Jenni Lessard

Last updated: September 15, 2022

Jenni Lessard is a Métis chef, recipe developer and the Indigenous culinary consultant for Wanuskewin Heritage Park. She lives on Treaty Four Territory in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan, where she draws inspiration from the land. Raised near La Ronge, SK, by a small lake, Jenni’s earliest memories include visiting trap lines, picking berries and finding ways to cook and bake with ingredients from the boreal forest.  

Her first food venture, at age 14, was a burger truck called Flight Delight at the local airport. 

In 2005, Jenni opened New Ground Café in the small farming community of Birch Hills, SK, with no formal culinary training. It soon became a local foods “must visit,” with live music, art and a daily changing chalkboard menu. 

Jenni moved to Saskatoon in 2012 to start Chef Jenni Cuisine. From weddings to mountain bike races, Jenni travelled the province telling stories about the producers and ingredients featured in her unique and nourishing menus.  

In 2019 she was approached by Wanuskewin to create the culinary portion of the Han Wi dinner series, an immersive cultural evening set atop the Opimihaw Valley.  

Through her company, Inspired By Nature Culinary Consulting, Jenni continues to honour her heritage and the land by continuing to learn and give back to her community.  

She’s Secretary of the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations, Vice President of Metis Local 126 and a member of the Slow Food Saskatoon steering committee.  

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1 Elgin Resident Chefs program

Chefs from every region of Canada are invited to demonstrate their artistry and vision of what Canadian cuisine can be, and to share their knowledge and culinary innovation.

NAC media featuring Jenni Lessard