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THE INSIDER

Chef and food activist Brian Yazzie. (Photo: Vincent Johnson [Red Lake Nation]) poverty status. “I’m utilizing my YouTube channel as a tool to connect with those interested in Indigenous foods,” he explains. Though putting his catering company on hold due to COVID-19, Brian keeps himself busy. Brian was recently appointed Executive Chef at Gatherings Café located inside the Minneapolis American Indian Center and is currently working with other chefs and volunteers to deliver support to Native elder communities within the Twin Cities during the pandemic. Brian is also a part of a grassroots collective called “Dennehotso Families Covid-19 Relief Project”, which focuses on providing long-term supplies for families and elders in his hometown of Dennehotso. Despite being closed to the public due to COVID-19, Brian and Gatherings Cafe are feeding Native elders in the community through a project called #FeedingOurElders. So far, the project serves 200 meals daily, five days a week since March. The philosophy is “Food Is Medicine,” in which the project implements at least 50% native ingredients to help elders keep their immune system healthy, especially during the pandemic. The grassroots collective Brian is a part of the “Dennehotso Families COVID-19 Relief Project”. Alongside Dennehotso community members Taralyn Adakai-Fotu and Deidre Boyd, the focus is on supplying those in need during this pandemic. The collective has provided the senior and boarding school with traditional native in-

Brian Yazzie “Yazzie The Chef ” (Chef & Food Justice Activist) Brian Yazzie, better known as Yazzie The Chef, is a Diné chef and food justice activist from the farming community Dennehotso, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, but currently based out of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Brian is the founder of catering company Intertribal Foodways, a YouTube creator under channel Yazzie The Chef TV, and a delegate of Slow Food Turtle Island Association. Brian is also a member of I-Collective, a collective of cooks, chefs, seed keepers, farmers, foragers, and scholars focused on bringing awareness to the cultural appropriations of Indigenous foods of the Americas. Brian focuses on bringing together hyper-local Indigenous ingredients from the streams, rivers, and forests to revitalize healthy Indigenous cuisine, which allows him to bring creativity and ancestral knowledge through modern techniques. His career is devoted to the betterment of tribal communities through wellness and health. He’s made TV and media appearances, including PBS and Hulu, to name a few. Brian keeps himself busy with his YouTube channel “Yazzie The Chef TV,” which he started in 2016 after realizing that most tribal communities are still on third-world

“Cooking in two worlds by using ancestral knowledge with modern techniques, I practice Indigenizing kitchen spaces for the next generation of culinarians.” gredients and gave hay and livestock feed for the community’s animals. They also supplied loaded backpacks with bison jerky from Tanka Bars and tepary beans from Ramona Farms. These are two projects that Brian’s currently a part of. Occasionally, Brian hosts virtual cooking classes and teachings for families, schools, and organizations. How do you incorporate ancestral knowledge through modern techniques in your cooking? Why is this important? Cooking in two worlds by using ancestral knowledge with modern techniques, I practice

NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | 19

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  

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

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