First Nations food truck at Clipper’s terminal a win for Songhees

A new food truck that will be offering a First Nations-styled menu this summer at the Victoria Clipper’s Belleville Street terminal was put through its training paces Friday.

The joint venture between Clipper and the Songhees First Nation served a sampling of its food to Clipper employees for lunch as the crew in the kitchen worked out the kinks before an official opening May 12.

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“They are coming along well,” said Dave Roger, executive chef for the Songhees First Nation.

Roger, the former executive chef at the Marriott Inner Harbour, is overseeing a training program for First Nations youth through the food truck and the Songhees Wellness Centre’s catering kitchen. The program will be supported by Camosun College with an eye to offering a new career path for First Nations youth.

Songhees Chief Ron Sam, on hand Friday to sample the lunch menu, said the overall goal is to offer his members a new career option. “We owe a debt of gratitude to Merideth Tall [chief executive of Clipper]. She came up with the idea to have something like this at the Clipper terminal,” he said. “It is a growing industry and provides an avenue for our people to work in this industry.”

Sam said once the truck is well established the plan is to turn attention to working on the industrial kitchen at the Wellness Centre. “And with our partnership with Camosun College we will have our members train with chef Dave and eventually go to school and become Red Seal chefs,” he said, adding they want to start catering in-house the events hosted at the centre.

Roger said he has always wanted to do traditional food. “This is tradition with a twist.” The menu includes bison tacos, cranberry chutney and smoked venison sausage.

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