This week there are talks of restaurants reopening to the public. Customers are once again able to head out and grab a drink or dinner at their favourite establishment. Though now with new Covid sensitive rules in place.
In light of that I explored the private dining option with an intimate dinner for one, hosted by The Nomand Cook, also more commonly known as the “Cannabis Chef”. He is a self taught chef that stepped away from his suit and tie, management job in pursue of his passion: Cooking. And with his time on “Master Chef” Canada under his belt, he has climbed the culinary ladder and has found his niche with cannabis products, themed dinners, and even a cookbook in the works.
Starting mid May, when gathering restrictions loosen up, he will be hosting the follow four course dinner with cocktail and tea pairings Thursday to Sunday, every week. They will be held in a furnished apartment, redecorated to accommodate a small group of 6 or 3 parties of 2. An ideal size for an intimate party, or a creative new way to go back to date night. With each sitting running approximately 90 minutes in total.
And for those looking for a more safe and private environment, The Nomad Cook is available for private dinners prepared at your very own home as well. He will come in, set up and prepare a feast for you and your friends, to your specifications. Both this and the set dinner are being offered at prices barely above cost. A welcome back introduction to the dining scene, and a way to get our chef doing what he loves again. The following menu is available for the next three months, where he can accommodate any allergies with advance notice. And there is a plant base alternative menu as well. Given the season, this would include spot prawns.
Dinner is served on smaller tables covered in white cloth, they help set the mood for a causal dinner. From where you sit you get to enjoy the green of the indoor herb garden, and/or the green of the trees and grass below, from this 7th floor condo. The space makes the service more cozy and the conversation more intimate. You can’t help but chat up the chef or even the table next to yours. Given the lack of socializing thus far, I suspect people will be clamouring to converse with new faces and subsequently discuss the pandemic that has gotten us to this point.
The table is set with the necessary cutlery, a small stack of napkins, and a carafe for you to self serve. Everything within arm’s reach to minimize the need to have contact. Although our host/chef will be hosting in protective mask and glove to help further ease any uneasy-ness.
In the carafe is chilled tea from “Zteep”, a Toronto based tea company. The founder began making his mother tea with CBD in it to help with her injury and soreness, sustained in a car accident. But in this setting it helps to loosen the guests and their lips, apparently. It makes you more comfortable and chatty.
The food menu is spring and summer inspired, featuring lots of new techniques our chef has learned during his time in quarantine. All while still focusing on cannabis as a super food. Consuming it to rejuvenate the body, while maintaining its original flavour.
We started with the “Roasted Sesame & Wasabi Pea Crusted Lamb Lollipop”. My favourite dish of the entire night and a real bold start. This was a perfectly prepared New Zealand lamb served with a colourful rainbow carrot salad in a balsamic soy dressing. The salad had a stiffness to it that helped to further highlight the tender lamb meat that pulled off the bone. Dehydrated cannabis flower was used, but the THC does burn away. You weren’t able to make out any of its flavour here; the result, simply a really solid starter that you would expect at any casual dining establishment.
With it we sipped on a wonderful gin, and cucumber cannabis cocktail. Made with Hendricks gin, a simple syrup with lime and cucumber, and a mint foam topper. The presentation was spectacular and the flavour even more impressive. I could sip on these all night. I didn’t really taste any of the cannabis in this one, it was more refreshing as a classic cocktail.
We then moved on to a bright “Spot Prawn Ceviche”. In truth I thought this would have been a better start, as a lighter flavour palette. The dish spoke to spot prawn season with fresh seafood and sharp flavours: Grapefruit, Scallions, Pomegranate Seeds, Radish and toasted coconut for crunch. Made with olive oil infused with orange, lending itself to a citrusy cannabis oil. You get the freshness of the cannabis as a peekaboo; it doesn’t overpower, but ensures you don’t forget its there. Not to mention you can smell a faint hint of it in the dish.
Next on the docket was a “Crispy Skin Salmon”, with Asparagus, Shimeji Mushrooms and a Mint Pea Nage. Here, our cannabis flower found itself puréed in the latter. Its herbaceous flavour spiced up the greens well, a nice accent to the wonderfully pink fish. The plate as a whole was kept fresh and light with the crisp asparagus, earthy mushrooms, and peppery greens.
And for dessert The Nomad Cook didn’t pull any punches. A homemade pistachio and cannabis essence infused ice cream, made using the industrial Paco Jet ice cream maker. The impressive appliance sat atop his counter, offering the cream a final spin before serving. Its sweet and creamy consistency paired well with the white chocolate matcha cookie and blueberry gastrique. It acted like a sauce for the tougher and chewier, slightly bitter cookie.
In short this was a great dinner and a fun way to get better acquainted with cannabis, if you aren’t already. A comfortable setting with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. Four courses for $100 a person. A Covid discount of $50, to help us slowly acclimate to dining out again. Worth noting is that this is dine in only, so if you think you will need to doggy bag, bring your own containers.
Once again, for something more intimate, you can also hire The Nomad Chef to cater your next small, maximum 6 person soirée. An occasion that starts off with a charcuterie or canapés and leads into a menu you help create. For more details, visit the link below.