A peak into the company with Chef David
“The Difference Between a Weed and a Flower is Judgment.”
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of attending Boston’s premier cannabis dinner series, Eat Sacrilicious.
If you know me, you know I was V into this!
I mean, what’s not to love?
I went by myself, so at first I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, 5 courses later + a few glasses of wine, I was feeling more than good to go!
(did I mention cannabis is legalized in MA?! -we will get more into this on another day)
Let’s set the mood.
A sexy photo studio transformed into the ultimate dinner experience. Sensual lighting, multiple courses. Cocktails, laughing so hard my cheeks hurt and of course, plenty of cannabis.
As a diner at the “high dosage” table I found myself among like minded people who wanted to have an elevated dining experience without having to compromise the mission of the dining series. GOOD FOOD.
I enjoyed great food, laughs and more important, a safe, fun, experience.
Eat Sacrilicious, the baby of Sensi Magazine publisher Sean Curley, Events owner Sam Kanter and the Chef behind the meals, David Yusefzadeh, has become the hottest ticket in town for those looking for the most ultimate and thoughtful cannabis experience.
I linked up with Chef David, who is also the owner of Cloud Creamery, Framingham’s cannabis ice cream company, to find out the ins and out of this dining series; why cannabis and why now!
With that, what’s up Chef David?! GIVE US ALL THE DEATS.
Me: When/why did you first start Cloud Creamery? What was the vision behind it?
Chef David: The vision behind Cloud Creamery is for anyone battling an auto-immune disease to have an option other than an opioid when they are in pain. It goes beyond auto-immune though. When a 12-year-old has their tonsils taken out they are given Vicodin’s or Percocet’s. Why on Earth can they not have something natural, healthy and non-addictive?
The amazing part of all of this is that Walmart, Target, Walgreen’s and CVS will all deliver you prescription (Opioids). Opioids are the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States two years in a row and we are literally bringing them to people’s doorsteps. Insurance companies are covering them and doctors are pushing them onto patients. It’s baffling.
+ Side bar – as a person with an auto-immune disease (vitiligo), I think it is VERY important to give people all-natural alternatives to pills. Although I am blessed to not feel any physical pain from my disorder, there are people out there who do feel agony. As a society we should be doing more to show the different methods of healing out there.
Back to David.
Me: You have worked with some notable chefs. How did you begin your career and why cooking?
Chef David: I always wanted to be in the kitchen. My parents are both great cooks and I grew up in an environment where they encouraged my brothers and I to help out in the kitchen. It stuck with me. I had a few chef jobs in high school but nothing too serious. After high school I went to culinary school and fell into an amazing group of friends that all loved food as much as I did. We cooked together every chance we had. The last part of culinary school was an internship at the Ritz Carlton East of Atlanta and met a chef named Ruben Garcia. He set me on a path of taking pride in everything I do and has continued to be a friend and mentor ever since.
Food is at the center of every part of my life. The ability for one dish to be able to tell a story, bring you to a specific place in time, a cultural history, provide nourishment and comfort others is something that I’m still fascinated with.
Me: When did the switch to cooking with cannabis happen?
Chef David: I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2011 and all of the medications that were provided to me failed. I moved through the meds fairly quickly and multiple friends encouraged me to look more into the benefits of cannabis. I started to research edibles and visited a few dispensaries but most of them were gummies or lozenges – basically food items that I didn’t typically eat. I decided to use my food background and make some edibles of my own.
Me: What are the woes of cooking with cannabis?
Chef David: The only real woe of cooking with cannabis is the cultural opposition we face. Most people that oppose cannabis truly have little knowledge about its uses and benefits. People that grew up with Nixon or Reagan as president still consider marijuana a Cheech and Chong scenario or something where people are lazy and not motivated by life. We are the opposite. Our goal is to present a new scenario where people can consume in a healthy, thoughtful and creative way.
Me: Mixing gourmet food and premium cannabis is such a unique idea. How did the team come together?
Chef David: We all met at an event and hit it off. I think it’s rare to find others in the cannabis industry that want to move the scene forward, to innovate and progress. Sean and Sam both feel the same way so we’re a great fit. Sam runs an events company and Sean works in marketing. We all bring elements to the table to create solid events.
Me: How do you come up with the concepts/menu of each dinner?
Chef David: Each dinner is different. We do our best to source locally and take into conversation the space. We are creating an entire experience, not just a dinner party. The menus reflect a journey of sorts. We specifically infuse each dish with a specific strain for flavor and affect.
Me: How important is normalizing the use of cannabis?
Chef David: Normalizing cannabis is key. Cannabis has been shunned for the longest time from the government and popular culture. Of course, there has always been a stoner underbelly that has created silly and laughable scenarios but the reality is that cannabis is much safer than alcohol and other drugs that get pushed into our faces by doctors.
The amount of federally funded studies that state cannabis is bad for consumption versus the amount of NOT-federally funded studies that state cannabis is healthy for individuals is astonishing. Fortunately, our generation sees through the bullshit and is taking the right steps to normalize it.
Me: What is your favorite strain to use and why?
Chef David: Picking one favorite is hard but I prefer Sativa’s. I love the energy they give. I’m a big fan of Sour Diesel or anything citrus or skunk. Utilizing flower in the dishes allows us to showcase the full terpene profile of every strain. It’s a whole other flavor component.
Me: Do you think cannabis dinners are a good way to introduce beginners into this world?
Chef David: I think dinners are a great way to introduce people to cannabis. There is a stigma that exists around edibles that they are too strong and people don’t know how much they are eating. Most people never really knew what strain they were getting or how strong they were which in turn makes it challenging to know how high you will get from an edible. The current cannabis market has a massive amount of information for people to know what they are taking, what the effects will be and what to expect overall.
Me: Edibles, vapes, flower? What’s your poison?
Chef David: I’m a flower guy. Vapes are a little too chemically-feeling to me though I appreciate their discretion. Edibles are great for certain scenarios but overall, I enjoy tasting the strain fresh.
Me: If you could have dinner with 3 people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Trent Reznor – Trent is an amazingly talented human. Yes, he makes music and yes I love Nine Inch Nails but I’m more humbled by his drive, dedication and ability to transform his feelings and emotions into something that everyone can experience. He’s been making music for over 30 years at the highest caliber possible, has been nominated for two Oscars (He won one of them), and is still a student of discovery and growth. For me there is no more talented musician alive right now.
Anthony Bourdain – It’s still painful to think about but Tony was the coolest guy and ultimate dinner guest.
Prince – I’m from Minneapolis. Everyone that knows me knows I love Prince. He mastered 17 different instruments!
For more info on Chef David and tickets to the next event please visit Eat Sacrilicious.
(photos by Matt McLaughlin @mattmacphoto )