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THE INSIDER Home-grown & Homemade Some of Justin’s dishes served in his food truck or restaurants, which all incorporate all-natural, fresh and locally-sourced ingredients and produce. (Photos: courtesy)

at home in my restaurant. I want them to feel special. How do you incorporate ancestral knowledge through modern techniques in your cooking? Why is this important? The ancestral knowledge is essential to me because of the region we’re in. The vegetables are plentiful, and I would be foolish not to tap into these methods and resources. The flavors are fun to experiment with within the kitchen. Squash, for instance, is a beautiful color and texture when cooked and blended right. Great for presentation and aromatics! Those colors pop on that plate and still tie in my vision when using nice proteins like bison and venison. What sort of cuisine will you offer at your newest restaurant? At The Bird and Bison, we call our food “Comfort Fusion,”; an ode to classic favorites with our flair on things. On weekend nights, we will be a full-service, casual, and fine dining atmosphere, and look to be the culinary destination in Cherokee County. What are some of the creativity, cooking techniques, and cultural food preparations you know that you apply to your cooking today? Some of the cooking techniques we are offering here are smoking meats and cooking over an open flame. Our outside smokehouse doubles as a full-service kitchen and has viewing windows for the public to get a close look at our dinner service in the rawest form. We want it to be a spectacle, a perk you won’t get anywhere else in Cherokee County. We will cut bison steaks to order on weekend nights, bringing in fresh yellow squash for my grandmother’s fried squash recipe

and growing our own herbs for a compound butter, lavender lemonade herbal teas. We talked about incorporating regional Indigenous cuisine and cultural food prep earlier; how do you teach that to others? Why is that vital? How does this showcase your Native heritage to your clients? We will be learning as we go on this culinary journey. As a chef, I’m always on the lookout for knowledge of ingredients and techniques. We are looking to start out doing Indigenous specials on the weekends to get more in touch with our skills and ancestry. There are plenty of Cherokee elders we’re listening to and learning from to help hone our skills. Our clients deserve something special, something dear to the area and dear to our families. We bring change, dynamics, and passion. Do you have a favorite recipe or dish you love to serve your guests? We’re currently working with bison meat; it’s very lean, so we’re experimenting with different fats and butter. Duck fat will be a factor in our flavor mashup series, also wild plum and blackberry. What does the future look like for you and your business? The future for us looks bright, as we’re working on several new projects in the new year, and we’re sourcing local ingredients here in Cherokee County, with significant support from the locals and tourists alike. We can’t lose. Catch updates at facebook.com/thebirdandbison.

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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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