[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]A[/dropcap]ndrea Drummer uses her culinary expertise to educate people on the joys and benefits of the cannabis plant. Located in Los Angeles, California, Chef Drummer is making her mark on the industry with her exquisite cannabis-infused cuisine, her drive for cannabis justice and her entrepreneurial attitude.
Raised in the South, Drummer grew up being told that cannabis would lead her down the wrong path. As a young adult, Drummer began her career as an advocate for nonprofit groups, focusing her efforts on youth and the homeless. She was very much anti-drug and pushed for the “Just Say No” agenda.
After her nonprofit work, Drummer studied at Le Cordon Bleu where she earned a Culinary Arts and Chef Training degree. Drummer landed her first job at The Ritz-Carlton working with Chef Neal Frazer. Due to long hours on her feet as a chef, Drummer started experiencing lower back pain. A friend gave her medical cannabis to relieve her discomfort, and she slowly began to believe in the healing powers of cannabis. To say Drummer did a complete 180 degree turn would be accurate. “I am eternally grateful to anti-cannabis Andrea. Because of her, my work is all encompassing. I’m familiar with the voice of those that reject cannabis. That voice was me. That proximity of understanding is instrumental in how I navigate the advocacy work that I do today,” Drummer told CULTURE.
In 2012, Drummer began cooking with cannabis and formed Elevation VIP Cooperative, a California-based catering company that serves fine cannabis-infused foods at private events. Drummer is also the food editor at cannabisMD, author of Cannabis Cuisine: Bud Pairings of a Born Again Chef and was seen on Cooking on High, a Netflix original series. She has also cooked for high profile celebrities such as Chelsea Handler and Wiz Khalifa.
“It’s definitely unfortunate since so many have put great energy into thoughtful and creative CBD programs. Conversely, it is a double-edged sword. While we [are disappointed] now, it’ll benefit us all to have standard regulation on CBD use moving forward.”
Drummer throws one heck of a dinner party and demonstrates excellence in not only her cooking but entertaining as well. “Well, I’m of the Ritz-Carlton ilk. So, I believe in a specific level of service. The food, once mastered, is easy to deliver. It comes down to taking every opportunity to enhance the guest experience. Whether that’s an unexpected enhancement like a researched cocktail, a personalized gift, an on-site massage therapist, a cannabis sommelier. Being a service professional means being the best of service. I’ll forever be exploring ways to perfect that,” she told CULTURE.
Drummer designs meticulously thought-out menus with nourishing foods, appropriately infused with cannabis and plated to perfection. It’s an art form that she is dedicated to and has built her career around. She works with a sliding scale when it comes to dosing. “The conversation begins with the recognized standard of proper dosing, which is 10mg. From there, it’s about acknowledging the guest desired experience and their tolerance level. That could mean an enhanced serving for a more advanced consumer or a lowered dosage/strain with added CBD to balance the THC content for novices,” Drummer said.
Outside of hiring Elevation VIP Cooperative to cater a private event, we wanted to know where inquiring taste buds could taste Chef Drummer’s cooking. Her response, “Soon enough, guests will be able to make a reservation at the first on-site consumption lounge in West Hollywood. I’ve partnered with an amazing entity that is Lowell Farms. We were fortunate to be one of a few recipients of [an] on-site consumption license given by the city of WeHo. We’re incredibly excited to make infused dining accessible to the general public.” Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café is set to open in summer 2019.
This all sounds like a dream come true, albeit a potential obstacle on the horizon, and that is state health departments around the country are cracking down on the infusion of cannabidiol (CBD) in cuisine. “It’s definitely unfortunate since so many have put great energy into thoughtful and creative CBD programs. Conversely, it is a double-edged sword. While we [are disappointed] now, it’ll benefit us all to have standard regulation on CBD use moving forward,” Drummer explained confidently.
Despite the potential of changing regulations, the future will be busy for Drummer. She told CULTURE, “The goal is a few more on-site consumption cafes, more advocacy, television, a series of B&Bs and whatever I can do to move the needle on global legalization.”
Powerhouses like Drummer are helping to shift the negative views and reputation of the cannabis industry. Chef Drummer is infusing healthy, homemade cuisines with homegrown cannabis and the goal isn’t to get high. It’s to nourish the mind, body and soul with the healing powers of the plant.
Cannabis and food revolve around ritual and ultimately bring people of all cultures together. There is no doubt that when intertwining them, the ritual goes deeper, the connection becomes stronger and the message gets louder.