Sunday, September 2, 2012

Kitchen Photographs

The work we have chosen to engage in is satisfying. Cooking on the White Mountain Apache Tribe as a Native Chef is one of the most important moments in my pathway, and hopefully it is just as important for my crew of APACHES IN THE KITCHEN. We push onward, experiencing the growing pains of an evolving kitchen. This is a humble kitchen, yet this kitchen is providing me with some of the most important culinary, cultural and personal experiences of my life as a chef. 

There is so much to write about but I decided to share some photos with you. Enjoy!

Chef's Table Course: Salmon, three sisters, sauce N'Dee

On this day in July, sous chef Vincent Way, line cook Michael Ivans jr, went outside in the forest and picked Wild Lambs Quarters for our menu. They are pictured here picking the leaves and cleaning the plants. 
Chefs picking White Mountain Apache Lambs Quarters

Cedar Planked Salmon. An homage to the Pacific Northwest Salmon People. This method is recognized right away by our staff as a Native Technique. We have had many creative conversations about this technique.

Pictured here are two members of the 'Apaches in the Kitchen'. Lead Line Cook, Nancy James and Kitchen Porter, Noreen Wool. They are preparing a White Mountain Apache favorite, Western Apache Racket Bread. You can see that they are clearly enjoying the practice.

Salmon Roasted and resting on Cedar Planks. Delicious!

Here is Kitchen Porter, Herman Skidmore doing a bit of quality control. Note the sign above the door way.

Apache humor is a constant. You can only understand it by living it. What a life in cuisine we share!

 This is Clayton Harvey, he is the farmer at the People's Farm in Whiteriver. The Peoples Farm is a very important project. This was on a day where I invited him and another farmer Darlene to a "Farmer's Chef Table" in our kitchen. They had an amazing time and enjoyed seeing their food put to use.

 Here is the crew after the Farmers Chef Table. At Sunrise Park Resort, we are in the sacred high mountains. This is an appropriate place for the evolution, study and practice of our form of Native American Cuisine in this era.

This image is of kids from the White Mountain Apache Head Start during a Sledding and Culinary Excursion in 2012. We did a cooking demonstration for them and prepared fresh pasta by hand. They were amazed!

Here the Kitchen Staff gets their first sight and taste of a Pacific Northwest delicacy, A Whole Roasted Salmon Head with herbs. This was also instantly recognized as a very special Native Technique. I explained that it is often reserved for the Elders of a family.

This beautiful dish continues to amaze and evolve. Roasted Marrow Bones with Frybread. What an Apache Delicacy!

This is a amazing dish. Western Apache Acorn Stew with Dumplings, Western Apache Racket Bread and Bone Marrow. This is a spectacular homage to our Apache history. So much history, culture and sense of place is in this beautiful dish. I am positive our ancestors are proud of this one!

Many of these young men have grown and moved into other kitchens with the training received in our kitchen. It has been an honor to work with you all Chefs! Pictured left to right: William Hawkins/Garde Manger, Michael Ivans jr/Apprentice, Vincent Way/sous chef in training, Marques Hinton/Saute Station, Nephi Craig/Exec Chef, Ivoury Thompson/Waitstaff, Sean Johnson/Grill Station, 
Deron Lee aka 'Skip'/Apprentice. 
photo courtesy of the Navajo Times

In this photo a special family friend and photographer, Mr. Bill Hess joined us in the kitchen and preserved an important night for us all. It was a busy dinner service and we had a Chef's Table going in the background. Thank you Bill!

Water is life. It is always an amazing experience to work vigilantly with clarity as a friend.
Exec Chef Nephi Craig on the line.

 This is the humble kitchen where we work day and night. Without people, without our crew, it is just an old empty kitchen.

Come and visit us at Sunrise Park Resort!