by James Galwey
FIRST INDIGENOUS RESTAURANT COMING TO MONTREAL
After opening in Pierrefonds, downtown Montreal could be the next destination
Montreal is known for being a food-lovers city so it is refreshing to finally see that the first Indigenous restaurant has opened under the name of Miqmak Catering in Pierrefonds. Ok, ok, so it’s not quite downtown Montreal (yet) but it is a lot nearer than Toronto (where there are at 5 Indigenous restaurants, at the last count) and Sudbury (1).
Miqmak chef Norma Condo is at the head of this culinary project. Originally from the community of Gesgapegiag, on the Gaspé Peninsula, the 42-year-old restaurateur lived in the United States before returning home to attend a Montreal culinary school. And if her dream has taken her from the States to Pierrefonds, it might also soon lead to a more central location in downtown Montreal where she has been scouting locations. Fingers crossed it all works out!
What started out as a catering company transformed into a small restaurant and dining room where everyone can come enjoy her twist on Indigenous cooking. Her hard work is paying off, with reviews coming back positive and a possible new location in the city sometime this year. I can smell why. On the menu Condo offers Labrador tea, wild rice, berry-based dishes, bannock bread and homemade dishes such as salmon fritters, with relish based on seaweed. It piques the taste buds!
Condo has also been spreading her good nature during these times of coronavirus by delivering some of her home cooking to some of the city’s homeless centres – much to the pleasure of the Indigenous population. And hopefully, before the year is out and this virus has gone, we will all get a chance to taste her cooking. Did I already mention that my fingers are crossed?
Credit: Kelly Boultilier