Free Range Kings (FRK): Tell us about your background. Where are you from, and how did you get to where you are at today?
“Blazed Chef” Elyza Elio (Chef Elyza): I was born in San Diego, California, grew up in Houston, Texas, and moved to Las Vegas when I was 15. Being Filipino and Italian, I was always in the kitchen helping with both sides of my family. I think that’s why I have a love for cooking.
FRK: What cuisines do you specialize in?
Chef Elyza: I specialize in cultural infusion. I try not to limit myself to just one type of cuisine. I never stop learning and love trying new things when it come to the kitchen.
FRK: How did you get into the cannabis-infused cooking game?
Chef Elyza: I was working my regular job, which involved me traveling all over the United States. I liked seeing the country, but I was really doing it just for the money. I wasn’t passionate about it, and I asked myself what do I love. It is cannabis and cooking, so I decided to combine the two and see what I could make happen. It turned out to be the best decision of my life.
FRK: What makes you different than other cooks specializing in the same cuisine or who also cook with cannabis?
Chef Elyza: What sets me apart from other chefs is I’m very passionate about the infusion part of the dish. I have to know what strains I’m working with so my clients know what type of high they are going to have. Quality over quantity all day.
FRK: What is your go-to infused dish?
Chef Elyza: Lately I’ve been throwing it down on the grill a lot steaks, seafood, and chicken with that nice char on it. That’s always a crowd pleaser. But my go-to meals would have to be Filipino food – pansit, lumpia, and adobo fried rice.
FRK: Do you have rules around dosage or is it based on client’s preference?
Chef Elyza: I always try to ask my clients how high they want to get from the meal. Nothing is worse than getting too high from edibles. It is very uncomfortable. The edible high is very different from smoking cannabis.
FRK: Any advice for folks that try to cook with cannabis at home?
Chef Elyza: Don’t lie about the milligrams of THC! A lot of people in the industry tend to lie about their dosage, saying it’s like 1000 milligrams, and that leaves the customer thinking they can handle a lot more than they really can. When they actually eat something that is the correct dosage, it is way too much for them. Don’t fake the funk!
FRK: How long have you been providing goodies in Las Vegas? Any particularly memorable clients for whom you’ve cooked?
Chef Elyza: I’ve been cooking it up with cannabis since I was 18 years old, but I have been serving the people of Las Vegas for about five years now.
Memorable people I’ve cooked for include Trayvon Mullen from the Raiders, Bret Raymer from the television show Tanked, rapper Coolio, R&B singer Tory Lanez, and model Danii Banks.
FRK: Do you have a favorite cannabis strain and local dispensary?
Chef Elyza: I’m definitely an indica person. One of my favorite strains is Forbidden Fruit. It is a great cross between Cherry Pie and Tangie. It gets a nice citrus scent and flavor from the Tangie.
FRK: What’s you go-to meal for munchies?
Chef Elyza: One of my favorite munchies is AYCE (All You Can Eat) sushi!
FRK: What are your favorite tools/appliances to use when cooking with cannabis?
Chef Elyza: One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is probably my KitchenAid mixer. It can do so much, and my family got it for me, so it holds a little sentimental value to me. Best gift I’ve ever gotten.
FRK: What are your passions outside of cooking?
Chef Elyza: Right now, I kind of have a green thumb. I’ve been dabbling in growing my own cannabis for personal use. I’ve also been growing some herbs to use in the kitchen.
FRK: What is next for Chef Elyza? Any big plans or goals?
Chef Elyza: My next step is hopefully opening up a food truck. Non-infused, of course. I will save the infusion for our private events.
FRK: Any final words for Free Range Kings readers?
Chef Elyza: Keep working for your dreams and don’t give up. You have to put in a lot of time for what you want. Stuff doesn’t happen over night. Greatness definitely takes time.