Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.
Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Title: Contributing Writer

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Education: Ph.D. in Culinary Anthropology, The University of New Mexico
M.A. in Cultural Anthropology, The University of New Mexico
B.A. in Photography, Brooks Institute

Expertise: Native American cuisine, foods of the Southwest, Indigenous cuisine, health and wellness
- Author of Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, a James Beard Award-winning cookbook
- Spent more than 30 years documenting the foods and lifestyles of Native American tribes from the Southwest
- Ph.D. dissertation: The Discourse and Practice of Native American Cuisine: Native American Chefs and Native American Cooks in Contemporary Southwest Kitchens

Experience

Lois Ellen Frank is a chef, author, Native foods historian and photographer who has spent more than three decades immersing herself in Native American communities. Her book, Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, is the culmination of that experience documenting the foods and ways of life of Southwest Native American tribes. It's filled with traditional and contemporary recipes and won a James Beard Award in the Americana category in 2003. It was one of the first Native American books to win the award.

Over the years, Lois has worked with world-renowned chefs, scientists and academicians to publish culinary posters and cookbooks. She's also worked with a number of advertising agencies and editorial clients as a chef and a photographer. Lois owns a Native American catering and food company named Red Mesa Cuisine, and cooks food for private events, weddings, corporate meetings and Native events and organizations all over the United States.
The re-indigenization of Native American cuisine through the use of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, the flourishing of Indigenous foods and the celebration of Native chefs and cooks are just a few tools to promote better health.
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These striking parfaits are made with two colors of corn pudding and berry compote. If you prefer, you can use just one type of cornmeal. Culinary ash, typically made from wood like juniper, is used in Native American communities as a source of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. These make a satisfying breakfast or not-too-sweet dessert. Enjoy them warm or chilled. This recipe is part of our spotlight, There's a Movement to Revitalize Indigenous Cuisines and Knowledge—Here's Why That Matters.
Three Sisters Stew
Rating: Unrated
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This Three Sisters Stew recipe is easy to make, nutritious and delicious. The Three Sisters are corn, beans and squash, which have been planted together for centuries by Native peoples and have spiritual significance for some. In New Mexico, it is often said that a healthy environment means a healthy culture, which leads to healthy people, and the way these vegetables grow in the garden exemplifies this notion of interconnectedness. The beans climb the cornstalks, the squash leaves shade the soil, limiting weed growth, and the beans fix nitrogen into the soil as well as help stabilize the cornstalks. This stew is perfect for a cold winter day, and wonderful as an encore the next day if you have any leftovers. This recipe is part of our spotlight, There's a Movement to Revitalize Indigenous Cuisines and Knowledge—Here's Why That Matters.