Campus Dining Celebrates Native American Heritage Month, November 15, 2022

Oct. 11, 2022

History of Ancestral Native American Cuisine: Reconnecting to Culture

Join Campus Dining for a special presentation and food tasting!

Square pieces of blue corn bread are stacked on a white rectangular plate. Everything sits on a table with red linens.

Tamaya Santa Ana Pueblo Blue Corn Bread

Photo Credit: © Lois Ellen Frank, LOIS Photography

A white bowl filled with Three Sisters Stew. The stew is a red broth base with pieces of squash, corn, and beans, garnished with cilantro. Blue Corn, No Fry Frybread rests on the side.

Three Sisters Chile Bean Stew

Photo Credit: © Lois Ellen Frank, LOIS Photography

Tuesday, November 15, 2022
1:30–3 p.m.
Frist MPR

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Campus Dining welcomes Native American Chef Walter Whitewater with Chef Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D. of Red Mesa Cuisine.

Presentation begins at 1:30 p.m. followed by a Q&A and food tasting of Three Sisters Chile Bean Stew and Tamaya Santa Ana Pueblo Blue Corn Bread!

Free to attend.

 

 

Chef Walter Whitewater

Chef Walter Whitewater in a black chef's coat, black cowboy hat, and red Grandma's scarf with turquoise..

Chef Walter Whitewater

Photo Credit: Vladimir Chaloupka of VLADFOTO

Walter Whitewater grew up in Pinon, Arizona on the Navajo Nation. He began cooking professionally in 1992 in Santa Fe, New Mexico and worked in many restaurants preparing different cuisines.  He is presently a chef at Red Mesa Cuisine, LLC a Native American Catering company in Santa Fe, specializing in using ancestral Native American ingredients with a modern twist where he cooks with chef Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D. Chef Whitewater worked on the James Beard Award winning cookbook, Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations.

Chef Whitewater has appeared on numerous foods TV Network cooking shows featuring foods of the Southwest and a video (November 2018) on Native American Cuisine from a series entitled “In Real Life” by AJ+.

Together as part of the U.S. State Department and Consulate General’s Culinary Diplomacy Program Chefs Frank and Whitewater traveled to Ukraine (2013), the United Kingdom (2105) and Russia (2016) to teach about the history of Native American foodways, work with food as a form of diplomacy to create dialogue, and educate people on the Native American food contribution shared with the world and how these native foods have influenced many of the foods we now eat every day. The two chefs traveled to Guam to work with the Humanities Guåhan in 2011 on the revitalization of traditional foods with the Chamorros.

Chef Whitewater was the first Native American chef to cook at the James Beard House in New York City. He won the James Lewis Award in 2008 from BCA Global for his work as a Native chef revitalizing Indigenous Cuisine.

Chef Whitewater works with the Physician’s Committee (PCRM) on a program entitled The Power to Heal Diabetes: Food For Life in Indian Country www.nativepowerplate.org that uses the Ancestral Native American diet for health and wellness in Native Communities.

He is very active on using Ancestral and contemporary Native American foods for health and wellness in Native American communities.

 

Chef Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D. 

Chef Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D. is in white chef's coat, holding peppers in one hand while speaking to someone off camera during a cooking class.

Chef Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Photo Credit: Vladimir Chaloupka of VLADFOTO

Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D. is a Santa Fe, New Mexico based Chef, a Native foods historian, culinary anthropologist, educator, James Beard Award winning cookbook author, photographer and organic gardener. She is the chef/owner of Red Mesa Cuisine, LLC, a catering company specializing in Indigenous Native American cuisine and cultural education with a modern twist where she cooks with Native American chef Walter Whitewater (Diné/Navajo). Their mission is to feed the body and nurture the soul. Dr. Frank has spent many years documenting and working with foods of Native American communities in the Southwest culminating in her James Beard Award winning cookbook, Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations.

Together as part of the U.S. State Department and Consulate General’s Culinary Diplomacy Program Chefs Frank and Whitewater traveled to Ukraine (2013), the United Kingdom (2105) and Russia (2016) to teach about the history of Native American foodways, work with food as a form of diplomacy to create dialogue and educate people on the Native American food contribution shared with the world and how these native foods have influenced many of the foods, we now eat every day. The two chefs traveled to Guam to work with the Humanities Guåhan in 2011 on the revitalization of traditional foods and foodways in Guam.

Dr. Frank works with the Physician’s Committee (PCRM) on a program entitled The Power to Heal Diabetes: Food for Life in Indian Country www.nativepowerplate.org that uses the Ancestral Native American diet for health and wellness in Native Communities. For 11 years, she has been a developer and presenter of nutrition education content in partnership with PRCM.

She is a cooking instructor at the Santa Fe School of Cooking and an adjunct professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) where she teaches Native students from tribal communities all over the Americas about Indigenous Concepts of Native American foods and how to prepare healthy Native American dishes for health and wellness and uses the metaphor that “food is our medicine” and the key to future health and wellness in Native communities. She has been working with The Cultural Conservancy, a Native-led organization founded in 1985 with a mission to protect and restore Indigenous cultures, as an advisor, food educator, and chef since 2005 and now serves on the Board of Directors.

In 2020, she was the recipient of the Local Hero Olla Award, which recognizes an exceptional individual for the work they do to create healthy, innovative, vibrant, and resilient local sustainable food systems in New Mexico.

 

About Red Mesa Cuisine

Chefs Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D. and Walter Whitewater (Diné/Navajo) are Santa Fe, New Mexico based chefs at Red Mesa Cuisine, a catering company specializing in Indigenous Cuisine and Cultural Education. Their work focuses on the revitalization of ancestral Native American cuisine with a modern twist using ingredients and preparing foods focused on health and wellness. Together, they have worked with communities in Southwest for over 30 years. This work culminated in the James Beard Award winning cookbook, Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations.

Dr. Frank was the recipient of the Local Hero Olla Award, which recognizes an exceptional individual for the work they do to create healthy, innovative, vibrant, and resilient local sustainable food systems in New Mexico. Chef Whitewater was one of the first Native American chefs to cook at the James Beard House in New York City and the recipient of the James Lewis Award from BCA Global for his work as a native chef.

Together as part of the U.S. State Department and Consulate General’s Culinary Diplomacy Program they traveled to Ukraine (2013), the United Kingdom (2105) and Russia (2016) to teach about the history of Native American foodways, work with food as a form of diplomacy to create dialogue and educate people on the Native American food contribution shared with the world and how these native foods have influenced many of the foods we now eat every day. They also traveled to Guam (2011) to work with the Humanities Guåhan on the revitalization of traditional foods and foodways in Guam.

Dr. Chef Frank and Chef Whitewater work with the Physician’s Committee (PCRM) on a program entitled The Power to Heal Diabetes: Food for Life in Indian Country www.nativepowerplate.org that uses the Ancestral Native American diet for health and wellness in Native Communities throughout the United States and they work with the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) on providing professional culinary development using Indigenous foods and recipes for health and wellness throughout the state of New Mexico.

They work with communities all over the world educating on the importance of indigenous foods and foods that Native people have shared with the world.