A Feast for All Seasons: Traditional Native Peoples' Cuisine
Andrew George Jr., Robert Gairns
Traditional North American Native peoples' cuisine has existed for centuries, but its central tenet of respecting nature and its bounty have never been as timely as they are now. Andrew George Jr. of the Wet'suwet'en Nation in Canada is a well-respected aboriginal chef and instructor who has spent the last twenty-five years promoting the traditions of First Nations food. In A Feast for All Seasons, written with Robert Gairns, he has compiled aboriginal recipes that feature ingredients from the land, sea, and sky, elements of an enduring cuisine that illustrate respect for the environment and its creatures and an acknowledgment of the spiritual power that food can have in our lives.
The 120 recipes include delectable, make-at-home dishes such as Salmon and Fiddlehead Stirfry, Stuffed Wild Duck, Barbecued Oysters, Pan-fried Rabbit with Wild Cranberry Glaze, Clam Fritters, and Wild Blueberry Cookies. The book also features recipes with exotic ingredients that provide a fascinating glimpse into the history of Native cuisine: Moose Chili, Boiled Porcupine, Smoked Beaver Meat, and Braised Bear.
This unique cookbook pays homage to an enduring food culture—grounded in tradition and the power of nature—that transcends the test of time.
Andrew George Jr. was most recently head chef at the Four Host First Nations pavilion at the 2010 Winter Olympics (the first games in which Indigenous peoples were recognized as official host partners by the International Olympic Committee). He also participated at the World Culinary Olympics as part of the first all-Native team in the competition's history.
them on open-air racks for 2 to 4 days. To smoke eulachons, hang them in your smoker in a cold smoke for 2 to 4 days, depending on their size and how dry you want them to be. (This is the same procedure the Wet’suwet’en use to smoke salmon, only we use large smoke houses.) Makes enough for a small or very large gathering of Wet’suwet’en! Pan-fried Eulachons or Smelts 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour Salt and pepper to taste 2 to 3 tbsp (25 to 50 mL) lard or vegetable oil 24
(375 mL) wild rice 3 cups (750 mL) chicken stock 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley Wild rice has a flavour that is complemented very well by mushrooms. It is becoming favoured all over the world, and I am proud to say that it is one of Canada’s indigenous products, like fiddleheads and blueberries. Here is just one mouth-watering way of preparing a very old and precious gift from Mother Earth. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Sauté onion and celery
Salt and pepper to taste 2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil 1 large shallot, chopped 1 tbsp (15 mL) juniper berries, crushed ⅓ cup (75 mL) red wine ½ cup (125 mL) duck stock or demi-glace This is a great favourite of anyone I prepare it for. The recipe is quite simple, and the end product is spectacular. Think of it: smoked duck breast, red wine, and juniper berries. Use your imagination as you read this recipe and the flavours will almost jump off the pages onto your palate even before you
The faculty suggested he drop out and return the next year, when the strike surely would be over. His response was typical of the young man. He walked the walk. The money he earned as a part-time cook at the Vancouver Indian Friendship Centre helped pay for his schooling, and in 1985 Andrew George Jr. graduated. It was now official: he was a cook, a Wet’suwet’en cook who had proven his right to be wherever his talent, courage, and determination would take him. That would be far, but he did not
with all the tourists and locals coming in for lunch and dinner. At the same time I had to begin an intensive six-month training program for the Olympics. Chef Georges Chauvet was our amazing team manager. He’s one of the superstars of our profession. He was manager for the gold-medal Canadian national culinary teams and has won more awards than anyone I know. He soon had us hitting the books pretty hard, and of course there was the hands-on training at the Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto under