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"The topic of Indigenous cuisine can open a conversation about relocation and much more."
Mushkego Cree chef Scott Iserhoff is bringing Indigenous cuisine to the forefront through his Edmonton-based company Pei Pei Chei Ow—while also using food as a way to delve into more far-reaching conversations. Speaking at local schools—and to large groups at companies like Google and YouTube—about the importance of food sovereignty and food history is part of Iserhoff’s greater belief that food is a universal language. “The topic of Indigenous cuisine can open a conversation about relocation and much more, such as colonization and starvation and cultural genocide. These are topics that are directly related to how we eat and how we heal.”
Iserhoff is spreading awareness to others, but it’s a mission with internal benefits, too. “It’s a journey of reconnecting to my culture,” Iserhoff explains. The dishes he makes and teaches in his classes are about more than just sustenance—they tell a story: through their historical context, but also through traditional cooking methods and the sourcing of hyper-local ingredients.
By keeping the context of these recipes in the foreground, Iserhoff hopes to build a platform to lift others up as well. “I want to provide opportunities for other Indigenous people to share their stories, too.”
The Sioux Chef by Sean Sherman.
My parents-in-law Tania and Misha’s kitchen in Ukraine, once the war is over.
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