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Naramata author wins Best In World acknowledgement for Indigenous cuisine cookbook

Chef Shane Chartrand and Jennifer Cockrall-King, creators of tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine
Chef Shane Chartrand and Jennifer Cockrall-King, creators of tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine
Image Credit: Cathryn Sprague

Naramata-based author Jennifer Cockrall-King and chef Shane M. Chartrand, co-creators of tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine has earned a Best in World acknowledgement for their cookbook.

This beautiful 300-page book leads readers through Chartrand’s 10-year journey over his 20-year professional cooking career. Indigenous cuisine is the foundation of Canada’s culinary history and is now seeing its well-deserved spotlight, making this book very timely indeed.

Cockrall-King explains, "tawâw [Cree] means ‘welcome, come in, there’s room.’ It’s the perfect word to sum up Shane’s approach to cooking and to life. He really connects with people, from any background or community, and then he shares what he learns in his next interactions. It’s just wonderful to be around someone so open, interested, curious and talented.”

This book’s road to creation was arduous and took years to manifest. Jennifer says. “This book was a massive undertaking. We had to figure everything out, from trying to understand what an Indigenous cooking philosophy would look like in a recipe collection, to the fact that we knew many eyes would be upon us. We also had to get the book right. It took us years to figure out how to tell Shane’s journey and why he started to explore his Indigenous roots through cooking, how to express the idea of Indigenous cooking when it’s just Shane’s personal creativity and talent; and how to make it approachable so that everyone would want to dive into this cookbook. It took us almost five years to write the book.”

“The fact that it is resonating in the Indigenous communities in Canada, in non-Indigenous communities in Canada and the US, and now getting recognized as an important publication for the 2020 World Gourmand Awards, we are just grateful. We simply want everyone to celebrate the beauty and the flavours of Indigenous cooking. And understand that this is just one take of a cultural tapestry in Canada that we hope gain more and more widespread acknowledgment.  There are so many other Indigenous chefs in Canada and the US who are creating beautiful, meaningful dishes.”

Bravo Cockrall-King and Chartrand, this is a remarkable achievement on so many levels.

The book can be purchased online here or through most bookstores that are currently offering services.

tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine
tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine
Image Credit: Anansi Press

— This story was corrected at 8:40 a.m. May 12 to clarify the award.

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