Week 5 – Connor General ‘Wild Rice Pilaf’

Connor General, a recent culinary school graduate,  visited the kitchen this week and showed us how to use traditional ingredients like wild rice, squash and cranberries to make a modern dish inspired by Italian risotto. We also grilled two different types of sausages on the charbroiler: Wild Boar with Cranberries, and Elk Honey Lager Apple sausage.

Did you know?
Wild rice is not rice at all! It’s a type of aquatic grass and has been harvested by Indigenous people in North America for about 12,000 years.

Week 6 – Bertha Skye ‘Three Sisters Soup’

Bertha Skye grew up in the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan and was formerly a cook at four different residential schools before she met her husband, Hubert Skye, and moved to Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. In 1992 Bertha competed on a team comprised of other Native chefs from across Canada at the World Culinary Olympics. Her team competed against 14,000 other chefs from around the world, and took home the Grand Gold as well as winning the most medals of any of the other teams. Bertha has lived in Six Nations for 53 years, and is the mother of three daughters and two sons. She also is the proud grandmother of six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Week 7 – Chef David Wolfman

An enthusiastic educator and entertainer, Chef David Wolfman is an internationally recognized expert in wild game and traditional Aboriginal cuisine. A member of the Xaxli’p First Nation in BC, David Wolfman is a classically trained Chef, Culinary Arts Professor at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. In addition to teaching, he is Executive Producer and Host of the popular Cooking with the Wolfman™ television program. This show features David’s signature “Indigenous Fusion: Traditional Foods with a Modern Twist” and is aired on APTN (the Aboriginal People’s Television Network) in Canada and FNX (First Nations Experience) in the US.

As a culinary consultant and trainer, David designs special event menus and leads workshops in goal setting, healthy eating and healthy weights, and indigenous culinary and cultural tourism. Chef Wolfman has worked as a chef and hospitality staff trainer for hotel resorts in northern Ontario, New Brunswick and Jamaica. He is a popular, motivational speaker at First Nations youth conferences, business association gatherings, and postsecondary education career events. Together with his wife and business partner, Marlene Finn, David sells a line of culinary knives, guides commercial kitchen renovations, conducts restaurant makeovers, and leads cooking and diabetic cooking demonstrations, cooking competitions, and hands-on team cook-offs at national exhibitions, international sports events, fundraising dinners, health expos, and Aboriginal celebrations across North America.

David is the recipient of numerous educational and industry awards including seven Gold Awards in Culinary Olympics, an Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, and a 1st Place National Healthy Menu Catering Award from Evian. He was nominated by George Brown College for the Premier’s Award in 2016. Chef Wolfman exudes unbridled passion for cooking and sharing his knowledge of Aboriginal culture and the culinary profession. David and Marlene are currently working on their first cook book which is expected to be released in the fall of 2017.

Week 8 – Student Favourites

For our last workshop, the youth participants chose to create their own menu. The students worked together to create a well-rounded meal that included some ‘hits’ from previous weeks, and added in a dessert to celebrate the success of completing the workshops. The final meal? Strawberry juice, bison burgers with wild boar bacon, ‘Indian tacos’ on homemade fry bread, and carrot cake.

Traditional Recipes: Food & Filmmaking – An Overview

This short film combines video shot by the participating youth over all eight weeks of the Traditional Recipes: Food & Filmmaking project, along with new interviews, and a fond look back at some of the high points of the workshop series.

As we come to the end of the project, the Factory Media Centre would like to thank our community partners – the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre, and The Kitchen Collective, as well as all the organizational staff who participated with us. We could not have completed this project without your kind contributions and support.

Overall, our focus was on providing high-quality specialized arts programming, encouraging artistic expression, and sharing a love for the arts and creativity. We believe this project was well-rounded, multi-layered, and a very good example of what can be achieved through partnership, collaboration, and including diverse voices in the planning and execution of a project.

We are eternally grateful to the wonderful Elders and other Indigenous community members who shared their recipes and their time with us. Each week our visitors brought a wealth of knowledge around food, history, personal interests, current issues, and the importance of sharing stories and community. We are also very thankful for the talented media artists who passed along their filmmaking skills, technical knowledge, and thoughtful storytelling to the participating youth each week.

Finally, we are happy to acknowledge the wonderfully creative, energetic, and interesting teens from the HRIC’s SHAE Program who co-created all the short films, and prepared various foods during the workshops. Students chose which area they wanted to participate in each week, engaging in two distinct creative experiences to help preserve cultural knowledge – the art of filmmaking, and the culinary arts. Throughout the workshops, teens treated each guest with kindness and respect, and participated in discussions on a variety of topics, including: diversity, inclusion, standing up for one’s beliefs, civic engagement, work ethic, entrepreneurship, running a business, environmental stewardship, and healthy living.  We are very thankful for the opportunity to get to know these great students!