Kindred Kitchens | Paul Natrall of Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine
Today, we're connecting with Paul Natrall of Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine - a fully owned and operated Indigenous catering business that proudly holds the title of Vancouver’s first Indigenous food truck. Paul Natrall is a second generation chef from the Squamish Nation, where his inspiration and many of his ingredients come from.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE WORLD OF FOOD? WHAT IMPACT DO YOU OR DO YOU HOPE TO MAKE?
At Mr. Bannock, we specialize in Indigenous cuisine. I have been harnessing my cooking skills and food culture since 2010.
Showcasing and sharing education around my Indigenous food culture to the community is a big deal for me, more so now than ever. There was a time when we couldn’t hold ceremonies and gatherings and share our food, so there is a lot of food culture that was lost.
WHAT FOOD OR RECIPE PROVIDES YOU WITH A SENSE OF NOSTALGIA?
I grew up in the kitchen of my late grandmother who helped my mom raise myself and my two sisters. We always had a house full of people, and I would watch them as they cooked dinner for a big tribe.
One of the best food memories I remember growing up is being able to go and pick blackberries. Back in the day, there were tons of wild blackberry bushes. When I was young, I only knew about the blackberry upside down cake my grandmother used to make. Now, I have learned that blackberries are so versatile - I make jam, bannock, ice cream, and compote all with blackberries.
WHAT IS YOUR CAN'T-LIVE-WITHOUT KITCHEN TOOL?
One of my favorite things to use is a stone pizza oven.
AT YOUR ULTIMATE DINNER PARTY, WHO WOULD YOU INVITE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SERVE?
Days before everything shut down from COVID, we were supposed to do a big round table discussion in Calgary with the Canadian government to talk about Indigenous food, food policy and food safety.
For my ultimate dinner party, I think it would be cool to have a discussion with the Prime Minister, the President, health authorities and foodies to share and advocate for our cuisines and show them the Indigenous food culture is strong, even though there have been some bumps in the road.
Being on the West Coast, I would love to serve Sockeye Salmon, Venison, and get corn, squash and beans from Chilliwack. Indigenous food culture is always rich with fresh, seasonal foods.
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE THE COMMUNITY TO KNOW ABOUT INDIGENOUS FOOD CULTURE?
I am a part of a non profit called Indigenous Culinary Of Associated Nations (ICAN). We are a group of Indigenous chefs across Canada who come together to showcase Indigenous culinary. Pre COVID, we were hosting an event called Taste of The Nations - an event to blend our own food styles together. From fine dining in Toronto, home cooking from Winnipeg, and Street food from Vancouver, it was a blend of different flavors, textures, and more from different Nations. All of the events were sold out - it was a huge success!
Visit the Mr. Bannock website to explore the drool-worthy menu and stock up on pantry staples like Cinnamon Brown Sugar Mix, Classic Bannock Mix, Smoke Spices Mix and more.
Do you know someone who would be a great Kindred Kitchen feature? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
It is with deep respect and gratitude that we create, build and operate our business in the communities of Southern Vancouver Island, which as a business we acknowledge is located within the ancestral and unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) (Esquimalt and Songhees), Malahat, Pacheedaht, Scia'new, T’Sou-ke and W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) peoples.
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