Neftali Duran

Neftali Duran is a cook, advocate, educator, and organizer working towards an equitable food system and building a network of indigenous food leaders.

He is a Salzburg Global Fellow and cofounder of the I-Collective, an indigenous collective that promotes a healthy food system that values people, traditional knowledge, and the planet over profit. His writing and culinary projects have been featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, The Native American Culinary Association, LongHouse Food Revival, Food52, and the Cooking Channel, and he has been a featured speaker on The Moth mainstage, Harvard University, Smith College, and more.

Duran’s work is informed by his own experience as an indigenous and formerly undocumented migrant worker and 20 years of experience in the restaurant and food industry as chef, baker, and small business owner. He also educates community around indigenous culinary traditions, the effects of migration on people and food, and the environment.

He is interested in documenting the culinary traditions of the different regions of Oaxaca, Mexico, reclaiming the roots and culture of the original peoples of the Americas, having conversations about the impact of colonialism in our communities in regards to traditional food-ways as well as engaging on conversations about the how climate change will impact frontline communities.