While Vancouver has numerous restaurants that offer the full spectrum of cuisines from around the world, many people remain unaware of the cuisines that originate from the cultures and societies of these lands before colonization.
There are numerous efforts to raise greater awareness and understanding, and among them are two B.C.–based food TV series that can help to educate viewers not only about Indigenous cuisine, but also about this province and its history, traditional and modern cooking techniques, and more.
With travel on hold during the pandemic, these shows are safe way to tour the province and beyond, and a means to visit some places, spaces, and faces you may not have been aware of or had access to.
In addition, for those who want to learn how to make bannock, an Indigenous fry bread, there's an online workshop coming up on February 13 to check out.
Quest Out West Wild Foods
Quest Out West Wild Foods will embark upon 13 new episodes for its third season on Thursday (February 11) on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).
Host, writer, and producer Tracy Kim Bonneau, who is of the Sylix Nation and lives at the Penticton Indian Reserve, will travel through Vancouver Island forests and farms, wineries, and shorelines of the Okanagan as she guides viewers on an exploration of the various cuisines and cultures of Indigenous communities across B.C.
Season 3 includes stops in Vernon, Okanagan Lake, Salmon Arm, Enderby, Chase, Summerland, Lake Neskonlith, Kelowna, Penticton, and more.
Moosemeat and Marmalade
Meanwhile, the B.C.–based food TV series Moosemeat and Marmalade launches into its fifth season on the same day (February 11), also on APTN.
Once again, the show’s stalwart hosts— classically trained chef Dan Hayes and bush cook Art Napoleon—will take viewers along on their journeys to communities across B.C. and Quebec, as well to Ireland and Wales, to discover Indigenous cuisine and cultures, and how they’ve been adapted to modern techniques.
Each of the 13 episodes of this season will also discuss food and societal issues, such as the history of Haida art and culture, food security, Indigenous food sovereignty, and the preservation of food traditions.
In addition, a six-part web series entitled Circling Back will provide a retrospective of highlights from the past five seasons.
Hayes is the chef and owner of Victoria’s The London Chef cooking school and catering kitchen, and he also regularly teaches in Vancouver, Toronto, and London. Napoleon is a former chief, a cultural awareness workshop facilitator, and touring musical performer and speaker, who coproduces the show.