Vancouver native and self-taught chef Travis Petersen is getting creative in the kitchen. Petersen, who has been travelling across Canada and cooking with cannabis infusions for the past year, estimates that he’s cooked for 2,000-plus people during that time.
It may not be what most readily comes to mind when talking cooking, though then again, his path to becoming a chef has been anything but typical. Call it the scenic route.
From oil valve to cooking gear
After working as a business development manager for an oil valve company in Alberta, Petersen, 34, switched gears. He had a brief stint on MasterChef Canada in 2015, after being selected as one of 40 contestants, but as an untrained chef, says he felt, “out of place.”
After leaving the show, he recognized he had a lot to learn. He went on to become the “Nomad Cook”, a culinary brand that offers unique dining experiences through cannabis-infused creations, in January 2016, teaching himself to cook by watching videos online, something he feels is more of a possibility for newer generations given the tools available online. And since starting Nomad Cook, Petersen has been able to find mentors through chefs he’s worked with, further developing his skills.
Petersen traces his affinity for all things culinary back to where everything began… home. “I have a passion for cooking for people,” he says. His mother used to cook dinner for their family every night, and helped to develop his love of cooking and his understanding of its power to help form bonds between people. “I love how the dinner table and food kind of opens conversation.” No matter your race, religion or background, he notes food brings people together.
Cooking with cannabis takes things to yet another level.