Chef Demonstrations & Tastings

2016 Chef Demonstrations & Tasting Schedule

Please come back closer to the Fair date for the 2016 Fair artists. Below is the web page for the 2015 Fair to give you an idea of what to expect at the 2016 Fair.

2015 Chef Demonstrations & Tasting Schedule

  • 11:00 a.m.
  • Noon
  • 1:00 p.m.
  • 2:00 p.m.

Indigenous Ingredients for sale. Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA) offers a comprehensive set of programs aimed at creating a healthy, culturally vital and sustainable community.  They will be selling tepary beans and other ingredients near the Chef Demo tent near the entrance to the Museum.

Native Foods Cooking Demonstrations & Tasting

Join us for a delightful and tasty exploration of Native foods and the bounty of our Sonoran Desert. Throughout the Fair weekend, visiting chefs will be demonstrating and sharing their passion for foods, in both traditional and modern preparations, that will tantalize your taste buds, heighten your awareness of the delicious and nutritious ingredients found in our desert home, provide recipes and easy tips for home preparation, and teach you about the traditions and values native communities celebrate in harvesting, preparing, and enjoying meals together.

Cooking demonstrations will be held in the Pritzloff Garden (close to the Museum entrance).

Saturday, March 7

11 a.m. Chef Nephi Craig (White Mountain Apache), Sunrise Resort, Greer

Traditional White Mountain Apache Corn Bread
(A traditional appetizers that is on the current menu and that was featured in the 2014 issue of Best of Summer in Food and Wine Magazine)
DINETAH BLUE CORN FRITTERS served with Berries, Seeds, and Pinon Cloud
12 p.m. Chef Irene Rutigliano, Heard Museum Cafe
1 p.m. Chef Felicia Ruiz (Tewa)
2 p.m. Desert Rain Café staff (Tohono O’odham), Sells, Arizona
Cholla Bud Citrus Salad

Sunday, March 8

11, noon –  Chef Irene Rutigliano, Heard Museum Cafe
12 p.m. – Chef LaDawn Yazzie
1 p.m. –
Velvet & Ramona Button, Ramona Farms (Gila River Indian Community)
2 p.m. Desert Rain Café staff (Tohono O’odham), Sells, Arizona
Tepary Bean Wild Rice Salad Wraps

Indigenous Ingredients for sale – Tohono O’odham Community Action

Chef Nephi Craig

Nephi Craig
Chef Nephi Craig (White Mountain Apache), Sunrise Park Resort, Greer, AZ and founder of the Native American Culinary Association (NACA). Nephi provides training, workshops, and lectures on Native American Cuisine to groups across the U.S. and abroad. He takes great pride in sharing the spiritual and celebratory traditions of food in nurturing and healing both body and soul. A highlight of his work with NACA includes preparing a Native American themed menu for the renowned James Beard Foundation at the James Beard House in New York City.

Chef Felicia Ruiz,  Tewa and Mexican (Isleta and Sandia Pueblo)

A native of Arizona, Chef Felicia Ruiz would best describe herself as a Natural Chef.  She is a mindful eater and strongly believes in the benefits of healthy eating and the preparation of REAL foods.  Felicia’s passion for cooking began at an early age and she has cultivated a cooking style that has been influenced by family, heritage, education, and a commitment to her beliefs.

For the past two decades, Felicia’s quest has taken her to over a dozen countries.  She has spent that time studying various culinary techniques and increasing her understanding of the benefits of food as a natural medicine.  Felicia has adopted a philosophy that “Foods closest to the earth, foods that have been nurtured, offer the most valuable keys to wellness.”

Chef Ruiz has opened two award-winning and internationally recognized businesses in Phoenix, Arizona.  With a particular focus on a natural, plant-based diet, she continues to conduct workshops and classes that promote wellness and healthy eating.

Desert Rain Café, Sells, Arizona

Desert Rain Café opened in 2009 and is an enterprise of the Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA). Each dish contains at least one traditional Tohono O’odham food such as cholla buds, tepary beans or saguaro fruit syrup.  Sometimes we prepare them as our people have for countless generations and sometimes in new ways.  Either way, it is done with the utmost respect for the foods that I’itoi – our Elder Brother – provided to sustain the People of the Desert.

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