Julia Child was the original food influencer. Her love of cooking and her well-documented journey through the process is the reason she remains beloved in the food industry to this day.
Each year, the foundation with her namesake, the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, awards chefs for their hard work and dedication, along with a $50,000 grant to the food-related non-profit that they have chosen. The chosen recipients are selected based on their alignment with the legacy of Julia Child. Chefs who have excelled as educators, communicators, innovators, and mentors are among the chosen. The Foundation also seeks to award chefs in the field who exemplify integrity and independence.
One of this year’s recipients was Owamni chef Sean Sherman. Fondly known as the Sioux Chef, Sherman is the co-owner of Owamni restaurant, along with Dana Thompson. Their restaurant focuses on healthy meals inspired by their ancestors. It’s like what caught the eye of the independent jury representing the Julia Child Foundation.
Owamni, a recipient of the prestigious James Beard Foundation award has been recognized for his unique cultural ties as well as his impressive menu. The James Beard Foundation honorees are chosen based on their commitment to celebrating, supporting, and elevating America’s food culture while offering good food and exemplifying talent, equity, and sustainability.
Sherman chose his non-profit, NaTIFS (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems), and the Indigenous Food Lab to benefit from the $50,000 grant from the Julia Child Foundation. Sherman, who recently opened a professional indigenous kitchen and training center in Minnesota, was thrilled to be a recipient and looks forward to giving back to the community through the generous grant.
Sean Sherman is the first ever Native American to receive this prestigious award and does not take the honor lightly. He plans to continue his efforts in developing educational materials and programs for Native communities while fostering the rich heritage that is an essential part of American culinary history and life.
Julia Child touched many lives with her authenticity and pure love of the culinary arts. In giving back and funding projects similar to her passion, she is the gift that continues to give.