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Lightshade Dispensary Spotlight - Cannabis Chef David Hadley

“My name is David Hadley and I’m a cannabis chef. I love cooking because I’m able to put my passion, my anger, my excitement, my emotion, all on a plate at the time that I’m cooking. My goal is to de-stigmatize and normalize the idea of cannabis and the consumption of cannabis in general.”

“For me, food played a huge role in growing up, because it’s what brought everyone together. Growing up, I had six people in my household, including my grandmother from my mom’s side, and she’s the one that taught me a lot about my Indian background and the food that I really want to bring to people right now, as a chef. When we cooked for six people, we actually cooked for 20. Every party, every holiday was over at the Hadley’s. That idea of hospitality and that idea of bringing people together and community, I feel, is what gave me the idea to become a true chef.”

“I love cooking because I’m able to put my passion, my anger, my excitement, my emotion, all on a plate at the time that I’m cooking. I grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey, and as soon as I left high school, I went to the Culinary School of America, the best culinary school in the nation. My parents had high expectations for me. Telling them that, ‘Hey, I’m going to go work in the big mountain town with the big hotels up in Vail and up in Aspen.’ But really, what I was doing was trying to figure out my way in the marijuana industry.”

“I was looking online for places to come work in Denver. There was this spot called Acorn that was opening up at The Source building. This is The Source building. It’s where I got my first start in the Colorado food scene. There’s a restaurant called Acorn. It’s been around for probably five years. It’s where I met a lot of my friends and a lot of the chefs that are downtown.”

“From there, I got found by Biju Thomas for Biju’s Little Curry Shop. So I worked at the Curry Shop for about two years. And at that point, my friends were opening a grow operation, and I wanted to be a part of it. I thought it was something new and exciting. So at the same time as working at the Curry Shop, I was part timing at this production facility to make edibles. It was really cool to learn that side of the industry, because I got an understanding of where it all comes from. It shows the value that it brings to a community, that not a lot of people know about. Having all that prior knowledge in the cannabis industry, I started to focus my true love of creating food. And from there, Food Network found me here at the Preservery, and that’s where I got my start. Jumped on Food Network as the Cannabis Chef; it has grown into what I’m doing right now, which is being an advocate for the normalization of cannabis.”

“I know a lot about cannabis. And so when I go into dispensaries, I’m a little jaded sometimes on what people say. Let me tell you about Lightshade. They know what they’re talking about. Those people there, those budtenders are very educated about all of the products that they have in-store. They want to make sure you’re taken care of. I had a lot of questions. I put them to the test and they answered, and they knew what they were talking about.”

“Today, I happen to have my Spherex pen from Lightshade. Really, really awesome flavor. This is the mango kush. It’s really uplifting, it helps me be creative, tastes like mango. How can you go wrong with that?”

“The best way I like to use cannabis is probably through my own edibles. If you want to infuse your food at home, the best product to use, I think, is ripple. It’s a water-soluble THC powder that’s able to mix inside of anything. When cooking with cannabis, make sure to start with small dosing. It’s the best way to go.”

“I think another great product to use on the market is the Phyx water. Right now with microdosing and the way that we are in our world, like I said, I could drink that on the go. I like to use cannabis while I’m doing my job, because it helps me be involved and help me be with the people. And and helps me find the vibe that everyone is in. I think as I create the vibe with my food and love and passion that goes into each dish, that’s what microdosing does for me.”

“My goal is to de-stigmatize and normalize the idea of cannabis and the consumption of cannabis in general. And for me, just growing up in a family, especially a cultural Indian background where smoking and drinking and cannabis is something that is not talked about, it’s crazy how my parents have now come around to see what I’m doing and seeing how happy I am. Just because I use cannabis, it doesn’t define who I am.”

“I am going back home for Thanksgiving. It’s been 10 years. I am so excited to see my family, all 40 of them. They are very okay with me smoking now.”

Harvest Old Fashioned

Ingredients

  • 2.5 oz – Bourbon
  • 1 oz-  Homemade Apple Cider Syrup
  • Ginger Twist – as Garnish
  • Mary’s Medicinals – CBD:CBN 1:1 Ratio

Steps

  1. Shake all ingredients and pour with strainer
  2. Light/Torch Garnish (place in glass)

“My name is David Hadley and I’m a cannabis chef.”