CulturallyOurs Indigenous Cuisine With Chef Elena TaylorCulturallyOurs Indigenous Cuisine With Chef Elena Taylor

Indigenous Food Culture With Chef Elena Terry

CulturallyOurs Indigenous Cuisine With Chef Elena TaylorCulturallyOurs Indigenous Cuisine With Chef Elena Taylor
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“As a chef, I am the last person who gets to speak to the ingredients before they make it to your plate and your table. I am honored to be the one to tell their story and give you the nourishment that they are meant to provide” – Chef Elena Terry

You know when you hear something like this, the whole conversation is going to be something that will stay with you for a long time. I am so excited to welcome Chef Elena Terry of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk nation to the CulturallyOurs podcast. Chef Elena is an indigenous chef and founder of a non-for-profit called Wild Berries whose mission is to help connect communities through indigenous food and bring ancestral foods to the forefront. I met her at a food event in Wisconsin where she cooked for us and I got to hear first-hand her connection with food, indigenous culture, and her food journey. Even before I walked away from that meal, I knew I had to speak to her again.CulturallyOurs Indigenous Cuisine With Chef Elena TaylorThe entire conversation with chef Elena is one of how foods can heal, foods can nourish – not just the people who is eating but also the person who is cooking it and how food is a vessel for bringing people together. She talks about how the indigenous food movement is one of healing and helping break down barriers and connect one another despite all our collective struggles.CulturallyOurs Indigenous Cuisine With Chef Elena TaylorWe also talked about ancestral seeds and how they are such an integral part of preserving our country’s history and narratives. Seeds that are passed down from generation to generation can keep the story going forward and help us connect to our past so beautifully. She says every ingredient has a destiny and people (growers) who help it along its journey deserve our utmost respect.

When I asked chef Elena how people like you and me can help support the indigenous food movement, what she said really blew me away. She said,” The best way to support us is to really educate yourself, come to the table with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Nearly every part of this country has indigenous history, so as you pass through, learn about them.” There are also many organizations like Wild Bearies that work in the Indigenous food space, and I have listed them in the show notes for your reference.CulturallyOurs Indigenous Cuisine With Chef Elena TaylorIt was such a pleasure to speak with chef Elena and I am beyond grateful that our paths crossed this summer in Wisconsin. If you have ever wanted to learn about indigenous foods you don’t want to miss this conversation, I know I am going to keep coming back to it over and over again.

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