than 300 people lined up Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Southern Ute Cultural
Center & Museum for a taste of buffalo stew, Chimayo red chile
and candied bear berries.
In its third year, the museums Taste of Native Cuisine
& Culture Expo kicked off with two dance demonstrations, one
by the crown dancers of New Mexicos Jicarilla Apache Nation
and the other by Southern Ute dancers, who exhibited various styles.
A tour of the museum followed before lunch was ready.
Creating the menu were professional chefs M. Karlos Baca and
Anthony Hamlin. The spread included more than a dozen modern takes
on traditional fare, including Navajo tea-braised pork belly, juniper
berry and wild mushroom ragout, and cranberry and habanero mousse.
It was a terrific event, said Nathan Strong Elk,
acting executive director of the museum. We break bread and
we develop the ties with the community.
Strong Elk said food is a big part of native culture, and sharing
it helps perpetuate tradition and support tribal sovereignty. The
bison used in the stew came from the Southern Ute herd and was
harvested in a ceremonial manner, he added.
The purpose of the event was twofold, Strong Elk said: to raise
funds for the museum and to celebrate November as Native American
Strong Elk said the popularity of the event has prompted his
team to look into adding a similar summer event next year and expanding
the November one to multiple days.