A cookbook by Shane M. Chartrand with Jennifer Cockrall-King.

Shane M. Chartrand with Jennifer Cockrall-King

Born to Cree parents and raised by a Métis father and Mi'kmaw-Irish mother, Shane M. Chartrand has spent the past 10 years learning about his history, visiting with other First Nations peoples, gathering and sharing knowledge and stories, and creating dishes that combine his diverse interests and express his unique personality. The result is tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, a gorgeous book that traces Chartrand's culinary journey from his childhood in Central Alberta, where he learned to raise livestock, hunt, and fish on his family's acreage, to his current position as executive chef at the acclaimed SC Restaurant in the River Cree Resort & Casino in Enoch, Alberta, on Treaty 6 Territory.

Containing over 75 recipes — including Chartrand's award-winning dish "War Paint" — along with personal stories and interviews with friends, culinary influences, and family members, tawâw is part cookbook, part exploration of ingredients and techniques, and part chef's personal journal — a visionary book that will invite readers to leaf through its pages for ideas, education, recipes, and inspiration. (From House of Anansi Press

Why Shane M. Chartrand wrote tawâw

"I'm a Sixties Scoop survivor. I'm 44 years old now. I was taken away and went through foster care so I didn't know my Indigenous identity until I turned 30 years old. It was catchup time for me. 

"The big thing for me was figuring out my heritage. It was time for me to write a cookbook on Indigenous food.

The big thing for me was figuring out my heritage.- Shane M. Chartrand

"I learned being a hunter or a fisher doesn't make you more Indigenous to the next person, but it was their way of giving back to me in their own way.

"It helped me find out a little bit more about who I was."

Read more in his interview with The Next Chapter.

From the book

tawâw [pronounced ta-WOW]:
Come in, you're welcome, there's room.

What does it mean to be an Indigenous person who is an executive chef in charge of his own professional kitchen and staff? What does it mean to have cooks from different Nations working for me, looking for guidance on how to express their ambitions, their dreams and their identities through food? How do I create — one dish, one menu, one dinner at a time — a progressive Indigenous cuisine? Not an historical re-creation but a cuisine and reflects who I am and how I live with one foot in the Indigenous world and the other in the non-Indigenous world? I've been asking myself these questions for the past 10 years — half of my professional cooking career, tawâw is my personal record of exploring these questions through conversations, education and cooking with family, friends and the culinary community I am proud to be a part of.

From tawâw by Shane M. Chartrand ©2019. Published by House of Anansi Press.

Interviews with Shane M. Chartrand

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