Native American Restaurant Breaks Kickstarter Record

With nearly $150,000, chef Sean Sherman is taking his new project to the bank

Native American foodways, sometimes called indigenous foods or First Peoples foods, have largely been left out of the restaurant conversation. Sean Sherman, who calls himself The Sioux Chef and was recently profiled in the New York Times, is hoping to change that, and thousands of people are behind him. A Kickstarter campaign that the chef launched raised nearly $150,000 from 2,358 backers, setting a new record for the number of individual backers behind a restaurant project and coming in sixth for the best funded restaurant on the platform, Eater reports.

Maple + Hominy Cake, Cedar-Corn Broth, Smoked Trout, Sorrel

Sherman, who is from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, already operates an indigenous foods catering company and food truck, and hopes  to create a community space with the new funds where people can experience this food. That includes dishes like tea made with cedar and maple; roasted venison with wild bergamot, cedar and maple; and rabbit with wild rice and cedar, which Sherman makes for pop-ups and his catering company. The space will have a garden, a comal where food will be cooked directly on clay and wood-fire grills. An education element is also key to the chef, who plans to operate a culinary center that will teach youth and others about indigenous foodways.

With all of the support, one can only hope this idea will spread like wildfire.