While there were major variations from region to region and from season to season, in general, the traditional diets of Indigenous peoples of North America were remarkably healthy–high in protein and nutrients, low in salt, sugar and nearly without refined carbohydrates, featuring large and small game, waterfowl, eggs, fish and seafood, tubers, berries, tree roots, grasses, seeds and cultivated food crops.
As a classically trained chef of First Nations heritage, Chef David Wolfman has a passion for bringing these traditional food sources together with European cooking techniques. In Cooking with the Wolfman , he and his wife, Marlene, share recipes gathered from David’s career as a caterer, culinary professor and host of a popular cooking show, as well as a few family favourites, like an updated version of Marlene’s great-grandmother’s recipe for pemmican.
Covering everything from the origin of bannock to the finer points of filleting a fish, Cooking with the Wolfman is accessible to readers of every culinary skill level, with step-by-step instructions and charts covering the fundamentals of cooking, from knife handling techniques, choosing cuts of meat and making stocks and sauces to home smoking.
From foodies who want to try locally foraged ingredients to Indigenous cooks looking for new ways to enjoy familiar traditional foods, David Wolfman’s easy-to-follow recipes make Indigenous Fusion available to everyone. With over one hundred recipes including Buffalo Egg Rolls with Mango Strawberry Dip, Buttery Bourbon Hot-Smoked Oysters, Slow-Cooked Ginger Caribou Shanks, and Blackened Sea Scallops with Cream of Pumpkin as well as beautiful colour photographs, Cooking with the Wolfman will inspire readers to bring more traditional foods into their kitchens.
Chef Wolfman will discuss Indigenous cuisine through the eyes of an “urban Indian chef.” He will share stories of his own introduction to Indigenous cuisine as a child growing up in downtown Toronto, and as a young, classically trained chef who learned about Indigenous culture through First Nations, Metis and Inuit friends in the Toronto Indigenous community rather than through connections to his mother’s First Nations relatives in BC. His stories will illustrate the issues involved in preparing traditional foods in a contemporary, urban environment and how culture shifts over time and place. The experiences he shares will reveal how changes in condition lead to cultural fusion in both food and identity.
Books available for purchase at every event: Proceeds support our free children’s literacy programs.
à la carte: Free food literacy events presented in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library with support from the government of Ontario.