holding the cookbook Sioux Chef's in the kitchen
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Let’s Get Cooking! Kitchn’s October Pick for Cookbook Club Is “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen” by Sean Sherman.

updated Sep 29, 2020
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Hey, Cookbook Club-ers! We’re just about through the month with Joe Yonan’s Cool Beans. How are things going? Like many of you in our Facebook group, I really enjoyed Lalo’s Cacahuate Beans (page 100); it made the most filling lunch, and lasted my boyfriend and me all week. Other recipes I want to make include two things we posted on the site recently: The Homesteader’s New England baked beans, and these garlicky great northern beans and broccoli rabe over toast. I have a thing for beans on toast. What have you made so far?

Anyway, I’m trying to post the announcements for next month’s cookbook a little bit earlier so you can get your books sooner (and if you want to get a head-start on October). So, without anymore fanfare — but with a lot of excitement — I’m happy to say that Sean Sherman’s The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is our pick for October. Read on to see why we chose this book and what you can look forward to next month.

Want to follow along with Kitchn’s digital Cookbook Club? Here’s how to participate.

  1. Get the book! You can buy the book on Amazon, Bookshop, or look for it at your local library; while many libraries are currently closed, you may be able to access a digital copy. Also consider buying from your local bookstore!
  2. Join Kitchn Cookbook Club Facebook group. This is our private space for all of you to talk about the book, ask questions, and chat about what you’re cooking. Click here to join! It’s very active.
  3. Share a recipe review on Instagram and tag with #kitchncookbookclub. Make a recipe from The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen. Post a photo of your dish on Instagram, with a short review of the recipe in the caption.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Why The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen Is Our Cookbook Pick for October

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen came out in 2017, and won a James Beard Award for “The Best American Cookbook” in 2018. This means it has been three years since I first heard about this cookbook, decided it was something I had to cook out of, and have failed to do so. Well, no longer! I personally feel woefully uneducated about indigenous cooking, and it’s always something I’ve wanted to learn more about. Maybe you’re in the same boat, or maybe you have an intimate knowledge of indigenous cuisine — either way, I hope you’ll cook along with us.

Sean Sherman was born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, but a lot of his life (and work) has been (and continues to be) in Minneapolis. As such, the ingredients and recipes you’ll find in this cookbook focus on Minnesota and the Dakotas, which Sherman says is “home to the Da-kota, Lakota, Ojibwe (Chippewa, Anishinaabe), Mandan, Hidasta, Arikara, and Ho-Chunk.” Although Sherman also says that he’s “learned how strikingly similar the indigenous approach is in every region,” and that the methods you’ll find in this cookbook work with other ingredients, too.

The Sioux Chef isn’t just a cookbook: Sherman has created an entire business around the education and preservation of Native American cuisine. Before COVID, The Sioux Chef had pop-up restaurants, a food truck, and a catering service. He also founded a nonprofit, the North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NāTIFS), with the intention to open the first-ever Indigenous Food Lab restaurant and training center. Needless to say, Sherman is doing incredible work and I’m excited to dig into more of it in October.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Get the Book

There are so many things I want to make from this cookbook, but I have to stock up on a few pantry staples first — things like sumac, juniper, and sage. Sherman has a glossary of the key ingredients for the cookbook right after the introduction, which I find super helpful. After I have my kitchen in order, the first thing I want to make is the salad with griddled squash, apples, wild greens, and toasted walnuts (page 17). It sounds perfect for fall, even if it’s still hot in Los Angeles (where I live).

What about you? What do you want to make first? Let me know in our Facebook group. See you there, and happy cooking!

Ariel Knutson, Features Director