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Julia Child Award Goes to Minneapolis’ Sean Sherman

Minneapolis-based chef, cookbook author, and activist Sean Sherman wins the Julia Child Award, the first Native American to receive the honor

By Todd R. Berger

1.6.24 Sean Sherman at work; Sherman won the Julia Child Award
Sean Sherman at work; Sherman won the Julia Child Award. || Photo by Bill Phelps

Last October, Sean Sherman—award-winning Minneapolis-based chef, cookbook author, activist, and founder of North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS)—won the prestigious ninth annual Julia Child Award. The award is accompanied by a $50,000 grant from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts that will go to the nonprofit NATIFS and support the Indigenous Food Lab, a professional kitchen and training center dedicated to expanding access to Indigenous foods. Sherman accepted the award at a gala held at the Grand Hall of The Depot in Minneapolis. 

“I saw the impact that food can have on the world through Julia, and I’m excited to continue her legacy through my work,” says Sherman in a prepared statement. “With the generous grant from the foundation, I look forward to continuing my efforts to develop educational materials and programs for Native communities and fostering the rich heritage that is an essential part of American culinary history and life.”

The first Native American chef to receive the Julia Child Award, Sherman, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, has also won three James Beard Awards, including Best American Cookbook (for “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen”), Best New Restaurant in America for Owamni in Minneapolis, and the Leadership Award—on top of numerous other national accolades. Sherman was recently named to the Time 100: Most Influential People of 2023 list.