The Foire de Tours, a regional exhibition showcasing Minnesota in our sister city from May 5-14, will feature gastronomic delights from Minneapolis-based chef Sean Sherman. Sherman, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and founder of the company The Sioux Chef, recently took some time to give us a sneak preview of what attendees can expect.
You have traveled to Europe – have you been to France and/or Tours?
I have been to Europe a few times, back when I was younger, and just this last fall for the Slow Foods Terra Madre in Italy. My partner, Dana, has an exchange family in Nice, so we stopped there on our way home and had a lovely time. I have not yet been to Tours.
What interested you in participating in the Foire de Tours?
The team from Meet Minneapolis introduced us to the sister city relationship and the Foire de Tours and told us that they wanted to showcase some of the interesting culture here. I love the idea of sharing the bounty of each culture with people from a very different region. I also understand that many French are interested in learning more about Native American history, so I hope that we can show France what we have been doing!
What can attendees expect to see on your menu?
We hope to showcase some of the foods that are produced in our state like hand harvested wild rice and Red Lake walleye. We’ll have a Matt’s style burger and normally our team doesn’t use any wheat flour, dairy or refined sugars but we are incorporating some current Minnesota staples like apple and blueberry pies.
One of the hot trends that the French are masters at is not just having food that tastes good, but also the presentation and “art” of making something look good on the plate (sometimes it almost looks too good to eat). As a chef, you not only have to be a good cook but you have to know how to present food in an appealing way. How did you develop your style of putting those two elements together?
When I first moved to Minneapolis, I was hoping to attend art school but then I saw how much it cost so I stayed in the kitchen. I decided to focus my artistic talents onto the plate instead. I learned the basics of Italian, French, Mexican, etc. before I started to work on my own heritage. All throughout that, I put a lot of care into making pretty plates. I like to have fun with the colors and the dishware, but of course most importantly it has to taste good!
Chefs obviously spend their days cooking for other people. Do you have a favorite meal that you don’t cook yourself (at a restaurant or something that someone else makes for you)?
I like so many types of food, anything except fast food. If I had to choose one, I really like Mexican food, and Dana makes really good migas from her time living in Texas.
Thanks to Sean Sherman for taking part in our Q&A. For more information on The Sioux Chef, please visit their website.