Where People Feast: An Indigenous People's Cookbook.


192 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 978-1-55152-221-7
DDC 641.59'297





Photos by Pamela Bethel
Reviewed by Robin Chamberlain

Robin Chamberlain is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University.


Where People Feast: An Indigenous People’s Cookbook by Dolly and Annie Watts is not your run-of-the-mill cookbook. It is one of the few cookbooks of indigenous cuisine available, and focuses on the cuisine of First Nations Canadians in the Pacific Northwest. The authors own the Liliget Feast House, the only First Nations fine-dining establishment in North America. Where People Feast boasts both traditional and modern recipes that use ingredients found in the Pacific Northwest, ranging from the familiar—salmon, crab, and berries—to the exotic—oolichan (a fish found along the Pacific Coast with a taste and texture similar to anchovies), venison, and grouse. Cooks and readers will find not only genuine First Nations recipes, but also familiar recipes with an indigenous twist, like Wild Shepherd’s Pie (which uses ground venison and pork instead of beef), Pheasant in a Blanket (inspired by pigs-in-a-blanket), and Wild Berry Bannock Bread Pudding (which uses bannock instead of white bread).


The book is divided into six chapters: “Wild Game,” which features entrées like Venison Roast with Juniper Berry Rub; “Seafood,” with recipes for a number of the fish and shellfish of British Columbia; “Vegetables, Salads and Sides” includes recipes likes Blackberry-Glazed Beets; “Soups and Stocks” includes recipes for Buffalo Hominy Corn Chowder and Feast Venison Soup; “Sauces and Condiments” includes mouthwatering recipes for Raspberry Cranberry Chutney and Hominy Corn Relish; “Baked Goods & Desserts” teaches the reader how to make Just Like Grandma’s Bannock and Gitsegukla Wedding Cake, among other delectable desserts; “Beverages” has recipes for everything from Homemade Root Beer to Fireweed Tea. The book concludes with a chapter on preserving foods, which includes both traditional methods and modernized recipes for making everything from Pemmican Balls to Crabapple and Raspberry Jam.


Where People Feast would make an excellent gift for the cook who has everything, or for anyone interested in bringing a First Nations flavour to the table.


Watts, Dolly, and Annie Watts., “Where People Feast: An Indigenous People's Cookbook.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/27133.