Earlier this fall, Karlos Baca, an indigenous food activist known for cooking beautiful foraged meals using traditional Native Americaningredients and cooking methods, was approached by a regional food magazine: Would he like to provide a recipe for their Thanksgiving issue?
“Instead of getting a recipe from me, they got three pages of activism,” he says. Baca, along with some other Native Americans who see the holiday as whitewashing the harm colonists did to indigenous people, refers to it as “Takesgiving” or “Hatesgiving.” Typically, he won’t participate in the dinner: “I have a tradition of fasting,” he says. But this year, Baca, who is Diné/Tewa/Nuche and lives in southwest Colorado, will be serving a seven-course meal in New York. The event was planned by the I-Collective, a group of native herbalists, seed-keepers and chefs, though he rejects that last label. (“A chef is a French-European concept that I’m not even interested in anymore,” he says.) It follows on the heels of a six-course October dinner at the James Beard House by Oglala Lakota chef Sean Sherman, who is known as the Sioux Chef, a homophone to another French culinary concept: the kitchen’s second-in-command job, the sous chef. Read more