The Nomad Cook is a pioneer in bringing infused dining out from the underground and into the mainstream. Here, we chat with Travis Petersen about his culinary journey.
Self-taught Canadian cook, Travis Petersen, drew inspiration from a Georgia Straight cover story about Herbal Chef and knew what had to be done: elevate his Nomad Cook brand by integrating delicious cannabis-infused food. Having already lived a dynamic transition from oil patch worker to private dinner party master with a stint on Masterchef Canada, Travis is leading the way forward in a budding cannabis and food industry.
After attending one of his cannabis-infused dinner parties, we chatted with the nomad about his journey, favourite ingredients to cook with and ideas on how you can join in on the cannabis food fusion fun.
You’re leading the way in Canada for cannabis-infused food, can you describe your style of cooking for those just learning about you now?
My style was very influenced by the city I grew up in, Vancouver. I’m very big on Asian flavours, fresh seafood and that big umami delivery. Of course, cannabis is the star ingredient in all dishes.
What advice would you give to someone who is on the fence about trying cannabis infuse food?
My advice is to start low and go slow. It may take you a couple times to find that perfect dosage, but once you do, you’ll get what all the hype is about. For any first timer I suggested 2.5 – 5 mgs of THC with a balance of at least 10mg CBD.
I’m sure travelling and cooking for people all over Canada (particularly during a global pandemic) can be a bit of a grind. What motivates you to keep up the pace to meet demand?
I’m at the forefront of something new and exciting. This opportunity will only ever be here once, and I’ve somehow found myself travelling down this path. It’s exciting and adventurous.
Describe your three dream ingredients and why they are special to you?
BC Spot Prawns. My family has a home on Quadra Island and ever since I was a little kid we’ve been catching spot prawns and eating them fresh. I love white truffles, which are seasonal, expensive and in high demand. These sexy little babies can elevate a dish more than a dab before an Adam Sandler movie. Cannabis derived ‘Romulan Haze’ terpenes. Finding authentic cannabis-derived terpenes isn’t easy because of the high cost, and as a result isn’t really used much in cooking yet. However, when used correctly they deliver a flavour and aroma that resembles the beautiful cannabis strain.
Let’s say I want to try creating my own cannabis-infused food at home. What would be an easy beginner move to get me started?
Get the right equipment. If you wanted to make wine or beer at home, you’d start by getting a proper kit. I recommend the Levo II oil infuser for beginners because of its control of temperature, time and easy-to-use settings.
Outside of cooking with cannabis, what is your favourite way to enjoy the plant. Joint? Topicals? Shatter?
To be honest, I love me a good cannabis bath bomb. After standing on my feet in the kitchen for 10 hours, anything to relax my body is highly desirable.
My research shows that you had a banging career unfolding with MasterChef Canada under your belt, what inspired you to delve into cooking with cannabis?
I saw a chef from the States doing a cannabis dinner in Vancouver in March of 2018 and felt it should be a Canadian doing these. So a month later, I hosted my first cannabis pop up dinner and fed 164 guests over four days.
Describe the craziest dinner situation you’ve cooked for.
In June 2019, I cooked with two other cannabis chefs for 100 people in the Bronx, New York. By far a highlight of my career.
When international travel is back on the menu, where is the first place you will go and why?
Greece, because I have a vacation rental credit from having to postpone last year.
What is the plan for 2021 and beyond?
I’m applying for my green card and moving to the US to take on the cannabis industry and continue my goal of making culinary cannabis a Canadian cuisine.
With many upcoming events in 2021 the future is bright for the West Coast native, born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Follow the Simply Bare Instagram feed for announcements of collaborations, workshops and other events with The Nomad Cook.
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