Arguably the best part of a Jamaican vacation isn't the beaches or the cheap outdoor ganja, but the food. The island is dripping in spices and flavors, and roadside shacks serve up some of the most amazing dishes on the planet, from spicy jerk chicken to vegan Rasta ital. Chef Scott Durrah, owner of Jezebel's Southern Bistro and founder of Simply Pure cannabis edibles, credits a large part of his love for cooking to the island and the time he spent as a chef there.
And he wants to share his love for Jamaica, ganja and Jamaican food through a ganja-centric travel experience to one of the island's most exclusive resorts later this month.
The Cannabis Culinary Excursion will run from January 26 through January 29 at the Cliffs resort on the limestone bluffs overlooking Negril. It's a small resort favored by celebrities with a total of twelve, two-person rooms. (I stayed there on my honeymoon and would go back in a second -- if Westword had the budget to send me, that is.) Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in up to three cooking classes each day with Durrah and San Francisco chef Justin Langer, an expert on fresh, farm-to-table cooking who's known for creating some of the most unique and delicious cannabis edibles in California.
Durrah says he's envisioned a trip like this since living in Jamaica when he was younger, and credits the growing acceptance of recreational cannabis use on the island as the reason he's able to do it now. "I have been planning this trip for almost two decades," says Durrah. "Watching the world change its attitude toward the healing powers of cannabis and the amazing ways it works with food has been a dream of mine since I first lived on the island over 25 years ago."
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Durrah plans to start every day with a talk over a traditional Jamaican breakfast of ackee, salt fish, callalloo and johnnycakes before breaking out into clinics in one of the resort's many small kitchens. He says he'll cover the basics of infusing oils and butters as well as how to create complex, spiced cuisine fresh from the Caribbean.
There are also market trips planned, as well as an excursion to a local organic ganja farm. The resort itself is a playground, with cliff jumps ranging from ten to sixty feet spread out across the terraced property, and plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and dolphin-spotting.
If you've got the $2,595-per-person to cover the trip. At least it's all-inclusive, so your drinks and food are included in the cost. Still, you wouldn't want to miss some of the famous local fare outside of the resort, including Ras Rody's mind-blowing pumpkin soup from his roadside stand on West End Road and the best lobster you'll ever eat in your life at Three Dives, just a few minutes up the road from The Cliffs.
For more info, go to SimplyPureEvents.com. Have a tip? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.