.Kush Cuisine: Local Chef Gabriel Reeves Sets Out to be the Face of Marijuana Edibles

On Gabriel Reeves’ brawny left calf, just above the pink sock emblazoned with a pot leaf, is a tattoo of Ferdinand the Bull. Sitting in a room just off the lobby at Elemental Wellness, a medical marijuana collective in San Jose where Reeves teaches a weekly “Cooking with Cannabis” class, the chef talks about how he identifies with Ferdinand, the bull who would rather smell flowers than fight.
For those who aren’t familiar, ultimately the moral of the story is to always be yourself. Reeves, who has a bushy red beard, ink twisting up both arms and today wears a double-breasted chef’s coat, has embraced this concept as he makes a name for himself in cannabis culinary circles.
“I used to hide it,” the 31-year-old says about his hemp habit. Before coming to work at the wellness center, Reeves spent almost a decade in mainstream restaurants, including a stint in Google’s famously epicurean kitchen. Though he had been baking pot brownies for even longer, it wasn’t until the California native was diagnosed with testicular cancer several years ago and experienced firsthand the medicinal impact of marijuana that he reevaluated his career path. Reeves now dedicates his time to teaching others how to treat their ailments through what he calls the science of consumption. “It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” Reeves says. “I’m helping people feel better. If that means I smell like kush, so what? I’m happy now.”
It’s sunny and warm, and Elemental Wellness is bustling. Grey-haired women, a middle-aged man wearing a puffy blue vest and loafers and stereotypical 20-something stoners filter in to fill their prescriptions. Just about every 10 minutes one of those patients gets a glimpse of Reeves through the glass window and pops in for a handshake or hug. “You have get to know each person, because you have to find what works for them,” Reeves says.

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