Mixed pot of cooking for community and finding comfort in country food


InFocus this week is throwing everything into the pot for a delicious episode that features cooks and chefs – professional and amateur.

As an appetizer, we hear from Brandon Charlebois, a 13 year old from Sudbury who took it upon himself to cook up a big batch of beans for the city’s homeless.

We spoke with Brandon and his mom about how cooking for others has helped him emotionally, keeps him close to his roots and we’re joined by their inspiration – Vie Blount and her husband Dave – who started Vie’s Pantry from their own kitchen to feed the city’s most in-need vulnerable.

Indigenous cuisine


Then we heard to Ottawa where Inuk chief Trudy Metcalfe-Coe invited us into her kitchen to demonstrate her amazing cooking talents preparing Blackened Arctic Char. Yes, the recipe is below.

Trudy is from Nain on the Nunatsiavut coast (Labrador) and is currently living in Ottawa.

Trudy also shared her cooking tips and personal stories of cooking and eating northern country foods like Muskox and Muktuk.

She shared her recipe for Blackening rub which works on any meat, not just fish.

If you’re in the Ottawa area and lucky enough, you might get to try her cooking at one of the many events she cooks at or select events she caters to.

Now, for the recipe:

Blackening Rub – Trudy Metcalfe-Coe

(use as much or as little of each as you like)

1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika

Cayenne Pepper (to taste for heat)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp thyme leaves

1 tsp Newfoundland savory (available at Mt. Scio Farms)

For other recipes and cooking tips, check out our cuisine episode: InFocus and Indigenous cuisine  

Host, Producer / Winnipeg

Melissa is a proud Red River Metis and award-winning journalist who has spent more than 24 years covering crime, courts, politics, business and entertainment for newspapers in four provinces.
She then joined APTN Investigates in 2009 and APTN National News in 2018 and in that time has garnered numerous awards and nominations including from the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network (2013), Canadian Association of Journalists (2016, 2019) and Canadian Screen Awards (2018, 2019).