A new Brandon restaurant is getting ready to introduce people in the southwestern Manitoba city to First Nations comfort cuisine.
Bannock tacos and pizza will be just a few of the items on the menu when Three Sisters Bannock House opens on Rosser Avenue in the new year.
Co-owner Darian Kennedy says cooking has been a lifelong passion for him.
But his love of serving up bannock-inspired recipes really started during the pandemic, with the launch of the Brandon Friendship Centre’s Indigenous Eats food truck.
That’s actually where Kennedy met his now co-owners, and where they came up with the name for their restaurant.
“When we were in the heat of the moment or in the lunch rush or the dinner rush, we would say, ‘Hey, can you pass the three sisters?'” — a term they used to refer to baking powder, salt and sugar, he said.
“It was code for us: pass the bannock ingredients.”
The term is also often used in some First Nations cultures to refer to a combination of beans, corn and squash — an overlap Kennedy relishes.
“We’re always looking to collaborate and we’re always looking to embrace and appreciate other Indigenous cultures on Turtle Island,” he said.
Kennedy said he pictures Three Sisters as more than just a restaurant.
He wants it to be somewhere people can gather and share in different cultures. It’s part of why they’re setting up shop in downtown Brandon.
“The location of the restaurant was inspired by the need to help facilitate reconciliation, and I feel like the renewal of downtown Brandon would be a great place to try and make that happen,” he said.
“I think it will definitely be not only a food experience, but a cultural experience. That’s what we’re hoping for.”
And based on the overwhelmingly positive reception the restaurant has already gotten online — including hundreds of followers on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook — Kennedy said he and his business partners are ready to open a business during a pandemic.
“It definitely will be a challenge, but we’re up for the challenge,” he said.
Three Sisters Bannock House is scheduled to open at 908 Rosser Ave. in January.