Monday, November 16, 2015

NACA Indigenous Food Symposium Offered a Celebration of Native Foods

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 9:10 AM

click to enlarge Indigenous food tasting at the NACA Indigenous Food Sympsium offered dishes like 3-Sisters soup and Navajo churro lamb tacos. - LEE ALLEN/ARIZONA FREELANCE
  • Indigenous food tasting at the NACA Indigenous Food Sympsium offered dishes like 3-Sisters soup and Navajo churro lamb tacos.
Enticing aromas wafted throughout the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum over the weekend where food lines were staffed by white jacketed servers, all of them named chef.

The fourth annual Celebration of Basketry & Native Foods, “Celebrating People, Land, and Food,” was a resounding success according to Nephi Craig, founder of the Native American Culinary Association.

“This is a symposium of sharing. We gathered a wide range of indigenous people all in one spot to display their talents and eat healthy traditional food,” he said over a mutton taco and a buffalo slider.

He needed noon-time energy to prepare for a nighttime Chef’s Benefit Dinner, a museum fundraiser with 93 diners who paid $150 a plate for the five-course meal with wine pairings. And that was after an hour-long reception with tray-passed items prepared by four chefs who worked alongside their mentors.

“Our mission here is to help grow the culture of Native cooking. It’s a rough journey because we’re dealing with Western culinary traditions pitted against indigenous culinary traditions and they’re very different. But I want younger chefs to see there are others already doing it, going for it and exercising a sense of courageous humility in practicing the food arts.

“Globally, every pocket of culture around the world is becoming conscious of, and moving back towards, their ancestral knowledge—kind of like an echo from the bottom headed upward and initiated by oppressed people in poverty.”

One of the many who cooked and spoke was M. Karlos Baca, a Ute chef from Colorado. The chef explained the importance of maintaining Native culinary traditions.

“In pre-industrial days, we lived in a cycle of nature and what the earth provided is what sustained us," he says. "It’s on our shoulders to bring back our traditional food system and my place in time is to incorporate my history in a modern perspective.”

The following days opened the event up to all at the museum, offering a glimpse of Native foods and folk art with the usual museum line-up of indigenous plants and animals. With pit smoked salmon, acorn-studded necklaces, traditional dances and informative cooking demonstrations, the event served up plenty to sample in nearly every way. If you missed it this year, be sure to check out the fifth NACA Celebration of Basketry & Native Foods, which we'll keep you updated on as we get more information.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

More by Lee Allen

  • Baking Revolution

    Barrio Bread is creating a local food culture, one loaf at a time
    • May 31, 2018
  • After NAFTA

    Southern Arizona faces an economic hit if a trade war breaks out
    • May 10, 2018
  • Here Today, Gone Tamale?

    Longtime Mexican restaurant faces closure as Broadway widening approaches
    • May 3, 2018
  • More »
Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
DO(OM) Yoga

DO(OM) Yoga @ Floor Polish

Sundays, 8-9 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Brew Haha Comedy Showcase Presents: Chris Thayer @ Borderlands Brewery

Brew Haha at Borderlands Brewery is Tucson's longest running independent comedy show. It features nationally tour headliners… More

@ Borderlands Brewing Company Mon., Aug. 20, 8-10 p.m. 119 E. Toole Ave.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Arizona Still Grappling with Question of How to Prevent School Shootings (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Laughing Stock: Geek, or gangsta? (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Third Contaminated Well Near D-M Shut Down (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Walden Grove High School Dance Team Moves to Third Round on America’s Got Talent (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. DACA Still in Limbo (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation