Rolling Out

Chef Nikki teams with ‘Merry Jane’ and Dutch Masters for infused event

Chef Nikki teams with 'Merry Jane' and Dutch Masters for infused event
Photo courtesy of chef Nikki Steward

A new era of eclectic events destined to become the next big thing, and a few heavy hitters are pioneering this uncharted territory.

Merry Jane magazine teamed up with celebrity chef Nikki Steward to produce an event experience featuring infused dishes, hosted by Dutch Masters. Talk about a dream team, right? With a host of celebrities slated to attend, including DJ Snoopadelic, this event will be the lituation to end summer 2017.

Rolling out spoke with the mastermind behind all the delectable delights that will have everyone taking flight, chef Nikki Steward.

What inspired you to become a chef?

Initially as a child, it was a sheer knack of loving to eat and wanting to be able to create very interesting things. Moving forward, I really kind of changed career paths in my late 20s because I realized that the career path I initially was in, which was pharmacy, wasn’t very soul satisfying.

Are you formally trained or was this something that was innate that you cultivated over the years?

It was completely innate and I cultivated it over the years. I studied under other executive chefs throughout the world. I did what was called a stage; I went out to Thailand, Europe, and in the States and worked under very well-known chefs and I grew from the bottom up.

How did you become a celebrity chef?

I had family in the entertainment industry. One of my family members is a publicist and was very straightforward and told me this was the best avenue to choose.

Who are some of your celebrity clients?

Comedians, NFL players, hip-hop artists, and coming up we have DJ Snoopadelic.

The highly anticipated upcoming event in L.A. sponsored by Dutch Masters. How did that event come about?

Maya Cooper from Merry Jane magazine approached me about collaborating with them to create an infused culinary journey. This angle of a culinary journey had not been done before. Usually it consists of sit-down dinners, but we wanted to create a whole experience with a party element. When I found out that Dutch Masters was sponsoring the event I got super excited because I know that their brand with Merry Jane was very culturally diverse, and that it would be very high-end and luxe. Together we were able to create this amazing experience that will have celebrities, a super dope environment, infused food … just this whole energy and vibe never done before.

Speaking of the infused portion, will that require any special preparations?

Absolutely! The portions are carefully measured in dose. I have a background in pharmacy; it’s why I attended Ohio State. So what we do is we take the grams and portion them out according to the dish. Most things are between 5 and 10 milligrams, so it’s very carefully dosed. We also label what type of infusion is being used, so the person consuming it know what type of feeling to expect.

Do you see yourself integrating infused options in your culinary dishes moving forward?

Definitely moving forward. This is something that I’ve done before with some of my other clients. It’s really an emerging culinary art. A lot of chefs are looking but they’re scared to play with it, but that wasn’t an issue for me because of my pharmacy background. I will be moving forward with these types of events, restaurant ideas and even packaged goods.

When dinner pairing, the first thing that usually comes to mind is wine. Can you explain how cigars pair with meals?

When you’re talking about having a really hearty meal, especially with a solid protein, cigars are that note that bring it all together. After a good meal, a cigar is the way to have a great nightcap. It’s the perfect conclusion to your meal.

You recently started your own catering company, Good Stewards. Is it all celebrity based? Or is it open to all consumers?

Good Stewards Catering is a full-service catering company. We do everything from weddings to parties to experiences; we create experiences if you have no idea of what you want to do. We also do tailored meal prep services. Every single meal and every single event is designed per person. If you go on my website you’ll see there are purposely no menus. I need to have a consultation to get a feel for who you are, and together we can put together a dope menu.

What are some of your future events or plans?

We just created a partnership with the Ohio State athletes, so we’ll be taking each individual team of athletes and teaching them how to cook and shop smart. Ohio State and I are also developing the concept for a student-athlete cookbook.

Then, of course, there is the upcoming event in L.A. that will have some A-list celebrities.

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