Robert Kinneen

NATIFS - Minneapolis, MN

Robert Kinneen was born in Petersburg, Alaska. An Alaskan Chef of Tlingit heritage (Alaskan Native), Kinneen has been working in restaurants since he was 15 years old. After high school, he attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

Post graduation, Kinneen fine-tuned his skills in all facets of the industry while working in New Orleans, Los Angeles and Durham, NC, establishing philosophies of sourcing locally and seasonally. Returning to Alaska, he honed his craft while focusing on loyalty to local Alaska aquaculture, farmers, ranchers and artisans.

Embracing and learning about traditional foods led to adventures in culture camps from Barrow/Utigaviq (muktuk sushi) and Tyonek (foraged beach peas), to Sitka (rockfish, foraged greens and tundra vinaigrette). Promoting wellness and highlighting first foods led to speaking engagements and private caterings nationally. Career highlights include being featured on the TODAY show with Al Roker cooking spot shrimp and spruce tip marinated elk skewers highlighting “Alaska Regional Cuisine.” Kinneen has also highlighted local foods with Alaska Public Media—cooking for visiting chefs Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich and Steve Raichlen, as well as a 12-person house party for President Barack Obama in 2015 while visiting the State to witness the effects of climate change. This was documented in his book, “The Fresh Alaska Cookbook”.

Currently residing in Durham, NC, Robert Kinneen joined the team at North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) as Outreach Director in 2022, engaging in community events nationally, with an interest in policy, food security and food sovereignty.


Kamehameha Schools Presents Roots

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa

November 6, 2024

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