Eating Your Heritage
  • Lecture Theatre 1, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University

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A Native American chef is set to give a prestigious guest lecture at Plymouth University.

Award-winning Native American chef, food historian, adjunct professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and photographer, Dr Lois Ellen Frank will provide an insight into centuries of Native American culinary tradition. Dr Frank, accompanied by Chef Walter Whitewater, will take to the stage to talk about using ancestral Native American foods as a New Paradigm for Indigenous Health and Wellness. 

Dr Frank will bring her audience from the Pre-Contact period to the new Native American cuisine and the food movement surrounding these foods and their history.

The talk is the first of a series of events being organised by the University, in conjunction with the city of Plymouth and the US Embassy, ahead of the Mayflower 400 celebrations.

Professor Simon Payne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University and lead for internationalisation, said: “We are delighted to have secured Dr Lois for this academic lecture, one that promises an exclusive insight into a topic that reflects both centuries of tradition, but also very modern health and wellbeing agendas. Her visit is also hugely symbolic, both on a cultural level for Plymouth, and as a sign of our increasingly close relationship with the US Embassy.”

Dr Frank is from the Kiowa Nation on her mother’s side and Sephardic Jewish from Spain on her father’s side, and based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has spent more than 20 years documenting the foodways of Native American tribes in the South West of the United States. Much of her research formed the basis of her book Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, for which she became the first Native American to win the James Beard Award.

Dr Frank has worked with a number of world-renowned chefs, scientists and academics on cookbooks and academic papers covering a variety of topics including the agricultural, culinary, mythological, and socioeconomic uses of foods and plants among various indigenous peoples across the Americas. A renowned writer and photographer, a selection of her pictures will also be on display at the event. 

The event will start with a drinks reception at 6pm and finish at approximately 8pm.

The event is free to all. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Email events@plymouth.ac.uk for any enquiries. 




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