At the Native Food Festival held by TOCA, Tohono O’odham Community Action, at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Nephi Craig, a half Navajo, half White Mountain Apache, and self-defined ex-Skateboarder-turned-chef, demonstrates the potential of Native American cuisine prepared with traditional French-cooking technique. “Since I was not able to create a dish for the Native Chef Dinner at Kai [Restaurant] that night, I wanted to go all out for our cooking demonstration. I had a Native sous chef by the name of Harrison Watchman,” Craig says.
For their cooking demonstration, Craig and Watchman prepared rabbit in three traditional Native American dishes incorporating French-style with a very French culinary presentation.
1) Stew: braised leg meat with winter squash, root vegetable, and brussel sprout leaves, chives and rabbit jus.
2) Dumpling: rabbit tortelinni, tomato confit and wilted greens, EVOO and Apache salt.
3) Roast: pan roasted bacon wrapped loin of rabbit, braised baby turnips, young carrots and pearl onions, garnished with a rack of rabbit and yellow Apache salt.