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Indigenesis, local chef finds her own path

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DAN CEARNS The Standard

SCUGOG: Since last July, Tamara Green has been providing people with the gift of native food with her Indigenesis personal chef services. Based out of Port Perry, Indigenesis is a unique catering business that blends traditional style with modern methods.

According to the business’ website, Ms. Green prepares “items from only pre-contact ingredients using traditional native cooking methods and re-imagining them with modern cooking techniques.”

Since starting, Ms. Green has done work in Port Perry, Scugog Island, Whitby, Oshawa and Peterborough, during which time, she has received positive feedback from customers.

“Full-status Aboriginal persons, have commented on how they feel very honoured to eat these indigenous flavours, and they want to learn the traditional methods for themselves,” Ms. Green said. “As well, other clients, from a variety of backgrounds, enjoy the opportunity to try something new and learn more about the culture and the history.”

Ms. Green said what she likes about this pre-colonial food focus is both learning the history, and giving people a historical experience through the food.

The idea of Indigenesis began three years ago with her first venture into this cuisine. “A labour of love, I was crafting a multi-course Hauden-osaunee menu to give something back to my Tota [Mohawk for grandfather] James Warren Green, the menu was to reflect purely the foods of his Mohawk family line. I contacted over thirty councils, band offices and museums on the subject.” Ms. Green continued, “I found one astounding fact, however, there were no purely pre-colonial food services available in Canada. Oh, I found a smattering of food services boasting indigenous cuisine, but their menus included a plethora of other ingredients that the settlers introduced. Today the extent of indigenous cuisine an average person may know is the three sisters [corn, beans, and squash] which is sad. Just as I want to honour my Tota so too we must build on the knowledge of those who have come before us. This was the beginning of a stirring in my heart to do something about the lack.”

Ms. Green will be holding a pop up restaurant at the Purple Woods Conservation Area in Oshawa on Saturday, October 5th. People can enjoy a three course meal, and the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) will be holding a guided foraging hike of the Purple Woods trails.

“We’re always excited to partner with something like this. Anytime we can enjoy a nice local feast is always a good thing,” Yvonne Storm of CLOCA told The Standard.

Tickets are $80 per person. Reservations will be taken for anytime between 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. People can reserve a time in 15 minute intervals.

The hike will be held at 4:30 p.m., and is expected to last between 30 and 35 minutes.

Ms. Green said this is the perfect opportunity for people to enjoy nature, learn about the local plants and then have a nice meal.

 To make a reservation or for more details phone Tamara Green at 705-308-6104, email or book online to:

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