Cannabis cuisine is on the rise, and Atlanta’s own chef Kevin Gillespie is trying his hand with this new strain of cooking.
Each episode of the show follows three contestants as they face off in a series of cannabis cooking challenges.
In the first episode, Gillespie competes against former Top Chef alums Janine Booth and Dale Talde in a series of challenges to create the ultimate cannabis-infused cuisine.
Bong Appétit: Cook Off is hosted by B Real, the Cypress Hill frontman turned marijuana entrepreneur, cannabis confectioner and founder of Marigold Sweets Vanessa Lavorato and chef-restaurateur Miguel Trinidad.
Gillespie was surprised when he got tapped to participate in the unconventional reality TV cooking competition.
“They called, and I said, ‘I don’t smoke weed. I’ve never smoked weed. I don’t think I make sense for your show.’” But when he learned that Booth and Talde were also going to play along, he agreed to be among the shows inaugural cast of chefs. “I said, ‘I’ll go hang out with my friends for a day. That sounds like fun.’”
How was his first-ever experience cooking with cannabis?
“It was super weird. I felt like a fish out of water the entire time,” Gillespie said. “It’s so much of a different culture than I am in. The idea of sitting around getting stoned is the furthest thing from anything I would ever consider doing.”
“I tasted my stuff as I was going, but as best I can tell, it didn’t have much of an effect. I was focusing on the CBD infusion in my food,” he said.
Despite Gillespie’s cannabis cooking attempt, patrons at his Atlanta restaurants Gunshow and Revival shouldn’t expect CBD or TBD make its way onto into the food there. “Not in any way ever,” he said.”
“I don’t really get it,” Gillespie remarked about the current cannabis cuisine trend. “I’m clearly missing the point. For me, you don’t add ingredients just for the sake of adding them. Cannabis is not the most delicious thing in the world. It’s weirdly herbaceous and earthy. It gets overpowering really quick.”
However, Gillespie did note that he is interested in the CBD oil trend. Since having been treated last year for renal cancer, Gillespie has begun using over-the-counter CBD oils to treat pain. “A lot of pain medication is off limits because it is poisonous to me,” he said. “If I have a backache, CBD oil is the only thing that can make me feel better.”
“When I did the show, I wanted to focus on the idea of using CBD oil with food. I’m seeing food sources that incorporate it. It would be cool if it were treated like a nutritional supplement, but that’s as far as my interest in it goes.”
Did Gillespie walk away the winner of among the trio of cannabis-cooking chefs on Bong Appétit: Cook Off? Tune in to Viceland April 2 at 9 p.m. to find out.
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