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Native American cuisine on tap at MFA
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Dr. Lois Ellen Frank, chef, author, culinary anthropologist, photographer, and professor, is an expert on Native American food traditions.
ST. PETERSBURG - Dr. Lois Ellen Frank, chef, author, culinary anthropologist, photographer, and professor, is an expert on Native American food traditions.

Her book, Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, won the prestigious James Beard Foundation Book Award. The text, recipes, and striking photographs take readers on a cultural journey through food. Among the dishes profiled are lamb-stuffed chiles, fried squash blossoms, Zuni sunflower cakes, and prickly pear ice.

Frank comes to the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg Thursday, Feb. 20, and Saturday, Feb. 22.

She presents Random Act of Culture, Thursday, Feb. 20, 6-8 p.m., which includes Native American Southwest Cuisine: lecture, cooking demonstration and book signing. Cost is $20 MFA members, $35 non-members. Ticket includes lecture, two courses, and a souvenir recipe card of the dishes prepared. Call 727-896-2667, ext. 210, or visit www.f­ine-a­rts.o­rg to purchase tickets or for more details.

Just for children, Make and Eat! is Saturday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m.-noon. Frank will present a lively program for children on Native American cuisine of the southwest. Participants will prepare a healthy, delicious, child-friendly dish. This is an ideal opportunity for parents and children to share a morning together. Enjoy lunch in the MFA Cafť for an additional fee. Admission is $5 per person for ages 5 and older. MFA members free. Preregistration is required and space is limited. To register, call 727-896-2667, ext. 210.

Frank has published more than 20 cookbooks and over 15 culinary posters. Her photographs, as well as her eloquent writing, have appeared in many other books and periodicals. She is a featured instructor at the Santa Fe School of Cooking and has her own catering company, Red Mesa Cuisine, in that city.

Part Kiowa, Frank holds her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Her recipes are inspired by indigenous American and Mexican traditions and she has traveled widely to research them and the cultures they represent.

Both Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations and Taco Table are available in the Museum Store, and Dr. Frank will sign copies following her MFA presentations.

She has written: ďIndigenous people of the Southwest are as diverse as the land they live on. Nevertheless, they share the belief that food is important beyond physical sustenance. The acts of hunting, growing, gathering, cooking, and eating take on a spiritual aspect akin to prayer. The relationship between the land and its people is sacred.Ē

Dr. Frankís presentations complement New Mexico and the Arts of Enchantment featuring the Raymond James Financial Collection, which continues through Saturday, May 11. New Mexico has inspired some of the most imaginative and diverse American art - and food - ever created. This fascinating exhibition, with nearly 100 works, ranges from pre-Hispanic pottery to vibrant twenty-first-century paintings and sculpture.

The MFA is at 255 Beach Drive N.E. For more information, call 727-896-2667 or visit www.f­ine-a­rts.o­rg.
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