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holše neppe mur — a beautiful evening at Café Ohlone. 🌝✨ Another dinner full of delicious Ohlone cuisine while celebrating our rich culture. Our first bite was composed of an elderberry and rosehip tea soaked quail egg, accompanied with peppercress microgreens, East Bay salt and California sturgeon caviar. Our main entree was made up of Ohlone salad, fiddleheads, roasted Indian potatoes, ramps, roasted morals, hazelnut biscuits and crispy duck breast topped with a strawberry coulis slowly cooked with elderflower, rose hip, lavender, yerba buena and bay laurel; we roasted porcini steaks for our vegan diners. For dessert we offered a luxurious vanilla chia porridge, decadent hazelnut flour brownies and a seasonal fruit salad made of blackberry, gooseberry, fresh and dried strawberry. Two delicious teas accompanied the meal: a rose hip and artemisia tea, and an elderberry and yerba buena tea. A big shout out to @queenarch, our amazing DJ for the evening from the Akimel O’odham nation. It was a beautiful night, and we are proud of what was accomplished. Every meal is a celebration, every meal is a victory for our culture. We are grateful. • • 📷: @shotsbygrace_ Grace Ruano and Victoria Ruano (both members of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe)

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'This meal is a victory': Cafe Ohlone earns Critic's Pick from New York Times

Cafe Ohlone, a restaurant serving contemporary Native cuisine, continues to earn accolades for its unique approach to Indigenous food.

Cafe Ohlone is run by Vincent Medina, a citizen of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, and Louis Trevino, who is part of the Rumsen Ohlone community. The pair give diners not only a taste of food from the Ohlone people in northern California, but also some of the history of their often-overlooked Indigenous nations.

“This meal is a victory,” Medina said near the conclusion of recent meal attended by Tejal Rao, a restaurant critic at The New York Times.

Rao was so impressed by the food at Cafe Ohlone that it's now one of her "Critic's Picks." She said Medina and Trevino interviewed tribal elders and studied recipes that had been documented in the 1920s and 1930s.

"What they found was an earlier incarnation of California cuisine, fittingly fresh and local, farmed and foraged, diverse and polished," Rao writes in her review, published August 12. Dishes are based on traditional Ohlone foods like acorn, fish, venison and chia.

Cafe Ohlone is accessed through the University Press Books in Berkeley, whose name in the Chochenyo is xučyun. It is open for evening tea hour on Tuesdays, lunch tastings on Thursdays, dinner on certain Saturdays and brunch on some Sundays

The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and other media outlets also have visited Cafe Ohlone. Soleil Ho of The Chronicle called meals there "an education in American Indian cuisine, and value in dining."

“Farm-to-table is nothing new here,” Medina said, Ho wrote in March. “To not acknowledge that is adding to our erasure.”

Read More on the Story
California Cuisine, Long Before Chez Panisse (The New York Times August 12, 2019)
In Berkeley, Cafe Ohlone brings back the Bay Area’s first foods (The Los Angeles Times May 15, 2019)
The Bay Area’s most intriguing new pop-up highlights precolonial California cuisine (The San Francisco Chronicle March 28, 2019)
Cafe Ohlone Gives Diners A Taste Of California’s Oldest Most Traditional Foods (Mitu March 28, 2019)
Cafe Ohlone: Bringing Native Culture to the Table (The Bay City Beacon February 19, 2019)
From Acorn Bread to Chia Cake, This New Cafe Serves Only Indigenous Foods (Bon Appetit November 13, 2018)

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