Ray Bear is a member of Muskoday First Nation and grew up on the east coast for most of his life. He said that his love for cooking sparked when his grandpa was coming to visit his family and he planned to make him lemon rolls at only four years old. Bear made the lemon rolls and at that point he knew he was going to be in the kitchen for the rest of his life.

Bear went to college in Nova Scotia and furthered his education at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He since has been working as a professional chef for over 25 years now.

This year’s 53 annual Juno Awards were held in Halifax and over the years the Juno’s have seen many esteemed chef’s cook for nominees. This year Bear was asked to be a consultant for the honoring ceremony which celebrated all the Indigenous performers nominated for awards.

“I get to kind of fly around the world and cook for all kinds of different people, I’ve cooked for many world leaders and all these different things but to cook for my Indigenous brothers and sisters is always an honour for sure,” said Bear.

On the menu Sunday evening was rabbit, duck, lobster and a high-end version of an Indian taco. Some of the Indigenous nominee’s and winners of this years Juno Awards include Aysanabee, Elisapie and Shawnee Kish.

“The Indigenous culinary scene has been blowing up and I’m just happy to be part of it and kind of influence it and recognize our biodiversity in our land and kind of show case that in the food,” explained Bear.

Bear will continue the travel the world showcasing Indigenous food and said he would cook for the Juno’s again if the opportunity comes.

(Photo courtesy of Ray Bear Facebook.)