Charlotte, North Carolina
I was surprised to see how excited all the chefs were to hear me speak at the Chef to Chef conference, in North Carolina. On the opening day there was a dinner and an after mixer where everyone had the chance to walk around and mingle. At the dinner, the guest speaker was Chef Michelle Benrstine and her speech really set the tone for the next couple of days. Seeing the intrigue from all these highly acclaimed chefs about CBD and culinary cannabis was a real boost of motivation. The culinary industry is always growing and reinventing itself and I was ablut to gi ve the biggest presentation of my life.
I would like to consider myself a strong public speaker and always relish the opportunity to do so. However, I can easily say that I was the most nervous I had ever been giving any sort of presentation. I paced nervously for about an hour before, knowing that 400+ executive chefs would be dissecting everything I was about to say. Having the respect of my peers is something I strive everyday to earn and this was the biggest opportunity I ever could have asked for.
Although I tripped over some words to start and completely abandoned my original plan, overall the hour long presentation went pretty well. I ended my demo (Turmeric, Carrot & Ginger Soup with CBD Infused Mustard Ice Cream) about 35 minutes in and took questions for the last 25. Coming off the stage I was greeted by dozens of Executive Chefs from all over America, inviting me to come visit their club. I was humbled and giddy over the response from everyone at attendance. A new opportunity to grow more awareness of culinary cannabis and The Nomad Cook brand was presenting itself… Or at least I thought it was.
I left Carolina on an emotional high and couldn’t have been anymore excited to head to California and spend the month with my girlfriend, Holly. For the first time in four years, I would have a month off from cooking for any sort of event and would have time to focus solely on writing my cookbook. I connected right away with Scott Holden of Lab Effects(Colorado) to get my hands on some cannabis derived terpenes and start mapping out the structure & format of my book. Waking up everyday to a new headline about the Corona Virus was worrisome on so many levels. Watching restaurants and event companies across the continent start to cancel and close down was alarming because my month of April was jam packed with events across Canada, including the biggest day of the year in the cannabis industry; 420.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Laving the United States 3 weeks early was one of the weirdest feelings I ever had. It felt like I was fleeing and the unknown of what was happening gave me no confidence in the future. In February I had moved out of the place I was living in Vancouver because I was set to be on the road for the next 13 weeks. I had a plan, flights were booked, Air BnB’s secured and over a dozen events were set up. Now that plan was out the window and I would have to find somewhere to live.
I decided to spend my 14 day government mandatory isolation in Campbell River at the Elements Air BnB rental unit, which was set right along the ocean. My first day there I realized I would need to find something to focus on and had to create a project, to at least keep me sane. I reached out to another Cannabis Chef, The Wellness Soldier and asked if he wanted to join me doing a Cooking Show on Instagram each night at 630pm. The plan was to interview a new chef each night, and follow it up with a cooking demo that featured cannabis. We were extremely lucky to find a partner in Fire & Flower, who saw an opportunity to spread some education while everyone was at home, looking for content to help pass the time in isolation. My goal would be to do this every night until the isolation period was over. Because really how long can we really be in “time out” for?