Indigenous Engagement

Rayne Ryle-Cote

RRC Polytech Student

During a co-op work placement at Prairie Research Kitchen in 2022, Rayne Ryle-Cote, a student in RRC Polytech’s Compass Skills program, created a new sauce that integrated her culture, family, and part of herself.

Rayne is Anishinaabe (her mother is from Lake St. Martin and her father is from Cote First Nation). After enrolling in the Compass Skills program, which focuses on career exploration, goal setting and self-reflection, she tapped into a deep desire to learn more about Indigenous cultural teachings. While there, she realized she had a strong interest in cooking inspired by her mother.

Drawing on her grandparents’ love of cranberry sauce (always a meal-side staple for meats, fish, and bannock), she experimented with finding a balance that included notes of sweet and sour, a personal favourite. PRK’s culinary research team suggested ways to blend some of the elements, which include dried juniper berries and raspberries. The sauce can be used for dipping and coating, and works best with meatballs, fried fish, chicken nuggets, and fried bannock.

Scaling up and packaging Rayne’s sauce presented PRK with the opportunity to test new equipment in the Food Processing Lab and model a student recipe development process for products destined for larger-scale production and commercialization.

Rayne is continuing her studies in Culinary Skills and is working with PRK to package and upscale production of the sauce. She dreams of a career that will take her coast to coast, working with Indigenous people, learning, and sharing her teachings along the way.

It was important to Rayne that her sauce bear an Anishinaabemowin name in honour of her heritage. She worked with RRC Polytech Indigenous Language Instructor Corey Whitford to choose a name. Wiishkobi dago zhiiwizipogwad mawinzwaanwinan baashkiminasigan means “sweet and sour berry sauce”. It is pronounced wish-ko-BEH dah-GO ZHEE- wih-zid-pah-gwid man-win-ZWAH-wih-nin bash-KEE-mih-NAH-sih-gin.

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