Virtual Inspirations



New Mexico Virtual Culinary Experience
On-demand webinar with recipes!

Take a journey into the heart and soul of New Mexico with Native American chef and food historian, Chef Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

“Did you know that scientists found chocolate in Chaco Canyon? Using radio carbon dating, we now know that chocolate was in Chaco Canyon over on thousand years ago. Celebrate these trade routes that were established many millennia ago and learn how to make a delicious Mole (chocolate and chile sauce) featuring ancestral ingredients that existed in the Americas prior to any European contact with ingredients introduced by the Spanish. This is a must culinary journey for anyone interested in the history of the region.”

This virtual cooking experience was recorded LIVE on April 21, 2020 and is now available on-demand with recipes!

Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Chef Lois has spent over 25 years documenting foods and life ways of Native American tribes from the Southwest, and in 2011 received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in Culinary Anthropology. This lengthy immersion in Native American communities culminated in her book, Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, featuring traditional and contemporary recipes. It won the James Beard Award in the Americana category and was the first Native American book to win the award. She has worked with world-renowned chefs, scientists and academicians and collaborated with them to publish many culinary posters and cookbooks.

Walter Whitewater

Walter Whitewater was born in Pinon, Arizona and is from the Diné (Navajo) Nation. He grew up in a traditional family and began cooking as a young boy after seeing people cooking at some of the traditional ceremonies his family attended. He began cooking professionally in 1992 and has been cooking ever since, now working alongside Lois and founding the Native American Catering and Food Company named Red Mesa Cuisine. Today Chefs Frank and Whitewater cook for private events, weddings, parties, corporate meetings and gallery openings as well as Native events for Native organizations all over the United States and Internationally.