Native American Chefs Share Cultural Cooking Values With GCC Students

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Guam – Two visiting Native American chefs taught students in GCC Chef Paul Kerner’s Patisserie class how to cook a pecan chocolate tort with a Native American twist today [Tuesday].

Chefs Lois Ellen Frank and Walter Whitewater are on Guam courtesy of the Guam Humanities Council’s “Eat Your Heritage” tour, and spent this morning with the GCC culinary students.

[Native American Chefs Lois Ellen Frank (left) and Walter Whitewater direct GCC culinary students in the art of making a pecan chocolate tort with blue corn flour today at GCC. The visiting Native American chefs are on island to celebrate the Guam Humanities Council’s “Eat Your Heritage” tour]

Frank and Whitewater had the students make a chocolate pecan tort using blue corn flour, and to add a little local twist, they topped the tort with fresh mango sauce. The Native American chefs talked to the students about cooking with ancestral traditions as a way to preserve and perpetuate culture. Speaking about natural food resources, Whitewater said the Native American way is to take only enough for what you need, so that there will be plenty for everyone.

“It’s all about respect,” Whitewater said. Respect for natural resources is a concept that is also associated with the ancient Chamorro culture, according to local experts.

Frank and Whitewater own and operate Red Mesa, a restaurant in the mainland Southwest that combines Native American culture and cuisine to provide patrons a unique educational and culinary experience. Frank recently received her doctoral degree in anthropology from the University of New Mexico, examining the ways contemporary Southwestern chefs use indigenous ingredients in their cooking and how this is representational of their own identities.

The two chefs are also visiting GCC ProStart culinary classes at Simon Sanchez and George Washington high schools this week.