Sumac Strawberry Syrup: Recipe Inspired by mymothersside

Duane Linklater. dislodgevanishskinground, 2019.

Duane Linklater. dislodgevanishskinground, 2019. Twelve painted tepee poles, steel cable, charcoal, rope, digital print on linen (black tea, blueberry extract, sumac dye, charcoal). 220 x 174 x 174 in. © Duane Linklater. Courtesy of Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. Installation view from Duane Linklater: mymothersside, 2021, Frye Art Museum. Photo: Nives Mestrovic

Inspired by materials used in select artworks in the exhibition Duane Linklater: mymothersside, chef Hillel Echo-Hawk of Birch Basket Catering has created a recipe you can try at home. This recipe features sumac powder, made from ground and dried sumac berries that have a tart, lemony, and somewhat floral flavor. Artist Duane Linklater uses sumac as one of many natural dyes, as in the work pictured above. Plan a visit to the Frye Art Museum to see these artworks in person—Duane Linklater: mymothersside is on view at the Frye through January 16, 2022.




  • 3 cups strawberries

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/3 cup agave syrup

  • 2 tablespoons sumac powder


  1. Remove stems and hulls from strawberries and cut them into quarters.

  2. Add all ingredients to a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Once the mixture is done simmering, adjust for seasoning and viscosity.

  4. Strain the mixture with a fine mesh strainer and let cool.

  5. If desired, puree the mixture for a smoother texture.


Chef Echo-Hawk recommends using this Sumac Strawberry Syrup for drinks, desserts, fruits, breakfast items, or anything you want to add a little extra umphf to.


Download This Recipe as a PDF


Photo credit: Hillel Echo-Hawk


Chef Hillel Echo-Hawk (Pawnee and Athabaskan) is an Indigenous chef, caterer, and speaker born and raised in the interior of Alaska around the Athabaskan village of Mentasta. As the owner of Birch Basket, she has a passion for local, ethically sourced, and sustainable foods through an Indigenous lens and perspective. Her food and work has been featured in multiple national and international media sources, including the James Beard Foundation, Bon Appetit, Huffpost, National Geographic, PBS, Vogue, and The Seattle Times. An advocate for Indigenous food sovereignty, she speaks on the intersections with food and social justice, colonialisms, and environmental injustice.