Celebrated chef David Wolfman brought his “traditional foods with a modern twist” to the Lillooet REC Centre last week.
Roaming the stage, Wolfman offered advice, encouragement, tips on safe handling of food and jokes as he supervised Bonnie-Rae Michell, Lisa Copeland, Cassandra Boersma, Stuart McKay, Darla Williams and Char Etienne in a cooking competition.
“Three minutes left…three minutes left,” he advised the hurrying chefs before telling them they still had 20 minutes to complete and plate their recipes.
At another point during the competition, he advised, “One rule of the kitchen: if you don’t know what you’re doing, look busy.”
David Wolfman is a member of the Xaxli’p Band. His popular TV show, Cooking With the Wolfman, is now in its eighth season on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network). Wolfman is a chef and culinary arts professor at George Brown College in Toronto.
The six chefs were given several ingredients based on a list provided by Wolfman. He supplied the proteins and then let the chefs loose to see what tasty dishes they could create. The final results were judged on taste, presentation and texture.
Char John, Lillooet Mayor Dennis Bontron and T’it’q’et Councillor Robert Leech were the judges for the cooking competition.
The Oct. 25 event included a lunch of bison chili and smoked salmon chowder with bannock and fruit for dessert. It was prepared by volunteers based on diabetes-friendly recipes approved by Wolfman.
The day concluded with cooking demos by Wolfman.
The health and wellness event was co-hosted by the Xaxli’p, T’it’q’et and Xwisten Diabetes Programs.
Recent statistics indicate diabetes is three to five times higher in aboriginal communities than among the non-aboriginal population in Canada. Diabetes has become a “silent epidemic” and is a consequence of the rapid loss of traditional ways which have been replaced by a more ‘North American’ lifestyle in aboriginal communities.
Alhough David Wolfman was the star attraction of the day, organizers also included activities such as a diabetes bingo and ‘Ribbons of Life’ crafts, which are a teaching tool centred on diabetes