If you haven’t seen High Cuisine yet, click on this link immediately. Then, remember to come back and read the rest of this story.
High Cuisine, the world’s largest plant-based cooking competition, pits professional chefs against each other but, first, they must get high! Do you cook better while high? Maybe you’re more creative? Maybe you try new things? Or maybe you’ll destroy the entire dish? All of the above happens on the show, frequently, and it’s a riot. CannEpoch was curious to know who came up with this idea, how they came up with it and what’s next? So we sought out creator and producer, Asher Brown to answer our many questions.
By the way, we should say, “Don’t try this at home kids!”
CannEpoch: When did this show start?
Brown: Our first episode aired Thanksgiving of 2017.
CannEpoch: Who started it exactly and how did the idea come about?
Brown: Mitu, our production partner, came up with the idea of a stoned cooking show. I came up with the idea of making it plant-based and high-functioning, then brought in the Pollution.tv creative team to turn that idea into a show.
CannEpoch: What hurdles were overcome and what pleasant surprises did you happen upon?
Brown: Selecting and booking chefs to be guests on the show was a lot of fun. All of our chefs are amazing. They run restaurants, have won awards, and are really high-functioning people. So, when we asked them to get high on camera for a cooking competition show, they had to trust us to create a good show, even though it was our first season and didn’t have any previous episodes to run past them. Our producer, Jenna Cedicci, did an incredible job in making the chefs comfortable by thoroughly explaining the show to the chefs and getting them to sign up for the first season of this brand new type of cooking show. Plus, some of our chefs had never smoked before, so it was a lot of fun capturing that for the first time.
CannEpoch: What’s the exact purpose of the show and how does it differentiate from its competition?
Brown: First and foremost, I wanted to make an awesome cooking show. But, in addition, I wanted High Cuisine to bust some stereotypes – to show really amazing chefs getting high then cooking incredible food that anyone would want to eat. High Cuisine illustrates that cannabis helped these chefs get more creative. And I think that it’s important to show how much the vegan and cannabis cultures overlap.
CannEpoch: As the cannabis industry changes, how will this show become even more relevant?
Brown: I think this show is a big step towards normalization. Cannabis doesn’t need to be in its own separate space. Let’s bring the cannabis mindset to mainstream content.
CannEpoch: What’s your advice to the cannabis curious about cooking with cannabis?
Brown: I prefer it when the cannabis is in the chefs, not the food.
CannEpoch: What have been the greatest teaching moments on your show?
Brown: We had one episode with a chef who didn’t want to smoke, so he drank instead. He was awesome and did a great job, but he also got a bit rowdy and we were challenged to keep him on task. So the moral of the story is that stoned chefs will cook all day, and drunk chefs may be a little easier to distract and inclined to cause trouble.
“I think this show is a big step towards normalization.”
— Asher Brown.
CannEpoch: And what have been the funniest?
Brown: Episode three, which featured teams of two people competing to make the tastiest “Big Ass Burrito,” probably held the most entertaining and laughable moments of the show. A day of film with four people running around our kitchen trying to make ginormous burritos while baked AF was hilarious to watch in person, and I think that really shows in the episode.
CannEpoch: How do you see the show evolving to parallel the cannabis space at it changes via legalization?
Brown: I’d love to bring in some cannabis sponsors next season. We had a lot of rad vegan food companies helping us out, and we will continue to build those partnerships, but for legal reasons, we asked our chefs to bring their own weed.
CannEpoch: What’s next cannabis in the food space?
Brown: If anyone wants to fund a spinoff, I’ve got an amazing idea for a follow-up show.