#followfriday: 4 Indigenous Restaurants to Try
By Holliston Logan
We are back from a brief hiatus with new #followfriday recommendations for you! This week, we are diving into Indigenous restaurants and are excited to share the delicious menus and stories of these 4 Indigenous restaurants. Be sure to grab yourself a snack while reading this blog post as it will definitely leave you hungry to try some delicious Indigenous cuisine. Have you tried any of these restaurants before? If so, let us know on our Instagram post. As well, if you have recommendations of other Indigenous restaurants to try, be sure to leave a comment.
Located in Vancouver, BC Salmon n' Bannock Bistro is an Indigenous owned and operated restaurant founded by Inez Cook. For Inez , her journey with cuisine and opening Salmon n' Bannock Bistro has been an important part of reconnecting with her Indigenous identity and community. In an interview with BBC, Inez shares about her experience of displacement from community during the Sixties Scoop: "I was born Nuxalk, but I was brought up white. I'm one of thousands of First Nations who were forcibly removed from their homes as children and placed into non-Indigenous families across Canada." Her love of cooking stems from her adopted mother and family, but as Inez set out to build her own restaurant, she made the decision to base her work in Indigenous ingredients and cooking techniques as part of her journey of reconnection. "I wanted the restaurant to showcase food from the land and sea that the Indigenous people had traditionally hunted, harvested and eaten – everything from fiddlehead ferns to bison and sock-eye salmon," she explained. "I wanted to incorporate their traditional methods too: how they smoked food or preserved it over the long winters. I did a lot of asking and learning, then began to improvise." (from BBC's article titled: The restaurateur who overcame Canada's Sixties Scoop) Bannock n' Salmon Bistro prioritizes Indigenous suppliers and sources locally, with additional emphasis on ensuring all their ingredients are from Turtle Island. Next time you are in the Vancouver area, stop by Salmon n' Bannock and enjoy a delicious meal built on traditional values with a modern flair and representation.
"We are Vancouver's only Indigenous owned and operated restaurant. We use the traditional ingredients that our Grandmothers and Grandfathers used before us. We use these authentic flavours to create wonderful and delicious modern dishes. Imagine yourself in a canoe, now let us take you to our new waters." - as quoted from the Salmon n' Bannock Bistro website
Mr. Bannock is a Vancouver based Indigenous owned and operated food truck, store, and company featuring an Indigenous fusion menu that will make your mouth water just reading it. Founder and owner Paul Natrall is the head chef of Mr. Bannock, and comes from a family where cooking and meals are an important part of their life. In fact, his great grandfather Andrew Natrall was a Red Seal chef trained in the army, and Paul hopes to instill this love of cooking and cuisine in his children as well. True Calling Media (creator of the video below) writes: "A busy father of seven, Paul is excited about the future of Mr. Bannock. “As the kids are getting older … there's a spark in them about cooking and they love the idea of a Mr. Bannock and the food truck. So cross my fingers it sticks with them and they can be a big part of this company when they're older. I hope to spark interest into another generation and passing the torch so they can showcase our culture and just keep it moving forward through food.”" (quote from the Mr. Bannock YouTube video description) Next time you are in the Vancouver area, grab a delicious bannock taco from Mr. Bannock, and perhaps a bag of bannock mix to try your own hand at making it at home!
Located in Membertou, NS, Kiju's Restaurant features a traditional mi'kmaq inspired menu. The inspiration for the restaurant name comes from the inherent connection between family and food - the word “Kiju” when translated, means mother. Keeping community in mind, Kiju's works hard to ensure as much of their proucts as possible are sourced from local suppliers. In an interview with Saltwire executive chef Shaun Zwarun states: "It is just as good as buying it anywhere else and if we want people to support us locally then we have to do our part to ensure we are also supporting local."
"Traditionally, our mothers were the fire keepers who prepared the food that nourished our families. In serving these meals to you, we share our connection to generations past." - as quoted from Kiju's Restaurant website