Food from the native tongue

David Wolfman — a descendant of the Lillooet band, Xaxli'p Nation — grew up in Toronto. He observed cooking skills from his mother at a very young age and was mesmerized at the fascinating stories and legends that his mother would share.

Wolfman later decided to focus his education in cooking at George Brown College in Toronto, through the apprenticeship program, and would later discover his aboriginal roots. He fused his international culinary techniques with the traditional foods that he was exposed to, and in 1992 he opened an Aboriginal Fusion catering company named Lillooet Catering, which featured an aboriginal fusion menu.

In 1994, he developed and taught an Aboriginal Cuisine program at George Brown College and in 1999 he wrote and hosted Cooking with the Wolfman, which airs nationally on The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

In season seven of the show, Wolfman shares his Aboriginal Fusion recipes (traditional foods with a modern twist), now with an international flare.

Wolfman is currently a professor at George Brown College and can be reached at

Garlic and Thyme Knishes


• 2 cups flour
• 1/2 ts baking powder
• 1/4 ts salt
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup oil
• ¾ cups water

Potato Filling:
• 4 large potatoes; cooked mashed
• ¼ lb chicken fat; melted
• 1 egg
• 1 onion; minced and browned
• 2 heads garlic, roasted in foil
• 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
• 1 tb oil
• 1/2 ts salt
• 3 eggs for egg wash

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat egg, oil, and water and add to the flour mixture. Knead lightly until dough is soft; it will be slightly oily but not sticky. Cover and set in a warm place for 1 hour.

To make filling, combine all ingredients and mix well. Divide dough in half and roll as thin as possible into a rectangle. Spread the filling on long side of the dough and roll like a jelly roll. Cut into 1-in. slices.

Pull ends of the dough over the filling and tuck into the knish to form small cakes. Brush with egg wash and place on a well-greased baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F. oven until brown.

Aboriginal/Jewish Cuisine

• 3 medium onions, diced
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 4 lbs kosher beef inside round. diced
• 1 cup lima beans, dry
• 1 cup barley, rinsed
• 4 large potatoes, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
• 2 sprigs rosemary, fresh
• 2 med carrots, sliced on a bias
• 2 quarts kosher beef stock
• Salt and pepper to taste


In a large rondue, sweat off the onion, remove and reheat pan, brown beef in small portions, remove and hold.

Deglaze pan with a bit of the stock, add the garlic and fresh rosemary, scrape sediment from pan, add more stock bring to a boil and add the rest of the beef, beans, potatoes and carrots. Preheat oven to 325 C. Let simmer for a while, add barley and the seasoning. Cover, bring to a simmer and then place in an oven-proof casserole dish and cover with lid.

Bake in the oven at 325 C until tender (approx 1-2 hours), remove let rest and serve with knishes ... mmm! (Cholent was traditionally slow cooked overnight.)

Apple Fritters
Aboriginal/Irish Cuisine

• 5 ounces flour
• 5 fluid ounces water
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 eggs (separated)
• 1 tablespoon melted butter
• 2 large cooking apples
• 4 ounces sugar
• Lemon juice
• Oil for deep frying

Make batter at least an hour before required, using following method:

Sift together flour and salt. Make a well in the center. Add the cooled melted butter and some of the water and egg yolks. Work in the flour and beat until smooth. Add remaining water. Leave to stand.

Just before using, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter mix.

Peel, core and slice apples (slices about 1/4-1/2 inch thick). Dip into batter and deep fry in very hot oil (175-180C) until golden.

Drain and serve dredged with sugar and sprinkled with lemon juice.

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