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Native businesswoman ties in her heritage with her passion for cooking

Tilsen-Brave Heart and her relatives did a traditional buffalo hunt earlier this month.
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 4:49 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Early in the pandemic, many of us started gardens to help reduce waste and become more sustainable. A local businesswoman who took the idea one step further.

A Native American businesswoman and mother wanted to continue her sustainability practices, and she found a way to connect with her heritage at the same time.

“That’s really what Et-i-quette is all about, is real food connecting with real people,” said Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart, Et-i-quette Catering Company co-owner and executive chef.

Tilsen-Brave Heart’s catering company uses as many local products as possible to not only feed your body but nourish it.

“The industrial food complex is things are just mass-produced, and there’s a lot of food waste that happens and in the time of COVID, I think it’s even more important to be able to pare down to what we actually need,” said Tilsen-Brave Heart.

And that’s exactly what Tilsen-Brave Heart and her relatives did earlier this month during a traditional buffalo hunt.

“It was a beautiful hunt,” said Tilsen-Brave Heart. “The animal was shot one time in an honorable and respectful way, and then we completely hand butchered the buffalo and we used every single portion of the buffalo. All of it was used.”

Tilsen-Brave Heart said it was about both sustainability and culture.

“We want to reduce waste; we want don’t use plastic, we don’t use those other things, so it’s better for the environment,” said Tilsen-Brave Heart. “I also think that it’s a beautiful way to show our culture. People were asking me, ‘Oh my gosh, you shared it on social media, and it was so bloody,’ and I said, you know it’s also really beautiful.”

Tilsen-Brave Heart combines her culture and her love of food to connect with her ancestors and her clients.

“We want them to feel like we put our whole heart into what we prepare and share with the world,” said Tilsen-Brave Heart. “We created this space to make you feel like you are in our home and that you’re experiencing a piece of us, our family, and our culture.”

Tilsen-Brave Heart uses what she referred to as food memories to connect with her clients and use their favorite foods and favorite places to inspire their unique catering experience.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.

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