One of the food pop-ups I was most excited for during the 2015 Toronto Pan Am & Parapan Am Games was the launch of the #YouAreWelcome First Nation food truck. An incredibly unique offering in the city, the truck promised hungry visitors and locals authentic Ojibway cuisine!
The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (MNCFN) are the brains behind this amazing Pan Am foodie concept (shout out to Chef David Wolfman for creating the delicious recipes that are being served up on the truck)!
As the official Host First Nation of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games, the MNCFN are welcoming Torontonians, visitors, dignitaries and athletes to the games by inviting everyone to sample the authentic and local flavours with the launch of the #YouAreWelcome food truck. What better way is there to officially welcome guests to the traditional territory of the MNCFN for the games than inviting everyone to taste delicious and authentic Ojibway Aboriginal fusion dishes like an authentic bannock recipe? Trust me, this is how hospitality is done.
As an additional gesture of welcome, lunch at the #YouAreWelcome Pan Am food truck (including the amazing bannock recipe I’m sharing below) is being covered by exchanging a $5 #YouAreWelcome gift card courtesy of the MNCFN. These collectable cards have been designed by renowned First Nation artist Tracey Anthony and are being distributed on-site by the amazing #YouAreWelcome team. They will be handing them out while supplies last throughout the event so make sure to visit the truck ASAP. If you don’t get the chance to get your gift card directly from the team, don’t sweat- you can buy the entire collection online and in select stores! I will be keeping my gift card as a souvenir from this memorable foodie event!
I was so lucky to be one of the first foodies to enjoy the amazing Aboriginal fusion dishes like this bannock recipe we are sharing here that was being served at the Pan Am July 10th launch! Chef David Wolman is internationally recognized for his expertise in wild game and traditional Aboriginal cuisine, which certainly explains why the food was so incredibly delish. Check out some of the delicious traditional foods with a modern twist that I was able to sample from the food truck!
Pan Am Food Truck Eats
Curried Elk Pastry
Traditional ingredients including elk and sweet potato were cooked together in a delicious curry base and wrapped in a flakey pastry!
“Nish” is a slang word for Anishnawbe, which means “the people” in Ojibway. These specialty venison kabobs were drizzled with a birch balsamic glaze (FYI this was the best glaze ever) for a sweet and sour twist.
Smoked Turkey Chili
You could definitely taste the summer campfire with this smoky chili. Chef David Wolfman mixed local ingredients like pinto beans into the chili to help balance out the heat of this deliciously hearty dish.
Wild Blueberry Bannock Recipe
This Blueberry bannock recipe is an absolute delicious one. Bannock is a type of bread that is a staple in many aboriginal cultures! I personally love eating it at brunch with my ladies or enjoying it as part of a fruity dessert! The wild blueberries in this version screamed summer! YUM!
All dishes developed artfully by Chef David Wolfman were totally delicious and celebrated First Nation culture with pride! Don’t worry- if you haven’t had a chance to visit the Pan Am food truck yet, Chef David says you can make the recipes at home for a new food experience! I’m sharing my favourite below (the Wild Blueberry Bannock, of course) but the entire selection can be found online here!
Due to popular demand, the truck will be on the move Sunday July 19th, so follow @YouAreWelcomeTO on Twitter and Instagram to track their daily location updates AND don’t forget to follow @YouAreWelcomeTO, #YouAreWelcome and #TO2015 and check out their Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, and website here for more yummy details!
David Wolfman’s Wild Blueberry Bannock
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup wild blueberries
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or butter
- 1 egg beaten
- 2/3 cup 2% milk
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- In a stainless steel bowl, sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together.
- In another bowl combine the milk and eggs together, mix well and set aside.
- Cut the shortening into the flour using a pastry cutter or two knives to pea size nuggets.
- Add the milk and eggs mixture and blend.
- Knead together for 3-5 minutes and flatten out slightly to 1 inch thick.
- Cut into 2 inch circles and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Disclaimer: The preceding was developed as part of a pair partnership with the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, however, as always, all opinions are genuine.
Contribution by AK Taster Christina Bieniek
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.