In honor of National American Heritage Month in November, the Arizona American Indian Tourism Association is presenting a unique Arizona Indigenous Culinary Experience on Saturday, November 18 at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, which will give guests the opportunity to explore the tastes, sights and highlights from Native Arizona communities.
The one-of-a-kind culinary event will feature traditional and contemporary Native cuisine in a formal cocktail setting, as well as Native arts and live performances for a multi-sensory experience that is unique to Arizona and the indigenous people that helped shape its culture today.
Guests will delight in the rich history, music and people of Native Arizona, as well as the tastes and flavors of native cuisine through cooking demos from local, indigenous and contemporary chefs in addition to tasting stations featuring traditional and fusion foods. Enjoy desert-infused cocktails crafted by Arizona’s most noted Native American chefs.
Curated by IndieHub Chef and Director Bleu Adams, the chef line-up includes Chef Denella Belin representing the Dine and Tohono O’odham Nations, Chef Renetto-Mario Etsitty of the Navajo Nation, James Beard Nominee Chef Jaren Bates Dine, Chef Roxanne Wilson of Emerson Frybread and Pastry Chef Reina Cruz with Spirit Mountain Coffee, the Hualapai Community and Native Health Arizona.
In addition to culinary elements, the Arizona Indigenous Culinary Experience will highlight Native art and businesses. This year’s event will welcome back Fashion Designer Joan Miles-Long R.R. Raid who will be showcasing a new collection on sustainable Native Fashion. Laney Lupe, Miss Indian Arizona (MIA) 2023–24, and Natiana King and Tonana Ben, the first and second attendants to MIA, will also be attending the event.
Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about the importance of indigenous agrotourism during the event and connect with many indigenous agritourism businesses within the Arizona tribes. Indigenous agrotourism offers a sustainable way for visitors to engage with indigenous farmers, while also learning, exploring and supporting indigenous communities economically.
By participating in traditional practices such as planting, harvesting and preparing meals, individuals are able to deepen their understanding of the spiritual and cultural connections between indigenous peoples, their environment and food systems. Moreover, indigenous agro-tourism has the potential to generate income for communities, contributing to development, education, healthcare and cultural preservation. It also serves as a platform to raise awareness of indigenous challenges, fostering a sense of social responsibility among visitors.
Tickets to the Arizona Indigenous Culinary Experience are now available online. General admission is $40 and All-access food and beverage tickets are $70 each. To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.
Photos courtesy Arizona American Indian Tourism Association