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How a new guard of Indigenous chefs is sharing its traditions – The Globe and Mail

by ahnationtalk on February 14, 201885 Views

Despite our pride in multiculturalism, many Canadians have a limited understanding of Indigenous dishes and the stories behind them

Shantel Tallow pulls a batch of golden bannock out of the oven. Made with a traditional formula of flour, baking powder and water, it’s baked in a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan, the way her grandfather made it.

In the next room, strips of thinly sliced beef flank are draped over a wire rack. They’ve spent four days there, dehydrating easily in Calgary’s dry climate, and will be finished off with a day in the smoker out back. “It would be nice if we could build a smokehouse in the backyard like my grandma’s,” Tallow says. “They aren’t allowed in the city.”

Tallow and her partner, Paul Conley, cook at home for their three children, but also rent a commercial kitchen to cook for parties and special events through their catering company, Aahksoyo’p Indigenous Comfort Food. With the help of friends and community members, they serve up the dishes of Tallow’s youth – she grew up on the Blood Reserve in Stand Off, Alta. – to groups of up to 1,500. Theirs is the only Indigenous catering company registered to do business in the city of 1.3 million, and business is good. Facebook reviewers are elated with their food, and the couple dream of opening a small café some day.

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