Owamni, an Indigenous-foods restaurant created by Sean Sherman, the Sioux Chef, and Dana Thompson, co-CEO and co-founder of all Sioux Chef enterprises, will open on the Minneapolis waterfront this spring, reports Mpls.St.Paul magazine. Altogether, the restaurant will seat 150 with 65 seats indoors and the rest outdoors on a plaza planted with indigenous edible and medicinal plants.
“Dana calls Native American food ‘ironically foreign,’” said Sherman of the cuisine. “It’s the food from exactly right here that’s exactly under your feet that seems foreign for some reason. People are always asking me where to get the ingredients for my recipes: Where do you buy fresh cedar for tea? You don’t. Go outside with a knife.”
Sherman and Thompson are also opening the Indigenous Food Lab at the Midtown Global Market, a short distance away from the waterfront. The space will act as a retail location for Indigenous foods like heirloom hominy and Sioux Chef-branded foods, a commissary kitchen for the Owamni restaurant, a consumer-facing tea counter for native teas, a prep space for donated meals, and a training space for a new generation of chefs, visiting chefs, and people with tribal knowledge.
“We feel like we have so much work we’re never going to get through it by the end of our lifetimes,” said Sherman. “We’re going to set up structure and systems for the next generation so they can take it and run with it. The next generation will have access to their foods and know what they are. My big idea is that you’ll be able to drive across the nation in any direction and experience different Indigenous foodways.” Full Story
Image: Dana Thompson