Indigenous Chopped Challenge


The Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance has been working hard, strengthening partnerships, and building an amazing community through our ancestral foods. From the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network and an unprecedented seed distribution, to the growers expanding crops to meet the needs of our communities, it’s amazing to witness everyone coming together to provide for each other. In a pivoting response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NAFSA has partnered with the Intertribal Agriculture Council to provide our first ever Virtual Intertribal Food Summit on June 20th, offering a way to stay connected and share knowledge.

That being said, we have decided to launch the #indigenouschoppedchallenge as a way to continue building our community while highlighting some of the inspirational work being done with Indigenous ingredients. As part of NAFSA’s Food and Culinary Mentorship Program, there are some amazing Indigenous chefs that have stepped up to be mentors. Each week a different chef mentor will introduce their challenge. Contestants will follow their requirements using what is available at home, and present a completed dish. Since judges won’t be able to taste the dishes, the treatment of the ingredients, meeting the requirements of the challenge, cooking techniques and final plating will determine the winner. 

So remember to post on Instagram and tag  #NAFSA  #IAC #intertribalfoodsummit #indigenouschoppedchallenge when posting your videos,  so that the judges can see the entry. This challenge is about having fun and showcasing your talents as Indigenous cooks/chefs. See below for more information on the #IndigenousChoppedChallenge

NAFSA’s Food and Culinary Mentorship program, rooted in the cultivation of Indigenous food sovereignty, looks to assist in strengthening the connection of people to their food from the care-taking of the seeds and the earth they are planted in. 

This Native-driven organization is dedicated to supporting Native communities nationally with advocacy, education, and networking as they revitalize their Indigenous food systems. NAFSA’s core programs are the Indigenous SeedKeepers Network, Food and Culinary Mentorship Program and Storytelling/Communications. 


About the Indigenous Chopped Challenge


  • Who: Calling all Indigenous Chefs and Cooks!
  • What: A weekly cooking challenge judged by a panel of featured chefs and mentors.
  • When: Weekly from May 1st
  • Where: This challenge will be 100% online and will utilize platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Why: With the atmosphere of today, NAFSA is hoping to create an inspirational challenge to engage Indigenous food producers, chefs and the broader Native community, offering engagement and inclusion through traditional foods. 


  • This challenge will complement the launch of the Food and Culinary Program 2020 application year, as well as highlighting the partnership between NAFSA and Intertribal Agriculture Council. This challenge will be a vehicle for a rapid pivot response to Covid-19 and how it is  impacting Native communities and Indigenous Food Sources. 
  • Along with highlighting the work chefs are doing, it also will highlight the work of the producers. The goals here are making connections, networking, and relationship building.
  • The challenges will be done weekly, changing the course and basket ingredient requirements. Each week baskets could  include one foraged item, one protein and one acid. The basket ingredients will change and be up to the individual participant to decide on and provide, however they have to comply with the weekly requirements.
  • Featured chef mentors will be weekly judges, explaining the rules and challenge requirements. They will put together a small team of judges who will be responsible for choosing and announcing the winner for the week.  


  1. Submissions must be 59 seconds or less, edited appropriately to show cooking technique;
  2.  Post videos on Instagram with the hashtags #indigenouschoppedchallenge #NAFSA #IAC  #intertribalfoodsummit ;
  3. Challenges will be posted weekly by different mentors. (The mentor that posts the challenges will submit their requirements prior to the challenge);
  4. The mentor of the week will put together a team to decide the winner. 
  5. If you are not a judge, feel free to participate in the challenge.
  6. Weekly prizes will vary. The prize will be announced when the challenge requirements are posted.
  7. Each week we will feature different Indigenous producers. Dishes can contain any additional ingredients as long they highlight the main requirements. 


This challenge will lead up to the Virtual Intertribal Food Summit.  In addition to the featured chefs that will be giving presentations, a webinar topic will be offered to each of the weekly winning chefs along with a follow-up  product package. This package will be sent to each weekly winner directly from the producers and will be sponsored by Intertribal Agriculture Council. The winners will be expected to create a video/webinar topic  exemplifying the use of the product. The video will be featured at the VITFS. This challenge will also offer a producer spotlight by giving their products as prizes.  This will assist in building  stronger relationships between the chefs and producers.