Potawatomi’s Native American cuisine stresses indigenous ingredients
When Dream Dance Steak, the highend restaurant inside Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, hosts its annual Native American Heritage Dinner in November, the likely theme will be indigenous Hawaiian cuisine.
Should the Milwaukee restaurant secure the talents of the right Hawaiian chef, the seventh annual dinner would showcase the islands’ indigenous foods and preparations — well beyond the typical tourist fare of poy, pineapple and Kalua pork. The latter is famously produced during a two-day ritual that requires an entire pig to be prepared and then roasted while buried in the ground.
But the growing number of the restaurant’s Native cuisine fans won’t have to wait that long. Some of the most popular dishes from last fall’s Ojibwe Native American dinner menu and other Native ingredients will start appearing this spring on the regular menus of Dream Dance Steak and, to a lesser degree, The Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill, thanks to both the talents and heritage of executive chef Mike Christensen.
Although a native of Chicago, Christensen is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in northern Wisconsin. In addition to Native influences, he has 35 years of restaurant experience, a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and designation as a certified executive chef from the American Culinary Federation.
Dream Dance Steak chef Chase Anderson, another CIA graduate, also will lead the Native foods initiative. Although of Scandinavian heritage, Anderson spent much of his youth on the Oneida Nation reservation near Green Bay, where his mother worked.
Dream Dance’s simply broiled Norwegian salmon, sautéed spinach, wild-rice pilaf and maple-mustard sauce.