Archives for October 6, 2017

Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner

Earlier this week, I attended a unique pop-up, a seven course paired with teas Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner. The dinner featured pre-colonial Native American food with flavors of the Diné + Ute tribes with local ingredients from here and native foraged ingredients. This dinner was a fundraiser for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance and Indigenous Seedkeepers Network, and also highlighted the local fish products from Warm Springs Salmon King Fisheries.
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca
The hostess of the celebration and Indigineous Seed Stewardess Rowen White grounded us before the meal about the need for the tribes to be self sufficient in feeding themselves as part of sovereignty, and bringing back to the world and sharing these flavor and foods that many people may have never tasted.
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca
The first half the menu was prepared by Chef Brian Yazzie (Yazzie the Chef), and then the second half by Taste of Native Cuisine Chef M. Karlos Baca. One of the things I was really struck by during the meal was how there was such connection to nature throughout the meal – nothing is processed, but it wasn’t just acquiring the ingredients all through farmers either,there were even more direct connections like foraging the vegetables directly from the land, or directly from the wild rivers. It was sourcing at a whole new level.

Throughout the entire dinner I truly felt nourished both in stomach and in spirit. This is why I love popups so much, the ability to experience that extra layer of connection with the food through the interactions with the food creators.
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner chefs Brian Yazzie left, M. Karlos Baca right

First Course

Roasted Squash Bisque with Seneca Ha:gowa Corn Tortillas with Sage and Pumpkin Seed Pesto, paired with sassafras tea. This and the next two courses were created by Chef Brian Yazzie.
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Roasted Pumpkin Bisque with Seneca Ha:gowa Corn Tortillas with Sage and Pumpkin Seed Pesto, paired with sassafras tea Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Roasted Pumpkin Bisque with Seneca Ha:gowa Corn Tortillas with Sage and Pumpkin Seed Pesto, paired with sassafras tea Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Roasted Pumpkin Bisque with Seneca Ha:gowa Corn Tortillas with Sage and Pumpkin Seed Pesto, paired with sassafras tea
It was amazing how velvety and comforting this soup was without any use of dairy or processed anything at all added. It made me happy to know that a hundred or so years ago people were eating well (even though possibly not with these plating presentations…)

Second Course

Smoked Spring Salmon Salad with Shaved Squash,  Kale, Seaweed, Western Hemlock and Maple Vinaigrette and Warm Springs Tribe Salmon King Fisheries traditionally smoked salmon, paired with Navajo tea
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Smoked Spring Salmon Salad with Shaved Squash, Seaweed, Western Hemlock and Maple Vinaigrette and Warm Springs Tribe Salmon King Fisheries traditionally smoked salmon, paired with Navajo tea
Before we ate the course, the Salmon Queen Brigette McConville and her Salmon King, who had led us in the prayer and thanks before the meal to those who came before us and those who will come after us, told us about the success of Salmon King Fisheries and how the traditional way they marinate and prepare the salmon is only in her head and this is their best seller fish. Seriously this fish is fantastic and I will definitely seek it out again.
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Smoked Spring Salmon Salad with Shaved Squash, Seaweed, Western Hemlock and Maple Vinaigrette and Warm Springs Tribe Salmon King Fisheries traditionally smoked salmon, paired with Navajo tea Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Smoked Spring Salmon Salad with Shaved Squash, Seaweed, Western Hemlock and Maple Vinaigrette and Warm Springs Tribe Salmon King Fisheries traditionally smoked salmon, paired with Navajo tea

Third Course

Sumac Duck with Roasted Arikara Sunflower Seed, Porcini Mushroom Creme, Huckleberry Sauce, paired with Ceder and Maple Tea
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Sumac Duck with Roasted Arikara Sunflower Seed, Porcini Mushroom Creme, Huckleberry Sauce, paired with Ceder and Maple Tea
The pairing here with the smoky Ceder and Maple tea was my favorite of the night.

Intermezzo

Haida Gwaii Seaweed Broth
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Haida Gwaii Seaweed Broth
There was a surprising amount of tartness to the broth – and it was revealed the secret was tomato water!

Fifth Course

Lower Salmon River Squash Terrine with Confit Nez Pearce Heirloom Bean, Chamisa, Sweet Corn Puree paired with Atole corn drink. This and the following courses were all created by Chef M. Karlos Baca who teased us about how we were eating with chopsticks (because that’s how Han Oak had been set up at the place settings) and encouraged us to eat with our hands for the next two courses to get all the flavors.
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Lower Salmon River Squash Terrine with Confit Nez Pearce Heirloom Bean, Chamisa, Sweet Corn Puree paired with Atole corn drink Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Lower Salmon River Squash Terrine with Confit Nez Pearce Heirloom Bean, Chamisa, Sweet Corn Puree paired with Atole corn drink

Sixth Course

Navajo Tea Smoked Quail with Huitalacoche, Pickled Cholla bud, Avocado ash, Rojo paired with wild Rosehip tea
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Navajo Tea Smoked Quail with Huitalacoche, Pickled Cholla bud, Avocado ash, Rojo paired with wild Rosehip tea Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Navajo Tea Smoked Quail with Huitalacoche, Pickled Cholla bud, Avocado ash, Rojo paired with wild Rosehip tea

Seventh Course

Concha Corn Mush with Bear Root, Three-leaf Sumac, Pickled Amaranth Flower, popped Golden Amaranth, Pine Needle Syrup. This was supposed to be paired with a tea but we never received it so I’m leaving out the pairing.
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca, Concha Corn Mush with Bear Root, Three-leaf Sumac, Pickled Amaranth Flower, popped Golden Amaranth, Pine Needle Syrup

What do you think of the dishes here, what would intrigue you? Have you had Indigeneous cuisine before? There’s a possibility of them coming back to do another dinner – and I really hope this time perhaps they can allow more time between the two seatings so we could hear more stories and ask more about the food.
Flavors of Resilience: Indigenous Dinner at Han Oak on October 3, 2017 with Chef Brian Yazzie and Chef M. Karlos Baca

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