Chef Rich Francis explores indigenous communities across Canada, learning about the traditional and modern methods of harvesting and preparing the food that has shaped their cultures over the millennia. This documentary series also bring us into the hunting, harvesting, and fishing techniques either used today or in the past, and brings everything together in a final scene where Rich draws on what he’s learned, and uses his contemporary culinary techniques and understanding to reimagine a new dish for the community to enjoy.

Wild Game premieres tonight at 8:30p on APTN

STEP INTO THE WILD

An Immersive 360° Experience

Here is a brief synopsis of Wild Game – the show that takes you out into the wild where you eat all the things. Follow our host Rich, as we explore and create Canadian Indigenous meals in the timeless methods that prove you don’t need a 5 star kitchen to develop a 5 star meal.

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DURING BROADCAST FOR EXTRAS

Rich Francis, host, pulls the majority of his inspiration from the tastes, smells and traditions from a childhood spent in his father’s hometown of Fort McPherson in the Gwich’in Settlement Area of the Northwest Territories. His mother is Haudensaunee of the Tuscarora Nation from Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario. Rich considers this his second home, and this place is the other major region of influence that permeates his cuisine. Rich is a graduate of the acclaimed Stratford Chef School in Stratford, Ontario. While at Stratford he was involved in the taping of “Chef’s School”, a 28-part documentary for Food Network Canada that documented the training of culinary students in the school’s demanding program. After receiving top honors in Advanced Cookery, he started his career with renowned chef Michael Stadtländer in Singhampton, Ontario. It was at Stadtländer’s home base, Eigensinn Farm, that Rich developed a deep appreciation of the culinary significance of the farm to table movement and its impact on community, food quality, and the environment. Shifting his attention to Toronto, he accepted a position at Splendido alongside then-executive chef, David Lee. Lee would become one of his most significant mentors, teaching him about the importance of attention to detail. Lee impressed upon Rich the concept that equal attention to customers, product and execution are the keys to culinary success. New York City was his next stop where he interned at Danny Meyers’ Tabla. Here he further developed his palate and skills by executing complex Indian/American dishes created by chef Floyd Cardoz. After that was on to Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the- Lake under Chef Jason Parsons.

Ambitious and determined, Rich moved back to Toronto to explore his options. But suddenly everything changed: a major car accident and resulting injuries would send his life and career in a new direction. He never sent out another resume. Spending a year in rehabilitation to recover from his injuries, he developed his idea for Modern Aboriginal Cuisine. Since January 2011 he has been pushing this concept forward by doing private tasting dinners with wine pairings, tasting events and food demonstrations. His catering company and soon-to-be-launched restaurant, Seventh Fire, now serves as a platform to further develop his concept of Modern Aboriginal Cuisine. His cooking is designed to deliver the true emotional experience of Aboriginal gastronomy to his clientele. He uses products that are locally sourced, as well as indigenous products from a community on Turtle Island.

Our Director

Aram Kouyoumdjian is a Halifax-based director, producer and audio engineer who has been telling stories with moving images and sound in ambitious ways for 25 years. Beginning in the world of music videos, Aram has created content across many genres including scripted live-action, documentary, travel, commercial, and animation. His work has received several nods from both the film and music industries. A strong and valued collaborator and a spirited adventurer, Aram has travelled extensively, exploring the human experience with top-tier teams from around the world. He continues to seek and develop projects and opportunities to grow as a storyteller, as a leader, and as a human. His recent work includes Clay’s POV, a point-of-view scripted comedy series produced as a Canada-Czechia co-production for Super Channel, and Wild Game, a documentary series exploring pre-colonial food for APTN. When not at work, Aram can be found playing music, scuba diving on North Atlantic shipwrecks and expanding his garden to keep up with the demands of his Taco addiction.

Our Producer

Catherine Martin is a member of the Millbrook First Nation, Truro, NS. She is an independent international award-winning film producer and director, a writer, facilitator, communications consultant, community activist, teacher, drummer, and the first Mi’kmaw filmmaker from the Atlantic region. She is a past Chair of APTN and served on the board for the first five years of its inception. She has contributed to policy and institutional change to make cultural and arts more accessible to First Nations artists. Her contributions to film, television and digital media in Atlantic Canada were recognized this March with a WAVE Award from Women in Film and Television Atlantic. She was recently honored in November 2016 for her years of work as a peace activist from the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, the Anne Goodman Award for Peace Education. Catherine has contributed to the development of many programs to advance the education of Mi’kmaq and Aboriginal women and youth in the Atlantic Region and across the country, including the Certificate in Community Health at Dalhousie for women in Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Innu, and Inuit communities, the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Law Program also at Dalhousie, and the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University. Catherine currently sits as the 14th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.

Our Director

Aram Kouyoumdjian is a Halifax-based director, producer and audio engineer who has been telling stories with moving images and sound in ambitious ways for 25 years. Beginning in the world of music videos, Aram has created content across many genres including scripted live-action, documentary, travel, commercial, and animation. His work has received several nods from both the film and music industries. A strong and valued collaborator and a spirited adventurer, Aram has travelled extensively, exploring the human experience with top-tier teams from around the world. He continues to seek and develop projects and opportunities to grow as a storyteller, as a leader, and as a human. His recent work includes Clay’s POV, a point-of-view scripted comedy series produced as a Canada-Czechia co-production for Super Channel, and Wild Game, a documentary series exploring pre-colonial food for APTN. When not at work, Aram can be found playing music, scuba diving on North Atlantic shipwrecks and expanding his garden to keep up with the demands of his Taco addiction.

Our Producer

Catherine Martin is a member of the Millbrook First Nation, Truro, NS. She is an independent international award-winning film producer and director, a writer, facilitator, communications consultant, community activist, teacher, drummer, and the first Mi’kmaw filmmaker from the Atlantic region. She is a past Chair of APTN and served on the board for the first five years of its inception. She has contributed to policy and institutional change to make cultural and arts more accessible to First Nations artists. Her contributions to film, television and digital media in Atlantic Canada were recognized this March with a WAVE Award from Women in Film and Television Atlantic. She was recently honored in November 2016 for her years of work as a peace activist from the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, the Anne Goodman Award for Peace Education. Catherine has contributed to the development of many programs to advance the education of Mi’kmaq and Aboriginal women and youth in the Atlantic Region and across the country, including the Certificate in Community Health at Dalhousie for women in Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Innu, and Inuit communities, the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Law Program also at Dalhousie, and the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University. Catherine currently sits as the 14th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.