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F E AT U R E

ANDREA DRUMMER DRUG COU NSELOR TU RNED CANNA-CH EF WRITER / ZACHARY HOLLAND

PHOTO / COURTESY OF ANDREA DRUMMER

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HILE COOKING HAS ALWAYS been part of Andrea Drummer’s life, the same can’t be said of cannabis. Growing up in the South, cooking was instinctual, but the instinctual reaction to cannabis was, and in many places still is, closer to the idiom of ‘devil’s lettuce.’ A former anti-drug counselor in high schools, Drummer broadened her horizons when challenged to give cooking with cannabis a shot during a career move. The result, an ever growing passion to bring people together, sharing the love and the bowl.

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Where did your passion for cooking stem from? I’ve been cooking probably since I was 9. My mom would tell stories of me creating things on her good China and putting it in the microwave haha. It was just a thing I feel, because I’m from the South, was innate. You were taught to cook at a young age, particularly if you were a woman. So I never thought of it as a career choice, but when I decided to switch gears, I really wanted to do something that had to do with my passion and creativity. Cooking has always been a cathartic and creative outlet for me.

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Do you think cannabis can play a role in that food & family bond or the idea of ‘comfort food’? They are mirrored practices; it’s like sitting around the table at Thanksgiving. To this day, for me Thanksgiving is celebrated with 40, close to 50, people. It’s a very communal experience, so when I broadened my horizons and became educated on the practices of cannabis, I realized it too is a very communal experience. There’s sharing, passing things around, great stories and lots of laughter. The coming together of people over food and cannabis, two things that clearly make people happy. You formerly worked as an anti-drug counselor, how has cannabis expanded your cooking or helped expand your style? Well I’m very much a savory chef, which means you can almost always revive a dish while cooking. But working with cannabis is far more technical and scientific, particularly if you create your own products - butters, oils etc. It’s definitely more akin to patisserie in that regard. You have to understand the quality of your product, it’s temperament and how it responds to certain foods, the THC levels and of course consistency. I have to be more in tune with each part of the culinary process because clearly, you can’t just add more butter. Ha. Which is good, it challenges me; I like a good challenge.

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Can you see cannabis affecting the dining experience overall? Definitely, I think there could potentially be a day that Whole Foods has a cannabis aisle or THC aisle. We’re already seeing restaurants and hotels and all these other cannabis-related luxuries popping up. I think it’s something that’s going to be the norm; we’re nearing the end of the Prohibition of our era. Favorite recipe or style? Well I’m classically trained so I like to bring that technique to my cooking. But I would definitely say my style reflects my Southern background, Creole cooking and Cajun as well. I like to do that but all things in between too. My style of cooking reflects my inspiration which is people and culture. In fact, my next seating is ‘Making America Great,’ which will feature a number of cuisines, representing who we truly are as a country.

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