James Beard Award Winning Chef Cooking in Watertown Indigenous Food Week

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The following announcement was provided by the Pigsgusset Intitiative:

Starting on November 16 and for one week only, diners can sample award-winning Indigenous cuisine prepared according to recipes by Mashpee Wampanoag Chef Sherry Pocknett, 2023 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northeast. Branch Line restaurant in Watertown will feature Chef Pocknett’s butternut squash soup, corn cakes, and cranberry chutney as part of Watertown’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration and in recognition of Native American Heritage Month. In 2022, Branch Line hosted the first Indigenous Food Week with Chef Pocknett.

Chef Pocknett will travel to Watertown to collaborate with Branch Line’s new Executive Chef, Michael Morway, and his staff on Thursday, November 16th. She will talk about the 12,000 year history of the Mashpee Wampanoag and describe her deep connection to food and cooking. She and Dr. Mishy Lesser, co-founder of Pigsgusset Initiative and Learning Director for Upstander Project, will introduce staff to the culinary and cultural history of the dishes. Following this conversation, Chefs Pocknett and Morway will work together to create the dishes that will be served at the restaurant.  The staff will then sample the dishes and practice how to introduce restaurant patrons to Wampanoag cuisine.

Dan Hogan, News Director from Watertown Cable TV, will film this initial event and share behind-the-scenes footage with cable viewers to encourage them to visit Branch Line to sample the dishes. A “family friendly” time has been designated 4:30-5:30 p.m. each evening. Indigenous artwork will be available for children to color while everyone enjoys the food. Indigenous Food Week will wrap up at Branch Line on Tuesday, November 21st. 

Reservations are encouraged and diners should ask for the Indigenous food menu.

Indigenous Food Week at Branch Line is organized by the Pigsgusset Initiative, a working group of Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment. Generous grant funding from the Watertown Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have made this event possible.

For further information contact: Mishy Lesser, mishy@upstanderproject.org

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