In October, Chef Sean Sherman was invited to the Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, an international Slow Food Festival held in Turin, Italy. Sean and NATIFS’ Indigenous Food Lab Culinary Program Specialist Vern DeFoe (Red Cliff Ojibwe) participated as representatives of the Turtle Island Association Slow Food Chapter to present a meal featuring Indigenous ingredients and food traditions from throughout the United States. Along with Chef Justin Pioche (Ashihii Dine’) and members of the Pioche Food Group as well as a group of Native Hawaiian chefs, they served 70 people a dinner in a castle built in the 1200s.

The goal of this dinner was to create a menu that was familiar to Italians, but using almost entirely Indigenous ingredients– highlighting that cultural foods from other places use foods indigenous to the Americas.

Slow Food’s delegation from the United States consisted of more than 150 people, including the Native American food leaders who are members of the Slow Food Turtle Island Association. Joining the learning and connecting experience at Terra Madre helped the national network align and get inspired to continue to pursue food advocacy, education and biodiversity work in their local regions.