News & Research

Elevating Edibles: The Stratford Chefs School’s “Cooking with Cannabis” Classes

August 30, 2019

Information + awareness = the secret ingredients for chef-worthy infused cuisine

When the Stratford Chefs School began over 35 years ago, its goal was to train new chefs to meet the growing demand for culinary talent in a city with a burgeoning, theatre-driven restaurant scene.

Over the years, the Chefs School has evolved from a professional training institution operating in empty restaurants during the off-season to a full-service, year-round, brick-and-mortar culinary school that includes classes for non-chefs.

The original founders of the Stratford Chefs School might not have predicted it would someday offer gastronomy classes for home cooks.

It’s even less likely they would have predicted its curriculum would someday include lessons for people to make their own gourmet, cannabis-infused edibles.

But this is Stratford – the innovative hometown of GreenSeal Cannabis, and the same place where we recently reported on the performance of a cannabis-themed opera.

So, when the Stratford Chefs School announced it was offering “Cooking with Cannabis” classes as part of its “How Do I Use That?” Open Kitchen series, their instant popularity (and media attention) was predictable.

When GreenSeal was made aware of the Chefs School’s new cannabis cookery courses, we volunteered to integrate a brief information and education session to enhance participants’ awareness of the methods and Good Production Practices employed in legal indoor cannabis production, and the safety advantages of using lab-tested, regulated cannabis products when making edibles.

The Stratford Chefs School has a long history of partnering with local Perth County producers, as evidenced by its recent cookbook (above) where chef alumni created recipes highlighting ingredients from their favourite local farmers.

As the newest farmers in town, we were delighted to help increase knowledge and awareness of where this new classes’ focal recipe ingredient – cannabis – comes from, and how it can be used more safely in recipes.

Cooking with Cannabis: So much more than pot brownies

The instructor for the Cooking with Cannabis classes is Chef Eli Silverthorne (above, right).

Chef Eli makes it very clear no cannabis is offered to participants as part of the class, nor will they have any hands-on opportunities to work with cannabis during the session.

Chef Eli does an expert job demonstrating (using real cannabis while the students strictly observe) his technique for achieving the critical process of decarboxylation (above), through which the THC or CBD in raw cannabis is “activated” for use in edibles recipes by exposing it to low-level heat for a short period of time.

Chef Eli then moves on to demonstrate how to make “cannabutter” (above) and cannabis-infused oils (cannabinoids like THC & CBD are optimally carried into the digestive system via fats, so infusing cannabis into butter or oil creates an ideal delivery vehicle for recipes).

Countless incredible dishes, sauces, and condiments include butter or oil among the primary base ingredients.

Chef Eli gives participants instruction on how to use cannabutter in Hollandaise Sauce (above, left) and cannabis-infused oils in pesto (above, right), creating the opportunity to turn any pasta or Eggs Benedict into a cannabinoid-infused dish.

Other recipes include making a vinaigrette, chimichurri, and creamy mayonnaise using the basic infused oil preparation.

And of course, no edibles workshop would be complete without instruction on how to make the classic pot brownie (above, minus the cannabis).

For the most recent session, participants relaxed and enjoyed some ridiculously delicious [cannabis-free] brownies while GreenSeal’s Business and Production Coordinator Steve Stacey (above) walked them through our process for growing cannabis indoors (infographic above on the right).

He also touched on several of the advantages of using regulated, lab-tested cannabis when creating edibles.

These include increased safety due to the ability to accurately calculate dosages (since regulated products indicate THC/CBD content on the label), as well as the peace of mind that the product is free of pesticides or other contaminants.

Finally, the participants (all of whom were 19+) were gifted a GreenSeal Cannabis Co. t-shirt, including Mike (above on right, Chef Eli on left) who was visiting all the way from Vancouver.

Sorry you missed it? Good news!

If you’re disappointed you missed the August session of the Stratford Chefs School’s “Cooking with Cannabis” class, do not despair!

The classes are so popular, more have been scheduled to meet the demand.

There are two more on the horizon, just in time for everyone’s first legal Fall outdoor harvest!

The first session is on Thursday, September 12, 2019, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Then there’s another two weeks later on Thursday, October 3, 2019, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

The cost is $75 per person (plus service fee) and there is a maximum of 16 students per class, so book your spot now!

Have you attended any of the Stratford Chefs School’s Cooking with Cannabis classes?

How did you enjoy it? Have you tried any of the recipes at home?

Let us know in the comments below!

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