ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man is hoping to highlight Indigenous chefs with a new speaker series through his non-profit. The non-profit IndigeNOW has been working to create unique cultural experiences from artisan gatherings to multi-day festivals since 1994.
“Our goal essentially is to turn up the volume for Indigenous messages and Indigenous voices from around the world,” explains the founder, Gordon Bronitsky.
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Bronitsky has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona and is a trained archaeologist. Back in May, the group had its first pilot project bringing a virtual presentation from a Zimbabwe chef to the Navajo Technical University.
Now, Bronitsky is working with partners to expand that. “With all the uncertainty of the pandemic, we decided that the next step should be a larger scale virtual International Indigenous chefs speaker series,” he says.
The non-profit is in the process of inviting chefs to participate. Mhlelusizo Ncube explains, “I will be representing Zimbabwe as an Indigenous chef and I’m hoping to bring to light Indigenous foods. The theme for the speaker series is ‘Indigenizing our Food’. Food puts the community together, food is heritage, food is the world itself,” says Ncube.
Chef Ncube has a strong passion for Indigenous African foods. “Imagine if everyone was eating well with food that is connected to the heritage to the identity how happy everyone would be and how productive they would be,” she says.
She has 12 years of exquisite fine dining experience with renowned hotels and lodges, Victoria Falls Safari Lodges, Asara Wine Estate & Hotel, Singita Pamushana, Zimbabwe, and Singita Lodges South Africa amongst others.
IndigeNOW has a vision to bring a new kind of festival to New Mexico. “Eventually our goal is to create an in-person Indigenous culinary festival and trade show,” shares Bronitsky.
Organizers are still working on getting the funds for the speaker series. They’re aiming for it to launch early next year.