A Winnipeg restaurant coming to the corner of Ellice Avenue and Sherbrook Street aims to prepare traditional foods for a new, modern audience.
Feast Cafe Bistro opens Thursday in the same space as the former Ellice Cafe beside Bandwidth Theatre and the Adam Beach Film Institute.
"I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring our First Nation foods to that next level and open up this restaurant and hopefully be a pillar in the community," said Feast Cafe Bistro owner Christa Bruneau-Guenther.
Feast's menu will span a range of indigenous dishes with local ingredients, such as saskatoon berry smoothies, dessert bannock, squash pizza, pickerel sliders and elk stew.
"It's modern dishes rooted in traditional First Nation foods, so a lot of focus on the bison, the berries, the wild rice, squash," Bruneau-Guenther said.
The big hit, however, is expected to be the Indian tacos, she said.
"They are a traditional, authentic fry bread, and then you pile it teepee high with … bison chili or a shredded maple-chipotle chicken, and then you have shredded lettuce, cheese, a couple of homemade salsas, and then a chipotle-sour cream on top and it is delicious," said Bruneau-Guenther.
While the modern-traditional fusion food is a big part of Feast, Bruneau-Guenther hopes the café becomes a meeting place for the West End community and a space where indigenous Winnipeggers can reconnect with their culture through food.
If Feast is successful, the next plan is to open a cooking studio attached to the restaurant, said Bruneau-Guenther.
"I've been blessed to travel around the world, and I've been to, for example, Italy, and to see how connected they are to their food," she said.
"I think that's part of our First Nation culture that's been lost, and I think I'm maybe that one that's going to bring it back to the forefront."
The public opening for Feast Cafe Bistro is Thursday, Dec. 10, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 587 Ellice Ave. in Winnipeg.