By: Stephanie Shehan My husband and I had the chance to attend Chef Stacey Dougan’s ivandtwenty CBD-infused, plant-based dinner event. This was not our first go-round with CBD-infused food, but we were definitely newbies to a full on plant-based dinner party. The name ivandtwenty is a play on the 420 stoner holiday and each event […]
By: Stephanie Shehan
My husband and I had the chance to attend Chef Stacey Dougan’s ivandtwenty CBD-infused, plant-based dinner event. This was not our first go-round with CBD-infused food, but we were definitely newbies to a full on plant-based dinner party. The name ivandtwenty is a play on the 420 stoner holiday and each event consists of four courses and twenty guests.
The event we attended was held at a beautiful venue and comprised of one course from each of the four corners of the United States. Our first course, a Vernors Ginger Root Turmeric Consomme with Roasted Root Vegetables, was from the North and it was amazing! The second course, hailing from the West, was a delicious Mango Dragonfruit and Avocado Caprese with Papaya Drops and Kefir Lime Vinaigrette. Next up, from the South, a mouth watering Lobster Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese with Grilled Vegetable Batons. And last (but certainly not least) direct from the East was my favorite, a Petite NY Cheesecake with Pomegranate Lavender Creme Anglaise. Now, I do not typically like cheesecake, but Chef Stacey’s plant-based cheesecake was delectable!
As each course was served, Chef Stacey and her staff introduced the dish, informed the attendees which part of the dish had been infused, and explained how many milligrams of CBD was used. We had an amazing time socializing with the other attendees, learning about the dishes and of course eating the food. I would encourage all of you to attend one of these events. For those of you that enjoy plant-based dishes, Chef Stacey also has a restaurant, Simply Pure, at Container Park. I recently had the chance to chat with Chef Stacey and find out more about ivandtwenty and Simply Pure.
Stephanie Shehan: You are the owner of Simply Pure at Container Park. How long have you had Simply Pure and what can we expect when visiting?
Chef Stacey Dougan: I have had Simply Pure for almost six years, we opened in December 2013. Simply Pure is an eclectic, 100% plant-based gourmet eatery. We take real plants, fruits, vegetables, legumes and other fresh ingredients and transform them into fresh tasting vegan cuisine.
Stephanie: What type of food do you specialize in?
Stacey: We specialize in plant-based cuisine. Some of the more popular items on our menu include our Mama Mia Lasagna, Nachos Grande with Cashew Nacho Cheese and “Chikin” Salad Lettuce Wraps. We prepare the majority of our menu items including sauces, cheeses, and protein substitutes in-house and from scratch so you can really taste the freshness and authenticity of the food.
Stephanie: Have you always followed a plant-based diet?
Stacey: I have not always followed a 100% plant-based diet, but I was introduced to the plant-based lifestyle when I was 5 years old. From K-8th grade I attended Nataki Talibah, a West African based school in Detroit, Michigan. The founder and principal was plant-based and she only allowed plant-based lunches to be served at the school. This was in the early 80s. Growing up, my mother was adamant about our family having healthy home cooked meals. I’ve basically been rocking with a plant-based lifestyle all of my life. I was 100% vegan for 15 years and about 5 years ago, after becoming pregnant with my son, I incorporated some fish into my diet. I still love any kind of fried potato too lol but for the most part I eat simple, clean and I eat what I enjoy.
Stephanie: Is plant-based the same as vegan?
Stacey: I guess so. I’m not with all of the labels on diet and lifestyle. Eating plant-based is not new to me but all of the terminology surrounding it is new to me so it’s weird for me to answer that question. I would venture and say yes, they are the same. However, if you ask Google you might get 1,000 different answers lol
Stephanie: If you have children, do you provide them a plant-based diet as well?
Stacey: I have a 4 year old son named Zion and he is plant-based for the most part as well. He does eat some fish, and he really enjoys eating fruits and veggies.
Stephanie: Do you have professional culinary training?
Stacey: I do not have any professional culinary school training. I did work at the Wynn as a chef in the catering department for two years so I would consider that professional training for sure. My background is actually in music and entertainment. I worked in marketing at Universal Music Group in Atlanta, years ago. I was making money, not married, no kids, young, hot to trot lol… I originally invested money in a startup vegan raw food eatery in Atlanta and ended up working in the kitchen trying to save my investment lol. The eatery is no longer open, but that was my training. Blood, sweat and tears, literally. Life is the best experience. I just figured it out.
Stephanie: How did you become a canna chef?
Stacey: I’m a chef and I consume cannabis every day so I started cooking with it. That’s all folks, lol.
Stephanie: You also run ivandtwenty, tell us what prompted you to start this company. And, what can attendees expect from the experience?
Stacey: ivandtwenty is Las Vegas’ premiere plant-based cannabis infused fine dining experience. I have a reverence for the cannabis plant as it relates to healing. This coincides with my reverence for the healing part of plant-based foods. It’s the perfect marriage, cannabis and vegan cuisine. The company was originally started by myself and my business partner, Makini Meriwether. We have a team of people who are working with us now to market and develop the brand. Attendees can expect to eat fresh plant-based cuisine infused with cannabis in an intimate fine dining setting. The name ivandtwenty is representative of the cannabis national holiday and our event is a 4 course dinner that is limited to 20 guests. The venue is always unique, eclectic and is only revealed to the attendees the morning of the event. Each ivandtwenty event is themed. For example, we have an “Elements” theme where I create 4 courses (soup, salad, entree and dessert) based off the elements Fire, Water, Air and Earth. As each course is being served I explain the health benefits of the ingredients and the health benefits of cannabis. I also explain how each course is selectively infused. The events are exciting, upscale and unique in Las Vegas. We have created an experience with cannabis, food and healing that is unparalleled. Currently, we are only using CBD for our infusion. We are definitely looking forward to hosting events using both CBD and THC.
Stephanie: Are the menus at ivandtwenty always plant-based? And, do you only infuse with CBD?
Stacey: Yes our menus are always 100% plant-based. We don’t use packages of processed vegan foods. We prepare the majority of the cuisine being served with real fresh whole plant ingredients. Currently, we only infuse with CBD. We are exploring marketing the ivandtwenty brand to tourists who can book us for private events and we can cater to the needs of the individual client.
Stephanie: Any tips for our readers who may want to infuse their own food?
Stacey: Just go for it. There are tons of videos and info on the Internet. But remember kids, edibles are nothing to be played with so start with small doses. I also recommend using only high quality flower or whatever you are using to infuse. Don’t buy cheap and expect amazing results. Quality cannabis only.
Stephanie: When is the next ivandtwenty event?
Stacey: The date for our next ivandtwenty experience is Thursday, August 22. We’ve hosted private events in the past and are looking forward to hosting more.
Stephanie: How can our readers follow you?