Nephi Craig

Nephi Craig (White Mountain Apache/Navajo) Nephi Craig is a classically trained Native American chef who draws specifically on his own cultural roots for culinary inspiration.  Craig’s earliest culinary memories are gardening and cooking with his mother – and selling their baked goods to neighbors.  As a young adult he attended culinary school at Scottsdale Community College and apprenticed under the experienced chefs at The Country Club at DC Ranch and Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician Resort, two of Arizon’a finest restaurants.

Wanting to ensure authentic representation of Native Americans in the world of professional cookery, Craig founded The Native American Culinary Association or NACA, a grass-roots network of chefs and cooks from across the Americas. NACA aims to preserve Native American Culinary Traditions while taking a forward thinking approach to modern Native American Cookery and Cuisine.

Chef Craig has been cooking for over a decade in America and abroad. Craig has cooked in Sao, Paulo Brazil, Cologne Germany, London UK and Osaka Japan.  Chef Craig has also been conducting workshops for the past 11 years, teaching at the grass-roots level within Native communities and at the James Beard House (New York) The National Museum of the American Indian (Washington DC), Native American health departments, reservation high school culinary programs on the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the Navajo Nation.

Craig was selected by the Eiteljorg Museum as a Ford Artist in Residence (supported by the Ford Foundation’s IllumiNation program) for March 2011.  His residency will include a week in November 2010 to host the Fry Bread Cookoff, present a couple workshops and do some preliminary work with local chefs for his March 2011 residency.