A new West Island restaurant is giving Montreal residents a unique look at some traditional Indigenous dishes.
Salmon cake with wild salad, wild rice with cranberries, and traditional bannock are all on the menu at Miqmak Catering Indigenous Kitchen – the island's only Indigenous-owned restaurant.
Learning traditional recipes from her grandmother in her youth, chef Norma Condo started her own catering business after finishing culinary school.
But now, she's expanded to a space that includes a dining room where everyone can come enjoy Mi'kmaw cooking.
"I could have clientele come in and see our culture, our way of cooking," Condo told CTV Montreal. "Because there's not too many Indigenous places that people know, or what we eat, or how it's done."
Condo, the restaurant's only chef, spends hours in the kitchen with only the occasional help from her children to prepare the day's meals.
"It could be 12 [hours], it could be 16 [hours]," said Leah Condo, Norma's daughter. "Sometimes we could be here at like eight in the morning and leave at five in the morning."
But her hard work seems to be paying off, with early reviews for the restaurant coming back positive.
"I think it's wonderful," one customer said. "It gives a lot of people the opportunity to experience different type of traditional dishes in contemporary style."
While Condo is still settling in to her West Island location, she already has her eyes set on the future, hoping to open up another Mi'kmaw kitchen downtown in the next year.
With files from Julian McKenzie