Sean Sherman
Published January 28, 2022

Sean Sherman is a chef born and raised in Pine Ridge, S.D., and a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe. His primary focus is the revitalization and evolution of Indigenous foods systems throughout North America. 

Sherman has been cooking in kitchens in the United States and Mexico for more than 30 years. In 2014, he opened The Sioux Chef, a business providing catering and food education in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. The Sioux Chef’s nonprofit, North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NĀTIFS), works to increase access to and knowledge of Indigenous food. The Indigenous Food Lab, part of NĀTIFS, is a professional Indigenous kitchen and training center. 

Sherman has led several restaurant and catering businesses. In 2015, he co-founded the Tatanka Truck, a food truck that served only pre-contact foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories. In 2017, Sherman and his team presented the first decolonized dinner at the James Beard House in Manhattan. In 2021, he co-founded Owamni by The Sioux Chef, Minnesota’s first full service Indigenous restaurant.

His cookbook, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, received the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook for 2018 and was chosen one of the top 10 cookbooks of 2017 by the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Smithsonian magazine. He serves on the leadership committee of the James Beard Foundation Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans, and received the foundation’s 2019 Leadership Award. Later in 2022, Sherman was the recipient of the for Best New Restaurant award. 

An Oglala Lakota man wearing two long braids and a black chef's apron leans against a tan counter.

Courtesy of Heidi Ehalt

Pronouns: He/him

Expertise: Indigenous food systems, Native American cuisine, North American foodways, restaurants

Location: Minneapolis, Minn.


Twitter: @the_sioux_chef

Instagram: @siouxchef

Phone: (612) 242-9700

Heard on TED Talks Daily: “Why aren’t there more Native American restaurants?”

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