Scott Iserhoff
Pei Pei Chei Ow Catering, Edmonton

Mushkego Cree chef Scott Iserhoff is bringing Indigenous cuisine to the forefront through his Edmonton-based company Pei Pei Chei Ow—while also using food as a way to delve into more far-reaching conversations. Speaking at local schools—and to large groups at companies like Google and YouTube—about the importance of food sovereignty and food history is part of Iserhoff’s greater belief that food is a universal language. “The topic of Indigenous cuisine can open a conversation about relocation and much more, such as colonization and starvation and cultural genocide. These are topics that are directly related to how we eat and how we heal.”

Scott Iserhoff. Photo by Aaron Pedersen.
Scott Iserhoff. Photo by Aaron Pedersen.

Iserhoff is spreading awareness to others, but it’s a mission with internal benefits, too. “It’s a journey of reconnecting to my culture,” Iserhoff explains. The dishes he makes and teaches in his classes are about more than just sustenance—they tell a story: through their historical context, but also through traditional cooking methods and the sourcing of hyper-local ingredients.

By keeping the context of these recipes in the foreground, Iserhoff hopes to build a platform to lift others up as well. “I want to provide opportunities for other Indigenous people to share their stories, too.”

Food for Thought with Scott

You can only have one cookbook for the rest of your life: what is it?

The Sioux Chef by Sean Sherman.

Once travel is fully up and running, where’s the one restaurant you’d love to travel to?

My parents-in-law Tania and Misha’s kitchen in Ukraine, once the war is over.

THE WHOLE STORY: Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Foodies of the Year