The next culinary frontier

Published on February 21, 2019 by David Wylie

Travis Petersen wants to cook a five-course cannabis-infused dessert menu for you.

A contestant in the third season of MasterChef Canada, Petersen has been carving a path in the culinary world with private dinners. He’s in Kelowna this weekend (Feb. 22 and 23) and Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Details and a discount code are at the link below.

“Cannabis is the new frontier of the culinary world,” he told the oz. “We’re the first country to have full access to be able to cook with this legally.”

Laws governing edibles are expected this October. However, “any chef can get a product right now that’s cannabis related and be doing research and development and creating things,” he said.

“I’ve been doing a lot of jobs in the States, I’ve spent a couple weeks in Asia over the winter, and every chef I’ve talked to has said it’s cool what Canada has got the opportunity to do.”

Feedback on his events include that the cannabis cuisine creates easy conversation, a great night’s sleep and no pesky hangover.

“The biggest challenge right now is really breaking stigmas,” he said.

The events often attract the “canna-curious” – those who don’t smoke it but are wondering about the effects.

From selling oil to cooking with oil

Petersen was working for a British oil company as business development manager when he half-jokingly applied to become a MasterChef Canada contestant. He was shocked when he learned he’d made it on the show.

“It was an amazing experience,” he said. “It was humbling and it was life changing. ”

Petersen was eliminated early on, and he returned to his job in Edmonton. However, his old life didn’t stick around long. Economic downturn in the oil industry led to pink slips. He took it as a sign and moved to Kelowna on Jan. 1, 2016, and started The Nomad Cook.

He hadn’t initially set out to start a cannabis business, but it quickly became a big part of his brand. Over four days in April 2018, Petersen cooked for 164 people in groups of 12 serving them cannabis infused dishes.

No alcohol was served, just cannabis — each person dosed separately with custom amounts of infused THC and CBD.

“I watched group after group of strangers at a table connect, become friends and share stories,” he said. “I had this moment during one of my tables where I thought ‘This is it, this is what I’ve been searching for as my identity.”

He’s been doing it all over Canada ever since.

One of his menus 

1st course: Captain’s Crunch

Panna Cotta, White Chocolate Captain Crunch Crispgue, Meringue, Fresh Strawberries, Strawberry Gel

2nd course: Misson Hill D’Anjou

Merlot Braised Pear, Fresh Berries, Honeycomb, Olive Oil Cake, Vanilla Pastry Cream

3rd course: Forbidden Puddin’

Forbidden Rice, Raspberry Sorbet, Coconut, Whip Cream, Mint

4th course: The End Is Near

Frozen Coconut Milk, Coconut Cake, Coconut Water Wafer, Coconut Candy

5th course: Summer Campfires

Chocolate Mousse, Smoked Graham Crackers, Marshmallow Fluff