By Jesse Laufer
On May 12, the public can get a taste of traditional Songhees cuisine for lunch, but with added flair.
The Songhees Seafood and Steam food truck is a joint partnership between the Songhees Nation and Clipper Navigation. The food truck will be found outside the Clipper terminal on Belleville Street, but it will make it to community events such as Esquimalt’s upcoming Buccaneer Days.
Most of the staff working in the truck are from the Songhees Nation. The exception is David Roger, the head chef of the food truck, who left his job running the kitchen at the Marriott Inner Harbour a month ago to work full-time as the executive chef at the Songhees Wellness Centre.
“I just wanted a new adventure and a new challenge and I found this is what it’s all about,” Roger said.
Part of the challenge for Roger will be training Victoria’s next generation of chefs.
“I want to get into teaching and giving my experience back to the young generation,” he said. “Were using the food truck as a training program, so anyone who wants to get their Red Seal, I’m here to support them on that.”
“Were always looking out for our young people that are up and coming,” agreed Songees Nations Chief Ron Sam.
Last Friday was a training day for the truck’s new staff. Clipper staff had the opportunity to sample the initial offerings.
The food didn’t seem to last long once it was plated.
Mark Reynolds, who does IT work for Clipper and lives in Seattle, noted he hasn’t yet seen a First Nations-inspired food truck in Seattle, let alone Victoria.
Chief Sam is proud the Songhees have the first.