Longtime chef Scott Durrah has a strong restaurant personality — and a strong tolerance for cannabis. He showed off both at last Saturday's Simply Cooking demonstration, which combined his love of food with his love of cannabis — and his love for partner Wanda James, with whom he runs Jezebel's Southern Bistro and their dispensary, Simply Pure. The theme of the day's cooking demonstration was love and romance — and the pop-up kitchen definitely got hot.
Durrah prepared two dishes that morning: pan-seared scallops salad with grapefruit and cannabis-infused olive oil, and a lamb chop preparation that incorporated his homemade cannabis-infused coconut oil, mint tincture as a mint sauce, bok choy and brown rice. Pro tip: Store your cannabis-infused coconut oil in a hollowed-out coconut. Not only does it improve the flavor, Durrah says, but "it just looks so cool."
The cannabis-focused crowd included out-of-town visitors hoping to get into the industry, as well as such local restaurateurs as Juan Padró, who owns Bar Dough and Highland Tap and Burger just up the street.
Coda Signature Chocolates and Foria Pleasure added to the romantic vibe. The former won High Times Cannabis Cup honors for best edible, and the latter is a company best known for its suppositories designed to both reduce pain and increase pleasure. Lauren Gockley, head chocolatier for Coda, has an intense relationship with chocolate, and her team is responsible for an edibles line that's decadently delicious. Foria's Emily Gentile discussed the power and trail-blazing medical nature of vaginal and anal suppositories, which can address serious health and reproductive ailments, including PCOS and menstrual pain.
While the cooking demonstration was spectacular in itself, James ended the session with a call to take action and change the social-consumption laws that prohibited the group from eating the infused-cannabis meal he had so carefully prepared. "Call the mayor's office," James said. "We need to be able to socially consume." James and Durrah are at the forefront of the Neighborhood Social Pot Use Initiative, which should be on the ballot in November, given the number of signatures collected.
Although students couldn't eat the meal, they didn't leave empty-handed: They got an O.Pen battery and Scott Durrah cookbook, as well as the chance to grab a bag of goodies at cost from Simply Pure.
There are two more classes in the series: The August 27 demonstration has a theme of summer-sun-splash, and on September 3, the focus will be on cooking with concentrates. Find out more about Simply Cooking and Simply Pure on their website.