Pikoodinigan, the way kokom used to make

Kitigan Zibi chef Cezin Nottaway, co-host of the new culinary documentary series Red Chef Revival, shows us how to make granny's maple toffee.

Kitigan Zibi chef Cezin Nottaway co-hosting culinary doc series Red Chef Revival

Sweet success: Cezin Nottaway shows off her pikoodinigan. (Alan Neale/CBC)

Known here for her Algonquin-influenced catering, Kitigan Zibi's Cezin Nottaway is now busy travelling the country as co-host of the documentary series Red Chef Revival.

On the show, three Indigenous chefs including Nottaway visit different communities across the country to learn about their unique culinary traditions.

Nottaway, who owns Wawatay Catering, was a guest on All In A Day last week, where she shared her technique for maple toffee, or pikoodinigan, a dish she made for the premiere episode of the show.

"I could easily use a thermometer, but I do it the way my kokom taught me," Nottaway said, using the Algonquin word for grandmother. 

'When sharing food you're inviting people to sit down and have conversations where there's no judgments,' says chef Cezin Nottaway. (Courtesy of Black Rhino Creative)



  • 1 litre amber or light maple syrup.

Directions: In a medium pot with a heavy bottom, bring syrup to a light boil, then turn down heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 45-60 minutes. Watch for bubbles to become tiny and light brown in colour. You'll know it's ready when you dip your spoon into the liquid and it drips into light strings that float. Stir for another good 10 to 15 minutes until the liquid becomes a thick, sugary batter and the colour turns lighter still. Quickly pour your batter into pie tins. Let cool up to 20 minutes. Remove from pie tins and flip to cool the other side. Crack into pieces and enjoy.