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Cooking outside the box: A Labrador woman’s take on Asian cuisine

Doris Patey has been doing something a little bit different with sushi in Labrador.
Doris Patey has been doing something a little bit different with sushi in Labrador. - Submitted

When people think of dishes that a cook from Newfoundland or Labrador would make, fish is certainly a staple that comes to mind. Certainly, those familiar with northern food would think of arctic char as a great ingredient for a Labrador supper. Sushi wouldn’t be the first thing to come to mind, but making the traditional Japanese food with local food is something Doris Patey is determined to do.

Born and raised in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, cooking for a career is nothing new to Doris Patey. She spent eight years working as a cook, both at the mess hall and at the Valard camp, and truly loves cooking. On top of that, her mother and father in law both cooked at local campus of College of the North Atlantic for many years, providing delicious meals to staff and students alike in the cafeteria.

Sushi is a new venture for her but the prospect of trying to make something outside the box didn’t faze her in the slightest.

“I do things my way, I always try to do something different” says Mrs. Patey.

Last year when she was approached by Woodward’s to make some food to sell at their snack bar, she chose to pursue sushi “because everyone seems to be on a sushi kick lately.”

She found instructional videos online and was able to quickly produce rolls that feature Labrador’s specialty: arctic char. Arctic Char isn’t a traditional sushi ingredient, but this local substitution is a popular one.

Reviews have been glowing and people are excited at the chance to try something different than what they might ordinarily expect from a gas bar convenience store.

Mrs. Patey is eager to keep growing as a cook, producing more food using local ingredients. She says that in the upcoming weeks, people stopping in at the Woodwards gas station can expect to find fish and brewis as well as baked beans.

“I’ve always loved cooking” said Patey.

People who pop into the gas station are sure to love these more traditional snacks as well as her take on sushi.

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