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‘Next Level Chef’ winner to be keynote speaker at UNITY conference

Chef Stephanie “Pyet” DeSpain (courtesy photo).

Stephanie “Pyet” DeSpain, winner of the first season of Gordon Ramsay’s “Next Level Chef,” will appear as the keynote speaker at United National Indian Tribal Youth’s (UNITY) National Conference from July 8-12, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Pyet impressed the judges with her Indigenous fusion cuisine, which combines the food of her Native American and Mexican heritage.

“Chef Pyet is an excellent role model and an example of someone uplifting Indigenous culture and traditions on a national stage,” Mary Kim Titla, UNITY executive director, said in a statement. “Her story demonstrates to our Native youth that there are many paths to success that honor their culture and their talents.”

Pyet is short for Despain’s inherited Native American name, Pyetwetmokwe.

In 2021, Pyet was named the seventh-best private chef in Los Angeles by Entrepreneur Magazine. Her life’s work has involved uplifting Indigenous culture and traditions via storytelling, traveling and cooking.
Pyet’s passion for cooking developed as a child while being the help in the kitchen. She was intrigued by the spices and aromas in her family’s taquerias and restaurants in the Kansas City area. She attended culinary school to pursue a culinary education and has earned a certification in wellness and nutrition.

Pyet started a personal chef business, ‘Pyet’s Plate,’ in 2016 to promote her passion for wellness, nutrition, and quality of food to the public. Her focus now is to encourage Indigenous ingredients in everyday cooking. While doing so, she hopes to encourage others to pass along healthy cooking, lifestyle choices, and traditions within their own families.

Pyet will join UNITY trainers and presenters at the conference, engaging Native youth from across the country through workshops, breakout sessions, music and cultural sharing. The event will also include a fashion show, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, and additional keynote speakers.

To register for the conference and for more information click here.