Chef for Higher — A Cannabis Dinner Party

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"Hawai'i" Mike Salman found the two proverbial loves of his life before the age of 13. Learning to cook before the age of 10 and experiencing cannabis at the age 12, he learned to combine the two in secret. The rapidly changing cannabis landscape in the United States has allowed his infused dining concept, Chef for Higher, to finally see the light of day. Seeing cannabis as a universal human right, he's since made it a new lifelong mission to win peoples' hearts through their stomachs by way of a private cannabis-infused dinner party.
Script & Narration by Eugene Kan
Audio by Elphick Wo
Photos by Collin Hughes

"Hawai'i" Mike Salman found the two proverbial loves of his life before the age of 13. Learning to cook before the age of 10 and experiencing cannabis at the age 12, he learned to combine the two in secret. The rapidly changing cannabis landscape in the United States has allowed his infused dining concept, Chef for Higher, to finally see the light of day. Seeing cannabis as a universal human right, he's since made it a new lifelong mission to win peoples' hearts through their stomachs by way of a private cannabis-infused dinner party.
Script & Narration by Eugene Kan
Audio by Elphick Wo
Photos by Collin Hughes

Digging into an “Egg in Madame” with French Bistro Ham and Gruyère.

My mother raised me vegan. It wasn't my favorite thing in the world. When I was nine, I was like 'I can't do this anymore.' She said if I want to eat then I'd have to learn it myself.

The order of the day’s menu.

Mike peers into the oven to check on the next dish.

We tagged along with Hawai’i Mike on a dinner in New York City. His events are secretive, open only to referrals and invite only. This ensures a safe place for people to converse and dine intimately without judgment of their interests. But as the financial opportunities of cannabis pour in, and its decriminalization take full force, there are many layers behind a relaxing Chef for Higher evening. There are some critical socio-economic factors at play that Mike has personally gotten behind and become a mouthpiece for. Whether it’s the usage of the “m-word” (marijuana) or the lack of diversity and representation in the industry, he’s not about to let it all go down without being heard.

[...] as states started to move and vote to make it legal either medically or recreationally, we saw an opportunity to actually be myself.
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Before Prohibition which was less than 80 years ago, you could have gotten over 100 prescriptions in a pharmacy that had cannabis sativa including teething medicines.
[...] this should be about human rights and our ability to choose to utilize a plant that has properties that have shown for thousands of years that can be used for medicinal uses.
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Do you see all the big companies right now? You can Google them. None of them are people of color.

                                                                                         Mike and his wife Stephanie.

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