Like many of the restauranteurs whose recipes we’ve featured, food is more than a means to slake hunger for Ben Jacobs, co-owner of Tocabe American Indian Eatery. Instead, Jacobs and his team hope to create a point of connection between Denver’s diverse communities through the recipes and ingredients that, he says, has been shared through oral tradition and down generations of Native American communities.
A member of the Osage Nation and a former history major, Jacobs is well aware of the struggles that indigenous tribes have endured. Nevertheless, he says he’s focused on where native peoples are now and, better yet, where they’re going. He says he aims to express that through his business, which now has two locations in the Denver area and ambition to grow.
Here’s Tocabe’s sweet corn relish recipe: simple enough to make at home but packed with generations of experience and a lot of flavor.
- Corn kernels cut from 4 ears of corn, uncooked (~3 cups of corn)
- 1 cup diced radishes
- 1/4 cup diced poblano peppers
- 2 Tbsp. diced scallions
- 1 tsp. minced jalapeños (or more to your desired spice level)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Pinch of pepper
Prep all vegetable ingredients. Dice as uniformly as possible for even distribution of flavors and bite. Mix the corn, radishes, poblanos, scallions and jalapeños in a bowl. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, then add to the vegetables. Mix well. Serve on rice, frybread, with chips or just use a spoon.