Saturday, October 29, 2011

Culinary Culture Building

Getting ready to open our kitchen is challenging task that I feel we are ready for. We will be bringing a few new people on board for training and "culinary culture building". This will be a challenge and I have been producing materials for the in-coming apprentices that we may get. They will be held to a high standard and expected to do many things outside "normal" kitchen work and it will be interesting to observe the response.

The term "Culinary Culture Building" is a term that we came up with to put a better name to what we are aiming to do and that is developing Native American Cuisine and Culinary Culture. I do feel that this broad term can also be applied to not just Native American cooking but to world cooking in general.

In our vision of Culinary Culture Building, the best way to contribute is to "participate in your own culinary evolution" by cooking, supporting others, culinary self-education and learning through active participant observation. The development of a "culinary voice" is also very important because articulating ideas and creative methods pushes the practice even further.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apache Chef Apprentice Program

 As we near the winter ski season on The White Mountain Apache Tribe and here at Sunrise Park Resort, I am launching an "Apache Chef Apprentice Program" within our culinary department. This is a collaborative effort and community outreach is a critical element in this project. I will also be utilizing resources and culinary information collected during my years of work as chef and founder of The Native American Culinary Association or NACA. The White Mountain Apache Tribe, NACA and Sunrise park Resort support this culinary endeavor.

The purpose of this program is to cultivate an environment of learning with food and culinary culture as an axis for learning. We aim to use food as a medium to communicate and address issues of culture, place, foodways, work-ethic, identity and wellness.

The objective of this program is to creatively draw on internal resources such as personal sensory experience with food, work-ethic, culinary creativity and professional ambition while developing Native American Cuisine, specifically White Mountain Apache Cuisine. Another objective is to provide an outlet and potential career pathway for adults and at-risk youth by demonstrating the importance of mentorship and discipline in professional cookery.  It is a major objective to provide physical, technical and intellectual skill enhancement by reinforcing culinary fundamentals and Apache cultural principles of life.

Applicants will be screened, tested and only a few will make the final cut. The number of Apache Chef Apprentice positions will be a minimum of 4 and no more than 8. There are a number of factors that determine the number of apprentices and openings will be announced. This is a very unique opportunity that any aspiring chef or young adult looking to enhance their current skill set should take advantage of.

Sunrise Park Resort will be holding a job fair on October 25-26, 2011 in Whiteriver, Arizona at the Memorial Hall from 9:00am to 4:00pm on both days. Mention this Apaches in the Kitchen Blog and express your interest in the Apache Chef Apprentice Program. You can also respond here on this blog or send me an email at

* Keep in mind that not all applicants will be selected so get out your knives and study professional cooking and culinary culture in America, our region and abroad!