Eat Local: Indigenous Cooking with Rachel Sayet and Sherry Pocknett

Sly Fox Den Restaurant & Bar

VIRTUAL EVENT

(Participation link will be provided in a follow-up email).

It’s time to rethink what “traditional” New England cuisine means. In this dual cooking demo and cultural conversation, Mahpee Chef Sherry Pocknett, owner of Sly Fox Den Restaurant & Bar will demo Wampanoag cooking: striper, seasonal fiddleheads, asparagus, and wild onion. Rachel Beth Sayet or Akitusut (She Who Reads), Indigenous educator, anthropologist and member of the Mohegan nation will prepare yokeag, a dish of dried Indian corn, finely ground and mixed with sugar, accompanied by strawberries. Both cooks will discuss the food traditions they are actively preserving -- traditions that stretch back over 10,000 years into the history of what is now New England.

 


Ingredient Lists:  

Be sure to have all items ready before the event! 
 

Striped Bass (can use other fish such as cod or salmon)

1 lb fiddleheads

1 bunch asparagus

1 bunch scallions

Small bag of baby carrots

1 stick of butter

Sunflower oil

Garlic

Salt

Pepper

Green sprouts such as pea shoots and red pepper for garnish
 

Narragansett Strawberry Bread, Ice cream with Mohegan Yokeag, and Strawberry Leaf Tea:

Vanilla ice cream

Flint corn or Peruvian corn kernels

1 cup strawberries

Cornmeal

Butter

Flour

Eggs 

Milk 

Baking powder

Salt

Strawberry leaf

1/2 cup ground walnuts (optional)

3/4 cup maple sugar (or 1/2 cup regular sugar as substitute)

You can support a Native company by purchasing your maple sugar from Passamaquoddy Maple!

Rachel Sayet

Rachel Beth Sayet or Akitusut (She Who Reads) is a member of the Mohegan nation. Raised with the spirits of her ancestors, she grew up learning traditional stories and teachings and participating in tribal events. 
 
Rachel has always been passionate about and proud of her Mohegan heritage and identity as well as an avid studier and learner about other cultures, indigenous and beyond. History has always been her favorite subject. 
 
Rachel’s other main passion throughout her life has been food. As a child, she grew up cooking with her grandmother and mother. Rachel’s grandmother Phyllis is a Russian American Jew who always been ahead of the curve when it came to food. In the 1980s she taught Chinese cooking classes. Phyllis inspired Rachel to always try different foods and learn to cook cultural cuisines. 
 
Rachel has a BS in Restaurant Management from Cornell University. In her time at Cornell, she worked in kitchens, ran events for industry representatives, and was a personal chef. She was also a teaching assistant for the class Introduction to Wines. 
During her senior year at Cornell, Rachel was able to take an American Indian Studies course with Mohawk professor Audra Simpson. This course was eye-opening to her, and it was then that she was inspired to teach about Native culture and history. 
 
Rachel then went to graduate school at Harvard University for anthropology and museum studies and received her masters degree in 2012. While at Harvard, Rachel worked at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology for three years and had the opportunity of being a curator for the exhibit “Digging Veritas: the archaeology and history of the Harvard Indian college and 17th century life”. 
 

Her thesis entitled: Moshups Continuance: sovereignty and the literature of the land of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Nation won the award for best thesis in the behavioral sciences at the Harvard University Extension School. 

However she has never stopped working with food. 

In 2013 Rachel wrote a paper entitled “A Celebration of Land and Sea: modern indigenous cuisine in New England” which she presented at many conferences. This led her to start working on ground efforts at her own community and revitalizing traditional foods. 

Through her trainings and passions in history, food and culture, she now gives guest lectures, presentations and cooking demos throughout New England to students of all ages. 

Rachel also available to cater functions upon request and is ServSafe certified. 

 

Sherry Pocknett

Wampanoag Chef Sherry Pocknett takes pride in serving authentic Native American cuisine by offering custom catering services and delicious clambakes. Sly Fox Den Restaurant delivers a unique menu that is celebrated for its creative presentation and promotion of local Native American food traditions. She is also the Food & Beverage Manager of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center.