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N.S. chef creates new cookbook that shares some Mi'kmaq-inspired dishes, recipes


A chef in Cape Breton has recently released a new cookbook that highlights a collection of Indigenous-inspired recipes.

Shaun Zwarun has been the executive chef at Kiju's Restaurant in Membertou, N.S., for about 10 years.

"Kiju's is located in Membertou First Nation community, so a lot of the recipes are Mi'kmaq-inspired," said Zwarun.

"We have a three-course Mi'kmaq-inspired menu. Four-cent bread and we serve it in a little cast-iron frying pan. We do cedar-planked salmon and the traditional blueberry cake."

Zwarun's new cookbook, called "Fresh, Local and Delicious," shares some favourite Mi'kmaq dishes that focus on East Coast ingredients.

"I've always wanted to do a cookbook for a long time. So, when I got the opportunity, I jumped at it. It's been great. We've focused on a lot of local products. Try to use as much Cape Breton-inspired ingredients."

David Meuse works downstairs from the restaurant and is a well-known cultural ambassador in the community.

He says the cookbook and the dishes inside feel like recipes and cultural exchanges combined.

"The passion he has. The passion for the food, the passion for the people. He's always asking questions, 'What's good?'" said Meuse.

According to Zwarun, early cookbook sales are going well. He hopes it inspires people to try more Mi'kmaq traditional dishes.

"They've [the community] been great to me over the years. Very welcoming. It's been great to be able to give back," he said.

Zwarun's cookbook also shares dishes and ingredients from other Nova Scotia communities.

It's available in stores and online now. Top Stories

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