Nephi Craig

Chef Nephi Craig has 24 years culinary experience in America and around the world. Chef Craig worked at The Country Club at DC Ranch and Mary Elaine’s at the Phoenician, among many other renowned restaurants and hotels. Nephi Craig is an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and is half Navajo.

Chef Craig is the founder of the Native American Culinary Association or NACA, an organization/network that is dedicated to the research, refinement, and development of Native American Cuisine. NACA Chef and Founder Nephi Craig provides training, workshops and lecture sessions on Native American Cuisine to schools, restaurants and tribal entities from across America and abroad. An early highlight of his work with NACA is when Nephi was able to help prepare a Native American themed menu for the renowned James Beard Foundation at the James Beard House in New York City. 

Chef Craig has been recognized in numerous publications such as the Huffington Post, Newsweek Magazine, the Forbes Magazine A-List for Native American Cuisine at Sunrise Park Resort and Food and Wine Magazine in the August 2014 ‘Best of Summer’ issue and in 2015 in Art Culinaire Magazine and Plate Magazine to name a few. Craig was featured in the James Beard Award winning film ‘Gather’, which is on Netflix. 

Chef Craig served as Executive Chef of the Sunrise Park Resort Hotel. During Chef Craig’s nine-year tenure at Sunrise Park resort, Craig and his White Mountain Apache culinary team achieved many national and international benchmarks in establishing a culinary culture of Indigenous Foods and practitioners across the Americas.

Craig is a pioneer in Restorative Indigenous Food Practices, which is a place-based social science technique that integrates developments from a variety of disciplines and fields—including nutrition, education, psychology, social work, criminology, sociology, organizational development, industrial psychology, Indigenous leadership and recovery principles—in order to build healthy communities, decrease crime and antisocial behavior, and restore relationships. Restorative Indigenous Food Practices utilizes place-based Indigenous food and agriculture methodology as an axis for therapeutic learning, teaching and healthy communication while revitalizing culture and wellness. 

Chef Nephi Craig lives with his daughter and two sons in their ancestral landscape, the White Mountain Apache Tribe in northeastern Arizona.