In the Kitchen with the Laughing Chef – she’s Nunavut’s answer to Jamie Oliver: a cooking-show guru whose goal is to teach Inuit to eat better – and have a great time doing it.

Up Here magazine, January/February 2010

rebecca veevee 036The TV ad fades to black, replaced on screen by a simple kitchen with green wooden cupboards and a refrigerator plastered with fridge magnets. Cooking-show hostess Rebecca Veevee sharpens her favourite ulu to a jingle of jolly pop music. Enter Jordin Tootoo. As the Inuit hockey hero prepares his favourite dish – sautéed caribou – the petite, grandmotherly Veevee flutters about, chopping veggies and chatting in Inuktitut. She checks on his sizzling pan. Taima, she says. Enough. Then she gazes up at the hulking Tootoo. “Mama Mia! So tall!” she exclaims, unleashing peals of laughter. As the 30-minute episode wraps up, Veevee presents a finished meal of caribou steaks and shrimp stir-fry. “Delicious!” she says, beaming. “And easy.”

Veevee’s on a one-woman mission to change how Inuit eat. “People in the Arctic live like they’re in another world, junk food all the time,” she says. “So many have diabetes and high blood pressure. Very awful!” Her popular lunchtime cooking show, Niqitsiat, or “healthy cooking,” is heading into its fourth season, broadcast nationally in Inuktitut on Canada’s aboriginal network, APTN. Each day on the show, Veevee creates nutritious Northern dishes that can be cooked fast and cheap. Past meals have included caribou pizza, goose soup, char casserole, seal pie and her signature dish, beluga muktuk stir-fry. Read more…

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