Cannabis-infused BBQ may not be what comes to mind when you hear “California green rush,” but the Teach Cannabis Cooking team in Oakland would have you think differently. The legalization of cannabis is allowing daring entrepreneurs to push the boundaries of California’s new cash crop. BBQ and cannabis entrepreneurs Dennis, Chris, and Joseph brought their love for all things smoked to a new concept they’re launching—Teach Cannabis Cooking (TCC). In December, a group of us were asked to participate in the debut of their first workshop, “CannaQue 101: BBQ and Cannabis.”
I arrived a little before the festivities and learned a bit more about Dennis, Chris and Joseph’s foray into cannabis cuisine.
Walking into the outdoor-cooking area, you were immediately hit with the aromas of smoked meat with a hint of a more pungent green herb. I knew this wasn’t going to be my dad’s weekend grill-out. California BBQ (aka Santa Maria-style) is known for beef tri-tip seasoned with black pepper, salt, and garlic salt before grilling over live-oak coals. The guys at TCC decided to add their own California-twist to the traditional barbecue style. Pushing the norms of grilling is a part of the TeachCannabisCooking team’s core mission. They’ve been fusing non-traditional ingredients into traditional-American BBQ for over a decade. From incorporating Korean-style BBQ to Indian tandoori-style, their exploration of meat, spices, herb, and flame was bound to infuse cannabis eventually.
Wearing a cannabis-leaf inspired shirt and tending to the flame of the grill, Chef Joseph was easy to spot. Speaking to him, you knew he was passionate about food and bringing people together, which both BBQ and cannabis have a magical way of doing. Making sure to pass on any joint that was passed to him so that he was sober during the class, Joseph went on to explain his passion for cooking. He served as executive chef at Fleur de Lys, a French-inspired fine dining restaurant on San Juan Island, Washington. He’s since sharpened his culinary craft through BBQ, fusing eclectic tastes and flame to each dish he prepares.
Dennis is the founder and owner of Liberation Foods, a BBQ catering company serving the San Francisco Bay Area. He and Joseph met because of their passion for grilling through a BBQ professionals network. In his own words, he co-created TCC as “a way to share BBQ and cannabis cooking with the world through a fun and relaxed environment.”
If Joseph and Dennis bring the fire, Chris contributes the green. A photographer whose company, Kandid Kush, specializes in ultra high-quality photography for the Cannabis industry, Chris has an established network in an industry that’s still in its infancy. The trio formed the TCC group to bring their love of herb and BBQ-cuisine “to change the way you look at cannabis.”
TCC was created to share the wonders of infusing cannabis with delicious recipes from around the world. Courses range from the basics of infusion, theory and application to infusing Indonesian cuisine with cannabis. The TCC team is passionate about their love of food and the extra comfort that infusing cannabis provides.
As the final guests settled in for the workshop, Chef Joseph got started with the class…
“BBQ is relaxing and comforting,” he said. “Cannabis touches on the same primal triggers.”
Our group got a hands-on demonstration on how to safely decarb flower, extract cannabis oil, infuse with a BBQ sauce, and properly marinate and cook brisket and ribs.
Final Step: Enjoy!
The opportunities to enter the cannabis space are endless and waiting for anyone who wants to jump in. This is the Wild West for the cannabis industry and it will take bold entrepreneurs to push the boundaries of what the public will accept as the next big thing. The TCC team is clearly setting a high bar for future cannabis experiences. Here’s to hoping they have a long journey as they explore the next frontier of cannabis cuisine and push the limits of an entirely new American industry.