chartrand was invited to participate in the prestigious international chef contingent of Cook it Raw, and has since compete on Chopped Canada. Currently, Chartrand is the Executive Chef at the acclaimed SC restaurant at the River Cree Resort & Casino in Enoch, Alberta, where he transforms his diverse influences and experiences into culinary art.
Santos Canel is a Kaqchiquel Maya native of Guatemala. He has 20 years’ experience in the restaurant industry and as a culinary instructor and investigator in the Maya communities around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. He designed and implemented the first culinary certificate program on Lake Atitlan, and has had the privilege of researching and compiling La Ruta del Sabor, the first book of recipes from the Maya villages of Atitlan. In addition, through the training workshops he has led in the Maya communities, he has had the privilege of getting to know first-hand the rich culinary abundance of Indigenous Guatemala. He is a strong proponent of reintroducing indigenous foods into the modern Mayan diet for the tremendous nutritional benefits that many of the Native Mayanative foods provide. He has had several of his own restaurants, the most recent of which is Café La Puerta, where he is able to explore Guatemala’s culinary traditions and fuse them with other international cuisines.
Atilano Hernández de la Rosa
Chef Hernández de la Rosa was born on June 12, 1980, in the Yokot’an-Maya town of Nacajuca, Tabasco Mexico. The objectives of Chef Atilano Hernández de la Rosa and the Yokok’ux Ancestral Flavor restaurant are rescuing Indigenous gastronomy, preserving the Yokot’an-Maya Indigenous language, and bringing Yokot’an-Maya culture and traditions to the world. Culinaria Mexicana, the gastronomic portal of Mexico, has selected the Yokok’ux Ancestral Flavor restaurant as one of the five restaurants that highlight Indigenous cuisine in Mexico.
Gordon Bronitsky, PhD
Bronitsky and Associates/IndigeNOW!
216 Edith SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Cell: +1 505 238 3739
El Roi Cafe
616 Lomas NW Ste A
Albuquerque NM 87102
Join Our Email List
Our mission is simple – to work with Indigenous artisans and performers to promote their incredible contributions to our world. We welcome you to join us as we enrich cultural understanding and diversity through workshops, events and festivals. (You can also use this form to update your existing information or be removed from our list.)