As the​ ​first​ ​Native​ ​American​ ​Indigenous​ ​Chef​ ​to​ ​be​ ​featured​ ​on​ ​Food​ ​Network's​ ​Chopped tv​ ​show​, I proudly serve​ ​authentic​ ​Native​ ​cuisine​ ​based​ ​on​ ​the​ ​​Kickapoo​​ ​heritage, cooking​ ​Native​ ​food​ ​such​ ​as​ ​bison,​ ​vinson​ ​squash,​ ​and​ ​corn​ ​with​ ​recipes​ ​passed​ ​on​ through the generations.

 

I​ ​grew​ ​up​ ​in​ ​Oakland,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​urban​ ​Native American​ ​community and was​ ​raised​ ​with​ ​fellow​ ​Native​ ​American​ ​people​ ​from​ ​many​ ​different​ ​Tribes​​.​ While I am a member​ ​of​ ​the​ ​​Kickapoo​​ ​tribe​ ​from Oklahoma, ​I​ ​learned how​ ​to​ ​cook​ ​many​ ​styles​ ​of​ ​Native​ ​food​ ​and​ ​know​ ​how​ ​our foods bring​ ​us​ ​together​ ​as​ ​people. I​ ​enjoyed​ ​working​ ​with​ ​my​ ​grandmother​ ​in​ ​her ​kitchen​​​ ​to​ ​learn​ ​our​ ​traditional​ ​food​ ​and to​ ​pass​ ​on​ ​the​ ​knowledge​ ​to​ ​my​ ​children​ ​and​ ​community.​ My​ ​love​ ​for​ ​Native​ ​food began​ ​as​ ​a​ ​young​ ​child.

​I ​successfully​ ​completed​ ​the​ ​Bread​ ​Project​ ​program​ ​in​ ​Oakland​ ​and​ ​went​ to ​La​ ​Cocina​ ​in San​ ​Francisco. My​ ​dream​ ​is​ ​to​ ​make​ ​my​ ​Native​ ​community​ ​and​ ​my​ ​family​ ​and children​ ​proud.​ ​I​ ​received​ ​the​ ​Indigenous​ ​Artist​ ​and​ ​Activist​ ​Award​​,​ ​and​ ​was inducted​ ​into​ ​the​ ​Native​ ​American​ ​Almanac​ ​as​ ​the​ ​first​ ​Native​ ​American​ ​Woman Entrepreneur​ ​Catering​ ​Business​. I hope one​ ​day,​ ​soon, to​ ​open​ ​a​ ​restaurant​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Bay​ ​Area​.

 

It is an honor to serve Native cuisine to you. 
 

~​ ​​Chef​ ​Crystal​ ​Wahpepah

 

 

Chef Crystal Wahpepah