Famed management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” And that’s a sentiment Steve Nelson Jr., a.k.a. Thurlow Weed, understands.
Nelson is the kind of entrepreneur who thinks big and often. His year-old iBake Denver in unincorporated Adams County is the only head shop around that allows the on-site consumption of marijuana — a concept he plans on licensing elsewhere in Colorado and Washington. He hosts his Internet radio Entrepotneur Show five days a week. He throws parties and events, including the upcoming “Medicated Chef” competition that takes a cannabis spin on the “Iron Chef” model. And he’s an independent distributor for a number of marijuana-related businesses, from grow accessories to glass companies.
Nelson has been pursuing all of these endeavors, some of them questionably legal, for a long while in a state that only legalized recreational marijuana in late 2012.
“I feel like we’re winning a battle,” Nelson said earlier this week. “I know it’s not completely won, because there are still people locked up. But we’re heading in the right direction, especially in Colorado and Washington. It makes me feel good to fight for more change here and everywhere else.”
Like other activists, part of Nelson’s fight involves integrating marijuana into mainstream culture — and that’s where Medicated Chef comes in. After a number of preliminary rounds at iBake Denver, winning chefs cooking with cannabis will be pushed to the Sept. 20 finale at a venue to be determined. The Medicated Chef winner will receive the title and $5,000 — $2,500 when they win, and another $2,500 after Nelson and his colleagues have wrapped a 13-episode “Medicated Chef” season to be broadcast on Hulu and other platforms, he said.
“We want a chef who knows his stuff and who will look good on camera, because it’s more about the TV show than it is the event,” said Nelson. “The five top chefs from the preliminary rounds will compete ‘Iron Chef’-style at the finale, and they won’t know until 24 hours before what they’ll be cooking with. Each person will have something different.”
Yes, it’s a bold vision — a plan that will require everything falling into place, including a significant amount of funding and a large venue that is open to all types of on-site marijuana consumption.
“Last year’s competition at the Oriental (Theatre) was great, but the Oriental won’t be big enough for this year’s show,” Nelson said. “When I first started the show, G4 and Spike TV had shown interest, but I wasn’t ready to get a demo ready and together.”
The first of three preliminary contests for Medicated Chef will be March 27 at iBake Denver, 6125 Washington St., Denver. Get more info here