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The Spirit Plate – an Indigenous Food Tradition

Chef Wolfman with Sue, Lucia and others standing in a kitchen with plated food.

Chef Wolfman (first on left) with Sue, Lucia, USA Consulate General Susan Crystal (third from right) and others, preparing foods using Indigenous ingredients.

Disclosure: This post reflects my learnings after attending a sponsored event, hosted by Taste USA and the Ontario Produce Marketing Association. All opinions are my own.

Have you heard of a Spirit Plate?  I hadn’t until I met Chef David Wolfman.

Chef Wolfman is an internationally recognized expert in traditional Indigenous cuisine, member of the Xaxli’p First Nation in BC and a Culinary Arts Professor at George Brown College in Toronto. At a culinary master class sponsored and hosted by Taste USA and the Ontario Produce Marketing Association, I had the wonderful opportunity to cook and learn from the Chef.  Along with dozens of other participants, we prepared dishes using traditional ingredients such as Wild Rice Jambalaya and Shawnee Cake, and Barbecued Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry Sauce served with Salad and Chokecherry Drizzle.

Before we sat down to eat together, Chef Wolfman assembled a Spirit Plate with samples from each of the cooked dishes. The plate is then left outside to honour both the ancestors and children who are no longer here with us.  🧡

This simple yet meaningful gesture allows us to remember those who have come before us and those who have left us. It’s a reminder that food is love and connection.

Chef Wolfman wearing his Indigenous chef's wardrobe and explaining the meaning of a Spirit Plate

 

 

In this video, Chef Wolfman describes the Spirit Plate.

Thank you Chef for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us!

 

 

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