Former Top Chef Canada finalist Rich Francis is considered the country’s leading First Nations culinary talent, and he’s on a mission to redefine Aboriginal cuisine.
That pursuit will bring him to Vancouver this weekend, when he’s hosting a series of pop-up dinners.
Francis, a member of the Tetlit Gwich’in and Tuscarora Nations who’s originally from the Northwest Territories, is the driving force behind Cooking for Reconciliation.
It’s described as a "candid journey toward Truth and Reconciliation using indigenous foods to create a better understanding of pre-colonial Indigenous culture and the impact of colonization".
Dinners take place on Friday and Saturday (March 3 and 4) at Skwachays Lodge (31 West Pender Street). The menu will incorporate Aboriginal medicines and preserves and feature Ocean Wise-certified seafood cooked in traditional methods.
“Our traditional foods have the ability to nourish and cultivate awareness and compassion,” Francis said in a release. “That is the real heart and soul of Indigeniety."
Francis runs a catering company and restaurant in Saskatoon called 7th Fire. He’s also filming a series about the culture, history, and spirituality of the Yuquot, a coastal area of Nootka Island that’s home to the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation. For that project, he connected with actor Duane Howard, a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth and a star of The Revenant. The series will be released on YouTube in April 2017.
Tickets to Cooking for Reconciliation are available at Eventbrite.ca.