American Indian College Fund Logo with Tag centered

Dina Horwedel, Director of Public Education, American Indian College Fund

Colleen R. Billiot, Public Education Coordinator, American Indian College Fund

American Indian College Fund to Host NYC Indigenous Food Event Featuring Five Indigenous Celebrity Chefs

May 2 EATSS Event to Benefit Native American College Students

Denver, Colo., April 14, 2023–Can you imagine a world without chocolate, blueberries, or guacamole? Neither can we. Yet the foods we take for granted were unknown outside the western hemisphere before 1492—because they are native to the western hemisphere.

Indigenous foods have added delicious and nutritious dimensions to cuisine for nearly six centuries—yet if you had wanted to try high-end indigenous cuisine prepared by Native chefs in New York City, until now, you were out of luck, because there is not one restaurant in all of New York City featuring indigenous cuisine.

On May 2, the American Indian College Fund will introduce New Yorkers to Indigenous cuisine at its New York City EATSS (Epicurean Award to Support Scholars) event from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at The Lighthouse at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, New York, New York, 10011. Attendees will also learn about how food sovereignty can help ensure the survival of nutritious food sources during climate change.

The following Indigenous celebrity chefs will serve up their favorite creations to guests:

    • Chef Ben Jacobs (Osage Nation) is a nationally renowned chef and co-founder of Tocabe, An American Indian Eatery, the largest Native American restaurant chain.
    • Chef Andrea Murdoch (Andean Native; Caracas, Venezuela) is the owner of Four Directions Cuisine, using food to trace her own culture while educating the public about the expansive world of Indigenous food systems.
    • Chef Bradley Dry (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) has been a chef for 12 years, cooking traditional Cherokee dishes. He specializes in traveling to prepare food for special events and people, including Powwows, Folklorama, and the cast and crew of Reservation Dogs.
    • Chef Sherry Pocknett (Mashpee Wampanoag Nation) specializes in the Bounty of the Season, Native American Indigenous food, and New England cooking.
    • Chef Loretta Barrett Oden (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) is an authority on Indigenous foods if North America. She opened the Corn Dance Café in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her son, Clay Oden, in the 1990s, firmly weaving Native American cuisine into the fabric of American dining and is also a founding board member of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.
Chef Ben Jacobs (Osage Nation)

Chef Ben Jacobs (Osage Nation)

Chef Ben Jacobs (Osage Nation)

Chef Andrea Murdoch (Andean Native; Caracas, Venezuela)

Chef Ben Jacobs (Osage Nation)

Chef Bradley Dry (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma)

Chef Ben Jacobs (Osage Nation)

Chef Sherry Pocknett (Mashpee Wampanoag Nation)

Chef Ben Jacobs (Osage Nation)

Chef Loretta Barrett Oden (Citizen Potawatomi Nation)

To attend the event and to arrange for interviews with the chefs or Native students, please contact Dina Horwedel at or 303-430-5350. To register for the event visit

About the American Indian College Fund—The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 33 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $14.45 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2021-22. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $284 million in scholarships, programs, community, and tribal college support. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit



Photo 1: Chef Ben Jacobs (Osage Nation) 

Photo 2: Chef Andrea Murdoch (Andean Native; Caracas, Venezuela) 

Photo 3: Chef Bradley Dry (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma)  

Photo 4: Chef Sherry Pocknett (Mashpee Wampanoag Nation) 

Photo 5: Chef Loretta Barrett Oden (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) 

JournalistsThe American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund. 

Recent Blog Posts