Two Indigenous women are the talk of the cooking TV show circuit and for good reason.
Jodi Robson from Regina, Sask., is a wife and mom of two who wowed The Great Canadian Baking Show, making it to the top three finalists, while Siobhan Detkavich is the youngest chef who will compete on Top Chef Canada’s upcoming season, which debuts April 19.
Robson, who grew up on Okanese First Nation, learned to cook from her kookum.
She says they’d watch her “cook by feel’ – no measurements or recipe books—and were often tasked with helping as her grandmother wanted them out from under foot and put to use learning the skill of feeding their family.
“Always was a dream of mine to cook on TV – I used to watch cooking shows as a little girl growing up on the rez with only three channels,” Robson said on the April 14 edition of InFocus.
Watching her kookum show and explain each step in the process was like being part of a cooking show in real life.
“I wanted everyone to experience watching her cook and I thought if I could get on a cooking show or baking show I could do what I always wanted her to do. It was just a dream I can’t believe it happened,” she said.
While many either love to cook or bake, Robson says she loves both equally.
“Honestly I just love to eat. We harvest our own vegetables and pick our own berries and hunt. There’s just something magical about taking ingredients you’ve sourced and putting them together and making something incredible and filling bellies and visiting,” she said
“I really think the emotion you put in your food impacts the people who eat it.”
She shares a family favorite – Saskatoon tart, which she says brings memories of summer.
Robson hopes The Great Canadian Baking Show isn’t her last TV competition. She would like to do a cooking show in the future.
Siobhan Detkavich of Cowichan Tribes is the youngest competitor on this season’s Top Chef Canada on The Food Network.
At just 21, she’s already a kitchen veteran, having been training since she was 16.
“Coming from an (Indigenous) background people have this ideology on the whole nation,” said the young chef, who in real life works at the Mission Hill Winery restaurant in Kelowna, B.C.
“Growing up with that, it fuels something deep down. It’s a huge deal for someone like me to be on Top Chef Canada not only because I’m representing a young generation but an entire Indigenous nation.
Asked what she would do if she won the $100,000 prize? Pay off debt and sock a bunch away.
Detkavich said she hopes her career takes her traveling the world to experience authentic regional cuisine around the globe.