James Beard Foundation Honors The Sioux Chef Founder
Sean Sherman, founder & CEO of The Sioux Chef was one of five honorees for the James Beard Foundation’s 2019 Leadership Awards, a program which spotlights the important and complex realms of sustainability, food justice, and public health
The other honorees are: The Pioneer Valley Workers Center Women’s Collective; Cornelius Blanding, executive director, Federation of Southern Cooperatives; Leah Penniman, co-executive director & program manager, Soul Fire Farm; Sean Sherman, founder & CEO, The Sioux Chef; and Anim Steel, co-founder & executive director, Real Food Generation. Their work will be honored at the 9th annual Leadership Awards ceremony and dinner in Chicago on Sunday, May 5, at The Dalcy, as part of the larger James Beard Awards weekend in Chicago, which includes Chef’s Night Out, various food industry panels and events, and the Restaurant & Chef Awards Gala, on Monday, May 6.
In its write up on Sherman, the foundation said: “Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, focuses on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context, a mission which led him to create the company The Sioux Chef in 2014. Sherman has studied extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, food preservation, regional diversity, Native American migrational histories, along with indigenous culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world. In 2018, Sean co-founded the nonprofit NATIFS (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems), which this year is in the process of opening a not for profit indigenous restaurant and training center called Indigenous Food Lab. His vision is to open Indigenous Food Lab’s in cities across North America with the focus of helping regional indigenous communities to develop healthy community based indigenous food businesses, to help bring much needed economic opportunities, influence healthy culturally appropriate diets, and re-identifying true cuisines of the Americas.”
In 2018, Sherman's book The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, coauthored by Beth Dooley, won the James Beard Award for best book in the American category.