Do something nice for yourself this endlessly weird Christmas season by exploring B.C.'s Indigenous cuisine

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      With the Christmas season officially upon us, now is a great time to focus on the things that will make us happy, namely food that we don't have to prepare ourselves. And that’s doubly important in 2020 for reasons that don’t need to be stated here.

      At this point in the year you need a break. Over the past nine months you’ve made significant strides as a home cook, mastering such dishes as Baked Alaska, Beef Wellington, and Gateau St. Honoré.

      But even Julia Child needed to order out every now and then. And she would have been thrilled to find herself dropped into a takeout world where no one has to be satisfied with 2 for 1 pizza, assembly-line burgers, or dayglo-orange sweet and sour pork.

      On the opt-for-something-unique front, Indigenous Tourism of BC is asking West Coasters to truly think locally the next time they order take out. Or—for the adventurous among us—dine in.

      The umbrella organization has released a list of province-spanning restaurants devoted to creating dishes that both pay tribute to North American Indigenous cooking and also move it forward.

      Consider cedar-planked sockeye at the Squamish Lil’ wat Cultural Centre in Whistler or stinging nettles and sea asparagus at the Salmon’ n’ Bannock Bistro in Vancouver. There’s waffles with juniper-dry rubbed on waffle bannock at North Vancouver’s Mr. Bannock (aka the first Indigenous food truck in the city), and, for those farther afield, sage-wrapped venison paired with wine from Nk’Mip Cellars at The Bear, the Fish, the Root & the Berry in Osoyoos.

      Recognizing that convenience is often king in these locked-down times, Indigenous Tourism of BC in nonetheless asking folks to reach out to restaurants directly for suggestions on how best to order. Delivery services might be handy, but they also can mean high fees for small businesses.

      Click here for your first step to Port Hardy prawn tacos, bison burgers, or berry jus and elk stroganoff with fresh pappardelle. Julie Child would not only have been impressed, she would have been first at the table.