We talk of the age of discovery as the post-Columbus years when Europeans penetrated the dense forests of North America, however the native peoples who lived on the land had already discovered its richness. The indigenous peoples developed a cuisine that utilized fish from its sparkling waters, venison and other game from its forests as well as fruits and vegetables from the earth. Where People Feast celebrates the native cuisine, and the fusion created by the culinary meeting place of the native foods with the European settler. Written with charm, the book offers recipes for both then spices them with a few more current tricks, developed in this age of globalization.
Authors Dolly and Annie Watts, a mother-daughter team, share the native blood and have been raised with native cooking and its fusion. This formidable team ran the Liliget Feast House restaurant in Vancouver, a First Nations restaurant that won rave reviews, among them a four-star rating from the NY Times. Their work running the restaurant laid the foundation for the cookbook.
Building on the traditional and the local, the two authors use local ingredients, many of which have a wide area of growth and are familiar, a few of which are more localized. In the latter, substitutions are freely offered. Salmon swim freely in this area and you will find recipes for soups, pasta, mousse, for baked or grilled salmon, even a recipe for preserving salmon yourself. There are recipes using the smoked foods used in the chilly climate of the area, and these are balanced by recipes using fresh berries and vegetables, whether in soup or salad, in jams or jellies. Native blackberries are used in a contemporary way in recipes such as Blackberry-Glazed Beets, Blackberry Mousse, or Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar. Grilling with alder wood is popular in the area and there are several recipes for alder grilling, whether for fish or game.
The authors understand the contemporary and offer such recipes as a Pacific Macaroni and Cheese that is made with crab and merits becoming a kitchen tradition in every house; for Whipped Sweet Potatoes that has the imaginative use of Crème Fraîche. And in case Crème Fraîche is hard for you to get, they have a simple recipe that is the most foolproof we've seen yet.
The book concludes with a chapter on smoking and preserving. There are sixteen color photos throughout.
About the authors: Dolly and Annie Watts ran the Liliget Feast House in Vancouver for over twelve years; numerous accolades included a four-star "recommended" rating from the NY Times.