Raise your right hand if you knew one of the states that has legalized recreational cannabis is Vermont. Now raise your left hand if you know Ben and Jerry’s headquarters is located in Vermont. If both hands are raised, then Hallelujah! freerangekings.com is the perfect site for at least two of your vices. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with that third vice.
Speaking of Vermont and its connection to heightened levels of deliciousness, it is home to one of the fastest rising cannabis chefs in our country – Chef Bobby, also known as “Haute and Heady” on social media platforms. Recently, I had the honor of connecting with the gifted and ambitious Vermonter, and here’s how the discussion went:
Free Range Kings (FRK): Fill us in on your background and how you got here.
Chef Bobby @Haute&Heady (Chef Bobby): I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up splitting my time between the Maryland suburbs and rural Northern Neck of Virginia. I currently call Vermont home, because the fresh mountain air beats the hell out of the scent of bullshit wafting down from Capitol Hill.
FRK: I hear you loud and clear. Do you focus on any particular cuisines?
Chef Bobby: I cook a little bit of everything, to be honest, though I do tend to focus a bit on the food of my youth – so a lot of Peruvian, Ashkenazi Jewish, and both Classic and New American with a little Southern flair. I also love to team up with a number of different chef friends to highlight their varied cuisines/cultures for pop up infused dinner parties.
FRK: How did you get into the cannabis-infused cooking game and how long have you been doing it?
Chef Bobby: I have been cooking with cannabis for nearly a decade and a half now. It was a natural evolution, to be honest. Like many Jews, particularly the progeny of Holocaust survivors, food has always been at the center of my life. Growing up with a family full of stoners, the concept of making weed food appealed to me before I even imbibed. It may sound kind of hokey, but I also believe that food and cannabis are two of the greatest healing powers on the planet. No two things have as strong an ability to unite folks of differing backgrounds and beliefs like food and cannabis, and I truly believe that when combined, their potential to unify folks and create new bonds could be unparalleled.
FRK: Absolutley agree with that! Any particularly memorable events?
Chef Bobby: Last winter I had a blast making infused fondue on the spot for 120+ people at a charity benefit that I organized. It’s also always a hoot to hear rave reviews and stories of grandmas indulging on infused wedding cakes when we are commissioned to make those!
“No two things have as strong an ability to unite folks of differing backgrounds and beliefs like food and cannabis, and I truly believe that when combined, their potential to unify folks and create new bonds could be unparalleled.”
FRK: What do you think differentiates you from others who also cook with cannabis?
Chef Bobby: I have not met enough cannabis cooks to feel comfortable giving a definitive answer here, but I think my passion and knowledge for/of both food and cannabis are apparent in my craft. I strive to create unforgettable treats and experiences by sourcing only the highest quality local ingredients.
FRK: What is your go-to infused dish to make?
Chef Bobby: I don’t know if I have a signature dish per say, but on a nice cold day with nothing much to do, it’s pretty hard to beat a brunch of biscuits with infused sausage and wild mushroom gravy! I’ve also been having a blast with the popsicles we launched this summer!
FRK: Biscuits and sausages are always and hit, and the popsicles look delicious! Do you have rules around dosage or is it based on client’s preference?
Chef Bobby: Generally I try to either base dosage around client preference, or offer a few levels of intensity. When I first started doing pop-up dinners, we were doing five course meals with a dosage of about 100-300mg per person, per course. Needless to say, that got out of hand quickly, and after hearing a few stories of veteran concentrate smokers going home and spending hours fully clothed, staring into a showerhead as cold water cascaded over them, we decided to tone things down a bit unless asked otherwise.
FRK: Wow. I can’t imagine ingesting 300mg of THC in one sitting. I’m having flashbacks to a couple really bad trips [shudders]. Any advice for folks that try to cook with cannabis at home?
Chef Bobby: Don’t forget to decarboxylate!
FRK: Do you have a favorite cannabis strain and local dispensary?
Chef Bobby: Oh man, that is a really tough question! Real deal Chemdog and Sour Diesel (none of the fake nonsense) are pretty damn hard to beat! I’m a sucker for classic hazes as well.
As for local dispensaries, all of the dispensaries in Vermont are corporately-owned and actively trying to prevent everyday folks like myself from participating in the industry, so they could all burn to the ground for all I care!
FRK: We’ll have to get into that with another article. Sounds like an interesting environment! What’s your go-to meal and restaurant for munchies?
Chef Bobby: Another tough question! Really depends on where I am and what I’m craving! Here in Vermont, I would say my go to spots are Misery Loves Company, Pizzeria Ida, Cafe Mamajuana and a top off from Shy Guy Gelato. Down in D.C., I have to give it to Crisp & Juicy, Teddy’s Roti, or anywhere I can get a decent tamal or pupusa!
FRK: I applaud your very diverse palette, my friend. What are your favorite tools/appliances to use when cooking with cannabis?
Chef Bobby: Never underestimate the power of a good silicone spatula! The Vitamix has been getting plenty of work as of late as well.
FRK: What are your passions outside of cooking?
Chef Bobby: Cannabis! Seriously though, when I am not in the kitchen, I’m usually pretty busy focusing on local cannabis advocacy on behalf of the Vermont Growers Association, a local non-profit advocacy and trade organization of which I am on the board. Beyond that I love to fish and play video games!
FRK: Impressive! The cannabis advocacy part…and maybe the video games. Haha. What is next for Chef Bobby? Any big plans or goals?
Chef Bobby: If Vermont can ever finalize regulation and licensing for our legal cannabis industry, I would love to transition to a full scale cannabis catering operation with an edible-focused retail store front. Fingers crossed!
“[W]hen I’m not in the kitchen, I’m usually pretty busy focusing on local cannabis advocacy on behalf of the Vermont Growers Association, a local non-profit advocacy and trade oragnization of which I am on the board.”
Chef Bobby: We can be reached at our Instagram page @hauteandheady or via email at email@example.com
FRK: Any final words for Free Range Kings readers?
Chef Bobby: Be the change you want to see! Get involved in local cannabis politics! If the general public is complacent through the process of legalization we will end up with a market monopolized by corporate carpet baggers and old rich white guys who have never smoked in their lives. Together let’s ensure each state, and eventually the whole country, has a cannabis industry that works and allows for the participation of everyday citizens, particularly those from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the racist war on drugs!
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