This May, chef Zach Holmes packed his bags and moved from Tahoe to Colorado with one dream in mind — to innovate cannabis cooking.
He found his passion for infusing food with marijuana while caring for his sister Victoria — or “Vic” for short — in hospice. As a victim of breast cancer, his sister’s options for treatment were limited and the doctors ordered doses of chemotherapy with no positive result. Holmes took action into his own hands after learning about the benefits of Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) — a 50/50 blend of THC and CBD extract. Chemotherapy had all but destroyed her appetite, so he tried infusing it into delicious meals in hopes of improving her condition and quality of life in hospice.
“I had to find ways to sneak it (RSO) into her food so that she couldn’t taste the bitter floral finish from my infusion,” he explained. “It had to work like magic.”
The RSO therapy had an undoubtedly positive effect on his sister’s condition, but modern medicine had already done its damage. For Holmes, his sister remains his inspiration and reason that he has started High Society Supper Club. Her kind spirit stays alive and well as he serves guests his creative cannabis dishes that she inspired at each event.
This month we attended a closed door, invite-only event with Denver’s High Society Supper Club to meet Holmes and eat our way through countless courses of fine canna-dining. Each supper club party is unique, but judging by the highlights of our experience last week — this one is doing something right. Take a hit and hold it — chef Holmes and the High Society Supper Club are about to blow your mind.
The Supper Club
The supper club has a behind-the-bookcase, prohibition-style personality. The only way to get invited is by a host, and the only way to become a host is to be in direct contact with the club itself — whether it be via the mailing list on the website, on the Facebook page or by calling the chef himself.
A text message is sent out to attendees the day of the event disclosing valuable information like the time, host address and a suggested donation amount. A wooden H. S. S. C. logo hangs from the front door of the pop-up location — a discrete marking that you only find if you’re looking for it.
Once inside the designated space, a hosted bar and bartender met us with a featured cocktail for the evening. In this case, it was a muddled Bulleit old fashioned. We sipped as legalities are taken care of, with a quick signature acknowledging we are aware that we will be ingesting marijuana throughout the evening in various infused foods, sauces and toppings.
Holmes’ menus are completely custom and focused on locally-sourced organic ingredients and molecular gastronomy — they can be prepared with THC, CBD, terpenes or a combination of the three.
During our experience, the food was served family-style — guests gathered in the kitchen before each course to watch the staff plate and garnish each wonderfully weedy creation. The air filled with smoke and conversation as Holmes educated guests on his cuisine and method.
Our menu included creatives courses like Seared Bay Scallops with smoked gouda polenta and blueberries rehydrated with Ghost Train Haze, Purple Haze Gnocchi and chocolate coffee tri-tip with a sour diesel extract. Seconds and thirds were readily available and encouraged. We couldn’t get enough of those Ghost Train Haze blueberries.
“We know this is a bit of virgin territory we are working with here, ” Holmes explained. “We have just been figuring it out as we go. At the moment we are shooting from the hip and hoping to hit something. It’s been word-of-mouth that got us this far and — I mean — look at us now.”
The High Society Supper Club is carving its own path in Denver, ready to take cannabis enthusiast’s relationship with cuisine to the next level. The team has a lot of gigs set up already — including a few that are booked out of the country. With scheduled events in Brazil, France and Amsterdam, this supper club means business.
Remember, these events are private, closed door and invite only — so it’s really all up to you or one of your friends to get the ball rolling. To become a part of this movement, get in touch with the High Society team in any way possible. The easiest way is to reach out through the website, Facebook or by phone at 303-522-1375.
All photos by Amanda Piela.