Marcus Nilsson—The New York Times/Redux

When we were filming the Indigenous episode in our first season of Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi, everyone we interviewed within the community named Sean Sherman as the one to speak to. Sean has had a major impact on revitalizing and revolutionizing Native cuisine in the U.S., including through his Minneapolis-based restaurant Owamni, which has expanded with the work of his nonprofit, North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems. He has galvanized a new generation of Indigenous chefs to honor their culinary heritage and to decolonize their diets.

Through Sean’s work, which is truly about so much more than food, he brings a deep sense of pride and identity to the Indigenous community, the importance of which can’t be overstated. Sean has inspired many people, myself included, to become more curious about Native communities, the beauty of their dishes, and the importance of eating harmoniously with Mother Nature. He’s a powerful force of good in the culinary world and beyond.

Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated producer and host

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