For the Love of Native Foods: Chef Crystal Wahpepah
Chef Crystal Wahpepah’s (Kickapoo) love for cooking Indigenous foods goes back 25 years. “I always made Indigenous foods within my household and with my family, and, of course, my children,” she says. “What really made me pursue [my career] was probably around 10 to 12 years ago when I was approached to cater.” Wahpepah’s catering business, Wahpepah’s Kitchen, is located in Oakland, California, where she was raised. Based on her Kickapoo heritage, she serves Native American cuisine influenced by traditional family recipes that have been passed down to her over generations.