DCAT To Air Marijuana Cooking Show

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Ganjarden

Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
For an appetizer, it was jalapeño poppers, with marijuana bud ground into the cream cheese and bacon sautéed in marijuana butter.

The entrée was pineapple-chipotle double-roasted swine that had been sitting in a marijuana marinade for 12 hours.

On the side: mashed potatoes made, of course, with marijuana butter, and asparagus seared with marijuana-infused olive oil.

Dessert came in the form of a chocolate chili tart whose graham cracker crust contained marijuana butter. It was topped with "Gooey Ganja Mango Sauce."

It isn't quite Rachel Ray, but a group of Durango marijuana advocates has developed this menu to film a pioneering marijuana cooking show for public-access TV.

"Cannabis Cuisine" is expected to air on Durango Community Access Television sometime in late May. It is targeted at medical-marijuana card holders who would prefer to eat their medication rather than smoke it.

Since Durango's first dispensary opened last year, the industry has bloomed. Five dispensaries and one grow operation have been approved by the city of Durango.

Applications for three dispensaries, a grow operation and a combination dispensary and grow operation are pending.

The City Council last week declared a second moratorium on new business applications for dispensaries and growers, this one until June 26. Pending applications are still being processed.

"Cannabis Cuisine" organizers say they want to speed mainstream acceptance of marijuana while informing viewers that cooking with the Schedule I drug has evolved far beyond brownies.

Chef Ian Currie, a cook at Steamworks Brewing, prepared the appetizer and entrée. He holds a medical-marijuana card for various injuries.

Pastry chef Grace Kruse made the dessert and was designated Currie's caretaker to allow her to handle marijuana.

"We're going up against some 70 years of marijuana prohibition," said Corey Chavez, director of the marijuana legalization group Sensible Durango and creator of "Cannabis Cuisine."

"It's so exciting to be part of its reintroduction into society," he said.

Cooking shows allow medical marijuana patients to see what their culinary options are, said Mike Meno, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, based in Washington, D.C.

"For many patients, cooking marijuana into food is the preferred method of delivery," Meno said. "It doesn't involve smoking, so there's no potential damage to their lungs."

"Cannabis Cuisine" looks much like any other cooking show. The camera follows Currie as he slices the jalapeños and removes the seeds, and grins with satisfaction as he removes the pork from the oven.

Currie sharpened his cooking skills at various Massachusetts restaurants, including a stint as sous-chef at The Bank St. Grille in Harwich Port, Mass. He insists nearly any recipe can incorporate marijuana, especially ones that use butter, oil or flour.

Currie, who suffers from a torn labrum and meniscus and a slipped disk, obtained a medical marijuana card after becoming fed up with the side effects of pharmaceutical pain-killers such as oxycodone.

"I was done with having my skin itch. I was done with waking up in sweats," he said.

Currie's interest in medical marijuana was heightened by his mother's battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma. With medical marijuana, he said, "my mom would not have lost years of her life to experimental medications."

Nature's Medicine, a Durango dispensary, donated marijuana for the show. Local businesses donated food for filming the pilot episode, "Southwest Flavor," at Riley Mac's Market & Cooking School.

Much of the film crew volunteered, said director Matt Dyer.

"They just did it because they believe in the movement," he said.

The TV show appears to be the first of its kind in Colorado. In California, a show called "Cannabis Planet" includes a cooking segment.

"It's wonderful to show how you can incorporate cannabis into your daily life and your meals, beyond the brownies and cookies that everyone knows about," said Brad Lane, creator and executive producer of Cannabis Planet.

Lane said he attempted to air "Cannabis Planet" in Colorado, but the show was rejected by Denver PBS affiliate KBDI. A KBDI spokeswoman did not return messages seeking comment last week.

Chavez is planning a public premiere for "Cannabis Cuisine" in late May, perhaps at the Abbey Theatre. Airings will follow on DCAT, channel 22 on Bresnan cable.

Marijuana advocates are gearing up for a 2012 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana statewide. Chavez said he likes its chances better than a similar measure Californians will vote on in November.

"Colorado could be the first cannabis state," he said.


NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: The Durango Herald
Author: Chuck Slothower
Contact: The Durango Herald
Copyright: 2010 The Durango Herald
Website: DCAT to air marijuana cooking show