Four-night Indigenous culinary experience on Manitoulin Island, ON, on the auction block for World’s 50 Best to support independently owned restaurants and bars in Canada and around the world

Anishnabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee, Wendat and Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit, (Tkaronto – TORONTO, ON) – July 2, 2020 – The Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations (ICAN) has partnered with the Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA) to bring awareness to the wealth of Indigenous culinary tourism experiences available in Canada to a global audience.

“We believe this partnership will help to shine a light on the Indigenous foodways woven throughout our country. There is so much depth and beauty to Indigenous food in Canada,” says Rebecca Mackenzie, President and CEO of the Culinary Tourism Alliance.

As part of the evolving partnership, ICAN will be hosting two Indigenous culinary sessions during the 2020 Virtual Terroir Symposium – Canada’s leading forum on food, tourism and hospitality managed by the Culinary Tourism Alliance. The first session will explore Indigenous culinary traditions with Joseph Shawana, Chef and Chair of ICAN. The second will feature Chef Jenni Lessard in conversation with Dr. Ernest G. Walker, both of Wanuskewin Heritage Park. They will discuss the impact of their Han Wi Moon Dinner series and share their successes with bringing back bison to the land.

To further bring awareness to Canadian Indigenous culinary experiences, the partners have curated an Ontario Indigenous experience to be donated to the World’s 50 Best Recovery Auction featuring an overnight experience with Chef Joseph Shawana on Manitoulin Island. The experience includes 4 nights of island foraging, meeting with locals, meals, sleeping in log cabins and teepees, a stay at Feast On certified Langdon Hall in Cambridge and dinner at Alo Restaurant in Toronto.

“We are so proud to present our Indigenous food story to a global gastronomy audience for a deep connection to our land and the ancient ways of our People,” says Joseph Shawana. “We are particularly pleased to support the World’s 50 Best auction to raise funds for independently owned restaurants to apply for much needed financial support that will help our community get back to doing what we love most.”

The partnership has also been highlighted through the CTA’s Affiliate Membership with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). A cooking video featuring Chef Jenni Lessard has been submitted to the UNWTO Gastronomic Initiative to be featured under the banner of Canadian Cuisine.

ICAN and the CTA look forward to sharing more Indigenous food stories in the near future to further celebrate the unique wealth of experiences Canada has to offer.

Launched with a vision for a world where Indigenous food is not a dish served for one but a cultural feast and celebration of Nations, ICAN is dedicated to sharing Indigenous food, culinary and cultural experiences from across Canada with the world. In November 2019, an MOU between ITAC and ICAN was signed to support a strategic framework to develop and market the country’s many Indigenous culinary experiences, and in turn, foster the growth of Indigenous culinary tourism on a national level.
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The Culinary Tourism Alliance works with communities to grow food tourism by leveraging the history, heritage, and culture behind the food and drink that makes each destination unique. Our mission is to ensure food tourism is a meaningful and sustainable contributor to local economies in destinations worldwide.
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Chair, Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations
Former Executive Chef at Ku-Kum Kitchen and Indigenous Culinary Advisor to Centennial College. Chef Joseph won best world cuisine in Ontario for 2019 beating out over 33,000 restaurants. He was named as top ten chefs in Ontario and had reviews in the New York Times, Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, Food & Wine. He is also in great company on Air Canada’s top 20 restaurants in Canada for 2019.

Secretary, Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations
Jenni is the first female executive chef at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, where she’s been instrumental in the Han Wi Moon dinner series, a transformational meal on the land featuring bison and ingredients harvested from the site.

Feast On® is a certification program that recognizes businesses committed to sourcing and celebrating Ontario grown food & drink. Last year, Feast On® Certified restaurants reported over $30,340,000 in Ontario food purchases directly from farmers, artisans and distributors who ensure they’re sourcing and identifying locally grown and made products.
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Media contacts:
Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations
Nicole Amiel
M: 514.983.3959

Culinary Tourism Alliance
Agatha Podgorski