The Nomad Cook - Travis Petersen
2018 is a year I'll never forget, as it housed the first infused dinner I did, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Over a 4 day period, we had hosted 164 people in groups of 10, doing anywhere from 4 to 6 seating's a day for the weekend of 420. My expectation was that our demographic would be around 22 to 25 years old, predominantly male, and consist mostly of heavy cannabis users. Like many before me, I fell victim to preconceived notions from stereotypes and social stigmas created from decades of misinformation and propaganda. To my surprise, the average age of the people who attended the initial infused dinner was approx. 33, with 53% of females to 47% males. The most intriguing statistic was that approx. 35% of the people who attended did not smoke cannabis and/or were new to the space in general. Some attended to try something new, some came to support their partner and others just wanted to give edibles another go.
What happened over those 4 days inspired me more than anything ever had in the kitchen. Group after group I saw strangers become friends, stories shared, and contagious laughter around the table. This one-off dinner was creating lasting relationships and life long memories. By micro-dosing each guest individually to their own tolerance level, we created a safe space for people to experience cannabis-infused dining. Cannabis made our guests feel comfortable with others, it expanded expectations and set a presence in the culinary world. We, as Canadians, have a chance to make this ours. We are the first G8 country to legalize the recreational use of Cannabis and the first country of chefs who can legally integrate it into their cooking.
What started as a one-off Pop Up idea quickly morphed into a traveling event heading to multiple cities coast to coast; Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Seattle, and San Francisco. Not only were Canadians showing up in droves but people from countries all over the world started sitting at the Nomad kitchen table. Cannabis Infused Dining is here, and the time is now to seize the opportunity to make this Canada's flag on the global culinary map. When done properly, with safety and education as a top priority, combined with beautiful delicious food, people can trust the chef and those sitting across from them.