Art Napoleon, left, and Dan Hayes, suit up for another season of Moosemeat and Marmelade on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. (Submitted)

Moosemeat star talks sustainable living, being famous

Wild game stolen from Saanich freezer of Moosemeat and Marmelade star

After two seasons as the star of Moosemeat and Marmalade, getting recognized has become a regular occurrence for Art Napoleon.

It’s even gone so far that the moose meat, wild game and wild berries he’d hunted and gathered in the summer were stolen from the freezer in his Saanich carport. It was just before Christmas, and it was a disappointment ahead of the holidays.

“Someone must have got wind that it was my freezer,” Napoleon said. “Somewhere out there, someone has about 15 gallons of frozen wild huckleberries picked from the alpine of Black Mountain near the Peace River.”

Napoleon showed up to Victoria about 15 years ago as a musician. He got married, and though he isn’t married anymore, he is based out of the Swan Lake neighbourhood where he helps raise two girls in the Greater Victoria school system.

He still spends a lot of time in the Peace River region, where he can always grab “another cooler full of game and berries,” when he needs it, he said.

Post-production for his popular show is just about complete. The fourth season will include a stop at Denman Island, and six episodes in Spain, as Napoleon once again pits himself, and the traditional Indigenous styles of eating, against the European cuisine of English chef Dan Hayes.

It’s commissioned for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in Canada and is now in nine countries, but has always been based in Victoria. Hayes, of course, runs his London Chef business on Fort Street. Former Saanich resident Hilary Prior of May Street productions has been with the show since the start and so has James Bay resident Daryl Whetung, who is currently in post-production with Calvin Stimson.

Napoleon actually had the original concept, which was to host an Indigenous cooking show himself, then came the idea to split it off with Dan Hayes.

“It’s much better this way, the dynamic is far better with the two of us,” Napoleon said. “We bicker and argue on air, but we really do get along great.”

Raised near Moberly Lake (a little ways from Chetwynd and the Peace River) with grandparents who didn’t speak English, Napoleon said about half the family’s food came from the land and the garden. The other half came from the store.

He’s touted for his sustainable practices and the show does its best to model zero-waste cooking. That’s where you end up with ‘shock-factor’ delicacies such as bull testicles, racoon and moose nose.

“When we travel, and we try to hunt, we don’t always catch what we seek,” Napoleon said. “You’ll see that in the show. But it doesn’t matter. We reach out to the community. We visit them. And they’ll share food with us. So we don’t always know what the menu is.”

Whether it’s in the show, or in life, Napoleon will find ways to use what others don’t.

“Lamb’s quarters, it grows wild like a weed and is loaded with nutrition,” he said. “It has to be blanched. But people pull it out like a weed and toss it in the compost. It’s a shame to throw it away.”

Among his beliefs, locals should organize a First Nations cull of the urban deer in Greater Victoria before a tragic disaster happens and before they suffer the effects of overpopulation in a non-traditional environment.

“They’ll use everything, the whole animal, just get out of their way and let them do what they did for thousands of years,” Napoleon said.

It’s just like the blackberries that grow rampant on Vancouver Island.

“I don’t know why people wait for it to be on sale in the store. Spend an hour on the Galloping Goose. Fill a bag with blackberries, stick it in your freezer for the winter.”

Visit moosemeatandmarmalade.com for new episodes coming this spring.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Last week for first year of Oak Bay deer contraception campaign

Crew working to administer second booster to all 60 does

Downtown Victoria tea shop switches to plastic tea bags

Murchie’s Tea and Coffee says the transition is temporary

Dog memorial at Esquimalt Lagoon encourages living in the moment

Owner of Jazz the black lab sets up tennis ball memorial one year after dog’s death

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Most Read