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Love for Food and Eachother Husband and wife duo Brandon Brave Heart and Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart, chefs, caterers, and owners of Etiquette Catering Co. (Photo credit: Tarin Hartman of Tayhart Photography)

Some of Kimberly’s and Brandon’s catering set up for a wedding. (Photo: Tarin Hartman of Tayhart Photography)

Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart and Brandon Brave Heart (Chef & Caterer, Etiquette Catering) Husband and wife duo Brandon Brave Heart (Northern Cheyenne) and Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart (Oglala Lakota and Jewish) are chefs, caterers, and owners of Etiquette Catering Co. This Indigenous-owned and operated company offers beautiful and nourishing food that highlights Indigenous cuisine from the region. With Etiquette, Kimberly and Brandon prepare all dishes with organic, locally-sourced, and fresh ingredients while applying premier cooking techniques and cultural food preparation. Born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation before moving to Minnesota, Kimberly had a unique upbringing raised by a single father, Mark Tilsen, the President and founder of Tanka Bar. Since the young age of ten, Kimberly has been cooking since growing up in a household full of men– with her father and two brothers–led her to prepare food out of necessity. But over time, she has fallen in love with the limitless opportunities that cooking provided. Cooking traditional recipes from both of her cultures while incorporating a modern twist, Kimberly’s creativity, experimentation, and attention to detail brings incredible dishes that taste like love in every single bite to life. Kimberly was extremely entrepreneurial from a young age, thanks to traveling with her father, Mark’s music production company. He toured throughout the country with bands such as Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, and Indigenous. Kimberly curated and designed either the green room or hospitality suites for all the artists in every city they traveled to. From there, she connected with florists and caterers, recognizing the importance of genuine hospitality and that love is all in the details.

Brandon Brave Heart is an enrolled citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Lame Deer, Montana. He was also born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, fully immersed in the traditional Lakota culture and ceremonies guided by his parents and grandparents. He spent much of his childhood adventuring, hunting, and exploring on his family’s land, learning cultural practices that have impacted his ability to create thoughtful food that comes from the earth and heart. He learned to sing with his brothers and father around the big drum and are often asked to sing today. Brandon specializes in seeking only the best ingredients and always works with local producers that provide the very best quality. He’s the company’s grill master and protein specialist. Brandon’s balance of intensity and gentle humor creates the perfect partnership, not only in love but in business as well. What are some of the beautiful, nourishing foods Etiquette offer? How do you make sure to incorporate Indigenous cuisine, and why is this important? The most sought after thing on our menu is our slow-roasted buffalo cooked in rendered duck fat and served with Hasselback apple vinegar demi-glaze squash. It’s beautiful and delicious. It will melt in your mouth. This unique dish has traditional ingredients but cooked in an elevated manner that’s approachable to everyone. We try to utilize as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible that are native to our region. I believe it is essential because Native cuisine is the authentic American cuisine of this country. It is also the food that fed our ancestors and why we all exist today. Kimberly, you’re also Jewish. How do you utilize both your cultures, Jewish and Lakota, while incorporating a modern twist to your cooking? I was raised mostly among my Jewish family in the Twin Cities. They belie-

NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | 17

Profile for Native Max Magazine

Native Max Magazine - November/December 2020  

Welcome to the Native American Heritage Issue, featuring Muscogee Creek, Colville, Salish-Kootenai, and Cherokee tattoo artist and actress N...

Native Max Magazine - November/December 2020  

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