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'Sioux Chef' Sean Sherman wins James Beard Leadership Award

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Chef Sean Sherman and cookbook author Beth Dooley.
Chef Sean Sherman and cookbook author Beth Dooley co-authored the new book "The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen."
Courtesy of Nancy Bundt

Sean Sherman, the founder and CEO of The Sioux Chef was awarded a James Beard Foundation Leadeship Award, which "spotlights the important and complex realms of sustainability, food justice, and public health."

The award is the second for Sherman from the prestige group this year. 

In April, it honored his cookbook "The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen," which is devoted to indigenous foods in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Sherman co-authored the book with Beth Dooley. The book won the James Beard Award for best book in the American category.

Sherman, who is originally from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, runs a Minneapolis-based catering business. He also works as a chef and and educator across the country.

"The Leadership Awards raise awareness of timely industry issues by celebrating the visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more equitable and sustainable food system. Honorees can be recognized for showing emerging promise or specific outstanding initiatives, as well as for bodies of work or lifetime achievement," the organization said in a press release annoucing the five winners  Tuesday. 

In awarding Sherman, the group pointed to his work in revitalizing and raising the awareness of indigenous foods systems. It also pointed to his work in 2018, in co-founding the nonprofit North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems, which is in the process of opening a non-profit restaurant and training center called the Indigenous Food Lab.

The awards will be presented on May 6 in Chicago.