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New Native Kitchen with Chef Freddie Bitsoie

Chef Freddie Bitsoie is the former executive chef of the Mitsitam Cafe at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Since the pandemic, Chef Freddie has creatively dived back into the heart of his culinary passions while safely spending time back home at his mother’s house on the Navajo Nation. After some time to “get back to basics,” Freddie released New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian in November of 2021 to wide acclaim.

In this weekend workshop, you will have the opportunity to reintroduce yourself to dishes that will rewire your approach to cooking. Learn to prepare dishes using ingredients Indigenous to the Americas, such as Navajo corn, acorn mill, cactus, seaweed, and more. Fusing his classical culinary training with knowledge of Native American foods and ingredients, you will learn new recipes and see how you can incorporate ancient techniques in food preparation in your very own kitchen. Throughout the workshop, you will also explore the uses and adaptations of ingredients from across the Americas.

Chef Freddie will teach you about the cultural and historical context of the ingredients and foods you prepare. You will focus on a handful of recipe favorites from Freddie’s new book that you will get to prepare alongside this award-winning chef! Come eager and hungry for two days filled with hands-on cooking lessons and food tastings. This class is for all those who love great food with context!

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Set of preferred personal cooking knives (optional)
  • Cooking utensils
  • Fresh produce and spices
  • Use of pots and pans
  • Commemorative apron and take-home recipe booklet

Freddie J. Bitsoie (Diné), is the former executive chef at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Mitsitam Native Foods Café in Washington, DC. Bitsoie was also previously the executive chef of Fire Rock Casino on the Navajo Nation. He travels widely, presenting for organizations including Kraft Foods, College of the Holy Cross, Yale University, and the Heard Museum. Freddie hosted the public TV show Rezervations Not Required and appears in and actively contributes to many publications. He won the Native Chef Competition at the National Museum of the American Indian in 2013. Freddie studied cultural anthropology and art history at Arizona State University before attending culinary school. In November of 2021 he released to great acclaim his new cookbook, New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian and is currently traveling throughout the country on his book tour.

Instagram: @fjbits
Facebook: Chef Freddie J. Bitsoie

Native American & Inland Empire Teacher Scholarships 

We recently made some changes to our scholarship application process.

Generous donors have made scholarships and fellowships for adult workshops available on a limited basis for these specific groups:

  1. Native American Community Leaders, Artists, Members, and Teachers
  2. Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

Scholarships include tuition, lab fee, dorm housing, and all meals provided by the campus dining service. We believe in allowing everyone a chance to experience the transformative power of art at Idyllwild Arts. In order to reach as many as possible with this opportunity we are happy to extend each applicant one scholarship. These scholarships are designed to provide access to arts based educational opportunities that will advance your personal and professional development as well as the Indigenous community(ies) you come from. You are responsible for paying the $50 application fee and transportation to and from campus. A short essay (200 to 750 words) expressing how this opportunity will benefit you and your community is required, we want to hear from you! We also ask that you provide screenshots of your last two W2s so that the scholarship committee can identify financial need and assess the scholarship amount to be offered. We are pleased to offer scholarships in two categories.

  • Full Scholarship: students receive meals, housing, and tuition and lab fee (room and board if applicable).
  • Half Scholarship: students receive approximately half off their tuition (room and board if applicable)

For more detailed information and a Scholarship FAQ please read Adult Scholarships FAQs.

Scholarship Details: 

  1. Native American Community Members, Leaders, Artists, and Teachers
    For adults 19 and older with current tribal affiliation, the scholarship brings community leaders, artists, members, and teachers to workshops at Idyllwild Arts to benefit both the scholarship recipients themselves and those in their schools or tribal communities. Applicants who demonstrate financial need may receive priority. We also offer scholarships for Native American Teens for both the Summer Program and the Academy.
  2. Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students
    For teachers and graduate students from the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the adjacent areas), this scholarship brings teachers and graduate students to Idyllwild Arts to attend Native American Arts workshops. The Native American Arts Workshops benefit both recipients and their students and communities, providing culturally appropriate instruction and professional development to teachers and graduate students. Applicants with financial needs may receive priority. These scholarships are made possible through the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

Click here for more information about adult scholarships.

Age: 19 years and above

Dates: June 17-18, 2023
Two-day session

Tuition, room, and board: $830

Day student tuition: $390

Lab Fee: $65 includes all ingredients, recipe booklet of in-class recipes, and use of cooking tools and equipment. Native American producers and cooperatives will supply your work ingredients; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials as outlined below.

Skill Level: All levels. Experienced cooks will learn new techniques.

Enrollment is limited to 10 students.

Instructor: Freddie J. Bitsoie

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