Chef Sherry Pocknett, the first-ever Indigenous woman to win the James Beard Award for Best Chef (2023), is leading a movement - a celebration of Indigenous values and practices that show us a better way forward for our community, our environment, and our health. You can help preserve Indigenous culture while designing a better future for all of us. You can help make the Sly Fox Den project a reality.
Chef Sherry not only has extraordinary culinary talent but also a vision for a better future that connects us to ourselves, each other, and all living beings on our planet. The Sly Fox Den Restaurant and Cultural Center is a space where you can experience Northeast Indigenous foodways and lifeways: Enjoy Wampanoag-centered cuisine overlooking the pristine Poquetanuck Bay, with interactive experiences of traditional Northeastern homes, gardens, oyster farms, and canoes.
Her vision has not wavered in the face of major setbacks: Starting a new business amidst the pandemic and battling cancer. Thankfully, Chef Sherry will be recovered in the next weeks and will resume cooking at her existing restaurant Sly Fox Den Too while directing her team in the development of Sly Fox Den Restaurant and Cultural Center.
We need to raise $50,000 of initial funding by end July in order to meet a planned opening date of September 2024. With your support, Chef Sherry’s vision can become a reality that we can all enjoy by next year. Read more about the project and funding allocation below.
Imagine enjoying this view from the outdoor deck of the Sly Fox Den Restaurant. Overlooking the Eastern cove of the Poquetanuck Bay, this biodiverse estuary is fed by Poquetanuck Brook, the Thames River, and the Long Island Sound. It’s where many Indigenous peoples like the Narragansett, Mohegan, Pequot, and Wampanoag communities would socialize, harvest, and trade.
Ways to support:
Donate to this campaign. We welcome and appreciate all monetary donations. Small amounts are also significant, as a gesture of support.
Share this fundraiser with your community.
Provide in-kind donations. Please see the list below.
About the Indigenous Sly Fox Den Restaurant and Cultural Center:
Chef Sherry has cooked for luminaries like Anthony Bourdain, esteemed foodies like Padma Lakshmi, and VIPs like Secretary of State Deb Haaland. She’s been featured in TIME Magazine , The Boston Globe , PBS , and Hulu series Taste the Nation . Her Indigenous-centered cooking is the original sea-to-table and farm-to-table cuisine. She is also a respected Elder, culture bearer, and teacher for many Indigenous communities.
Sherry’s award-winning food is inextricably tied to her Indigenous Mashpee Wampanoag culture, foodways, and lifeways. Like Sly Fox Den Too, the Sly Fox Den Restaurant will feature seasonal, local, Indigenous food prepared with traditional techniques, while the Center will be an interactive experience of traditional Northeast Indigenous life, where you and your family could thrive from the bounties of the land and sea. Imagine: Traditional bark- and sapling-constructed homes, a working garden and oyster farm that provide the freshest ingredients for your meal, and canoes to float in the calm bay. Set on 3.5 acres of pristine fields and wetlands, Chef Sherry is committed to protecting the land and waters through various conservation efforts. And, by refurbishing the original 1830 building for the restaurant, the surrounding land will remain undisturbed by development.
Let’s join together to accelerate the launch of Sly Fox Den. It’s a space that beautifully integrates education, environmentalism, business, and community. It’s a space that shows us how our present generation can responsibly borrow from future generations. And it’s a space we all deserve - a space of culinary excellence and cultural celebration, full of joy, love, community, and damn delicious food!
Thank you for your generous contribution! We look forward to sharing exciting updates with you.
About our development approach:
Chef Sherry’s vision is bold but realistic, thanks to your support, a committed team, and a sound approach. We’re moving swiftly and intentionally with a phased development approach. Phase 1: Interior architecture, permit and license applications, investment and grant acquisitions, marketing strategy. Phase 2: Interior design, team onboarding and training, finance and operations setup, supplier contracts, catering business launch. Phase 3. Cultural center development, 501c3 setup, restaurant soft launch, operational optimizations. Phase 4: Public launch of Restaurant and Center, community and customer development, cultural programs development.
Phase 1 of the Sly Fox Den Restaurant interior is already under way, with the refurbishment of the original 1830 brick-and-timber building.
We’re also seeking in-kind support for one-off or ongoing services from professionals, including: landscape designers, contractors, accountants, fundraising managers, legal advisors. For in-kind support, or if you’re interested in becoming an angel or impact investor, please get in touch .
About me, the organizer:
Hi! I’m Xiao Hui, pronounced shao way (Narragansett, Chinese). Chef Sherry has welcomed me onto her team to support the strategic implementation of her Cultural Center vision. I have 20+ years of operations and project management experience in scrappy startups, established corporations, and non-profits alike, working with multidisciplinary teams of creatives, strategists, builders, and executives. Professional projects that have been most meaningful for me include: leading operations and employee experience for a global social impact consultancy, and building the educational initiative of a Narragansett family farm.
I love to actualize ideas into implementation, break big challenges into manageable bits, and infuse creativity, collaboration, and a service mindset into everything I do. I’m committed to leveraging my professional skills to accelerate Indigenous leaders’ success, and Chef Sherry is one of the most inspiring, hard-working, talented humans I could ever have the privilege of working alongside.
Thank you for your support! It helps us actualize the Restaurant and Center in a thoughtful, sustainable way.
- Ronald Entringer
- Mishy Lesser
- Rebecca Schulman Havemeyer
- Amira Madison
Organizer and beneficiary
Xiao Hui Chin