Does the idea of Thanksgiving get your politically correct panties all in a bunch?
Good news, you can still enjoy gorging yourself on Mother Nature's autumn bounty without having to sell your soul to the controversial Hallmark holiday.
Instead, celebrate the season by letting Chef Freddie Bitsoie prepare an artistic meal for you and yours at the Heard Museum's second annual Harvest Feast.
Bitsoie looks at the event as a time to celebrate the universal harvest festivals that have always brought people together--regardless of culture or race.
"Nowhere in the world has food ever intentionally separated people. It always brought people together. Every culture in the world celebrates the harvest. It's that primordial sense of us being animals knowing that we're thankful to have food."
More from Freddie on native food after the jump.
When he's not cooking, teaching or working on his upcoming TV show Rezervations Not Required, Bitsoie enjoys studying the emerging science of "food anthropology." Looking at the relationship and development of food and culture, he hopes to research and promote the value of native food as a cultural cuisine. Bitsoie is in the process of studying the "Hierarchy of Cuisine" which places a monetary value on what people are willing to pay for food based on culture alone.
"Native food is tremendously undervalued because it's still related to fry bread and the Indian taco. But how can we place value on something like truffles versus something life cholla buds?"
For Bitsoie, the Harvest Festival is an opportunity to share his take on native cuisine with an audience of diners who will come from all over the country. The event carries the tagline "An Edible Gallery" and is a chance for diners to taste and interact with the concept of native food in a similar way to a typical art exhibit. Bitsoie pulls his inspiration by trying to imagine what life was like for native peoples before Relocation when the daily lives and routines of the people were changed drastically altered.
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"If you go to a native restaurant you're not getting what grandma likes and what grandma eats. Why at the native restaurants--if they're so good--why are there no natives eating there?"
You can purchase tickets for the Harvest Feast on the Heard Museum website. Tickets are $75 for adults, $60 for museum members, and $30 for children 12 and under. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.