Do you like food? I know that’s a loaded question, and I don’t mean to intrude... but do you? Cool, me too. Common ground found! Now, do you also enjoy cannabis? Get out, so do I! Final question: Have you ever tried food after consuming cannabis, and/or food prepared with cannabis as one of the ingredients? OMFG, you have? This is what it must be like when doves cry.
From noon to 8 pm on April 5, Redd on Salmon will host CannaChef of Portland, which combines cannabis and the dishes it includes from people who are better cooks than you. Hosted by Nagalo Bealum of Cooking On High on Netflix, eight competitors will compete live while an audience of attendees cheer them on.
Each chef will prepare their signature cannabis-infused dish, and two will advance to the final round after judgement is passed by eight judges. The championship round will require chefs to prepare the “Mystery Dish” selected by these same judges. (God, I hope it doesn’t involve some form of edible animal penis. When did that become a thing? Why? Why do that? No one needs to eat that much dick.)
The non-mystery ingredient in every dish will be cannabis, prepared by chefs with decades of training and experience, a diverse range of styles, ingredients and regional techniques, and a shared love of cannabis cooking. The competitors are Aaron McKinely, Lisa Joy, Marcus Larkin, Christina Patanjo, David Lucht, Thomas Tinsley, Amaranta Colindres and Charleen Caabay. Everyone brings something special to the chopping block, but I would put my money on Caabay. A winner of Food Network’s Chopped, Caabay competed in other cooking shows before co-founding the People’s Dispensary in Portland. All the chefs have a legitimate and long term relationship with cannabis, and their bios reveal there are no "Cannabis Chads" in the line-up.
The judges panel includes eight experts such as the team behind Elbe’s Edibles, so expect a knowledgeable skill set. But let's be real: This is going to be a competition of stoned chefs, making cannabis food, judged by people high AF. Less British Baking Show, more Indica Iron Chef.
The audience of ticket holders can amuse themselves prior to the competition (beginning at 4:20 pm) with a variety of cooking demos, food trucks, opportunities to meet the chefs, as well as an (UNMEDICATED) GRON chocolate fountain.
Something else that will be unmedicated? You, sort of.
Thanks to existing rules and regulations surrounding cannabis in Oregon, there can be no cannabis consumption at the event itself. So revise any plans you had to blaze one while watching professionals cook, or trying any infused edibles. Sample Claus isn’t coming to town, Virginia, so you won’t be trying any of the infused dishes prepared by the chefs. Don't keep your fork, there's no pie.
Instead, two consumption vehicles will be "adjacently onsite" for ticket holders 21 and over to board and consume their own cannabis, away from the impressionable eyes of gentle passersby. There will also be what the organizers described to me as "a big consumption space just outside the gate." BYO Bud, no sponsor samples of cannabis, or onsite sales, will be available. This won't be the place for the hook up.
This is primarily due to the deaths that resulted from the infamous 1974 Willamette Weed Day disaster, when someone smoked a joint outside of their own home, causing them to strangle everyone within 100 feet in a marijuana-fueled rage, before spontaneously combusting after boarding a full school bus of blind children. Thoughts and prayers.
Tickets range from $50 and up to $250 for VIP benefits—such as seating next to the chefs, thereby allowing you to distract and annoy them with your stoned ramblings about “making shake-infused Betty Crockers brownies in college, and how high everyone in my frat house was for four days. Four days!” Again. They’ll love that.