Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine
Paul Natrall launched the region’s first Indigenous food truck a decade ago. The Squamish Nation member has pivoted in response to COVID-19, with Mr. Bannock now offering pick-up and delivery. On the menu: Venison Taco, Wild Game Bannock Burger, Indigenous Chicken and Waffle (the latter made of bannock), Bannock Éclair (with Nutella and whipped cream), and the DKB: smoked duck breast with One Arrows’ Chinese Five-Spice Bacon, kimchi, and Korean barbecue sauce, all stuffed between fluffy bannock. Among his suppliers are other local Indigenous-owned ventures such as Spirit Bear Coffee and One Arrow Meats.
Lifelong West Coast resident Donna Lee discovered her Indigenous ancestry about five years ago, when personal research revealed that she’s of Irish, Scottish, English, and Métis descent. One way she has been exploring her roots is through food. With Bannock Queen, she bakes a classic style as well as several variations: bannock cheese bread and raisin bread; parmesan and garlic bannock; apple-and-cinnamon bannock fritters; and bannock blueberry crumble. She also makes a variety of jams and blueberry iced tea to go with them. This is her first season at Vancouver Farmers Markets summer markets.
Salmon n’ Bannock
The only Indigenous-owned and -operated restaurant in Vancouver, Salmon n’ Bannock is currently open for takeout while renovations take place; owner Inez Cook, of the Nuxalk Nation, hopes to reopen for dine-in service on July 1. Staffed entirely by Indigenous people—of Ojibway, Quw’utsun, Squamish, Tsimshian, Cowessess, Frog Lake, Haida, and Lac l’Orange nations—the restaurant is indeed known for its namesake dishes. Wild salmon is smoked in-house and served in a Pow Wow Power Salad with organic greens, crunchy vegetables, and Ojibway wild rice; cured in-house for a bannockwich with capers and red onions; or cooked and served other ways. Its signature bannock is fluffy and biscuitlike. But the restaurant offers much more. Wild Boar BLT, Hunter’s Pie with organic, free-range game meat (such as slow-roasted bison), and Smokey Sunrise Flatbread with basted egg are among the many selections. Takeout will continue; look for a three-course prix-fixe menu when the restaurant opens anew.