This November, Nevada residents will vote on whether to follow Colorado and Washington and decriminalize and regulate recreational marijuana use in the state. The potential passing of Question 2 will not only further the mainstreaming of marijuana nationwide, but push Nevada into a booming industry where dozens of companies are producing robust lines of cannabis-infused products. Former Red Rock Resort pastry chef Madeline Rubidoux is already using her culinary skills at Evergreen Organix, which is developing a variety of quality edible sweets.
How did the opportunity to work for Evergreen Organix come about? Is this your first job in the cannabis industry? After my last trip to Europe, where I was the sous chef for a cafe and patisserie in South Bermondsey, London, I returned to Las Vegas when a family friend contacted me [about] Evergreen Organix [being] interested in meeting with me. Short after that meeting, I started working there. This is my first job in the cannabis industry and I plan to stay in the industry. I've always had a passion for caring for people and helping those in need. This opened up an opportunity for me to be able to use my craft and help people with their medical conditions.
How has this new experience been so far? Have you learned anything new? My experience has been amazing at Evergreen Organix. I work with an amazing group of people who are very knowledgeable and experts at their craft. Since I've worked there I've become so much more knowledgeable on the ways to bake and infuse our products with cannabis.
What are the differences between cooking with cannabis and without? What additional things do you have to take into consideration? It can be very similar depending on how you're looking at it. In one way it's nearly identical to how I've always been trained to bake, with having to keep a few techniques more in mind than I normally would. For example, your measurements and incorporating the cannabis into the product must be exact to ensure consistency and the overall quality of the product.
As a seasoned chef who has worked in restaurants around the world, how do your previous experiences influence your approach to cooking and creating new edible products? Every place I have worked and trained collectively, I have obtained particular skills that I use in my everyday work. A big influence is my European background. It has taught me so many different techniques that I've used in many of our products. As an example, the dark chocolate caramels from scratch is a particular recipe I used while training in Vitznau, Switzerland. As a dual citizen, I have spent a lot of time traveling there [and] learning different recipes and adding my own personal twists. Another example are the finishing touches I use on the products that present them in a way patients become excited about when deciding which edible to choose.
How important is presentation for edible products? It’s just as important as for uninfused products. We know the products are delicious—those who have had them know they are as well—but they still deserve the attention to be presented nicely.
How would you describe Las Vegas’ cannabis community? Las Vegas’ community has grown drastically since I've become the chocolatier for Evergreen Organix. The volume of production has gone up so much over the past six months. I've even brought on an assistant to make sure we meet the demands.
Is Las Vegas ready to make recreational marijuana use legal? One hundred percent. As a Las Vegas native and supporter, I believe that making it recreational will have a huge, positive impact in the Valley.