Chef Shawn Hamilton is known in the cannabis community for his innovative array of infused dishes and food-based events referred to as “The Experience.” Taking place in a secret location in the heart of New York City, Hamilton’s gourmet dinners are sure to dazzle foodies of all kinds. Honeysuckle was invited to this exclusive taste-test. Here are some of the impressions we came away with.“The lighting was perfect and that’s all it takes to set a mood for me,” said attendee Chica, founder of Kreaky Products, “but when the aroma of spices hit my nose I instantly knew I was in for a treat.”Judging by the rave reviews of Hamilton’s fare and innovative presentation, which blends cannabis infusions with fine dining, the chef might be touching on a new phenomenon. “I was greeted with a glass of Merlot and a warm hug from [osteopathic physician and CBD line owner] Dr. Caroline Hartridge, which was a great way to start ‘The Experience,'” added Chica. “My favorite dish was the pumpkin soup with baby greens. The creamy yet rich texture instantly reminded me of the approaching winter season especially since the colors were so vibrant.”
Hidden away in the depths of downtown Manhattan, “The Experience” puts a modern twist on speakeasies of old, borrowing from their illicit, electric elegance while blurring the line between cannabis culture, fine dining, and aesthetic refinement.
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“The idea behind ‘The Experience’ was to create a space that would provide a welcoming atmosphere, and would give everyone their own unique experience that they can share with others,” Hamilton told Honeysuckle.Creating infused dishes came naturally to the chef, who has been cooking for over fifteen years. “I always wanted to create dishes that are unique and that lift people up,” he said. “Cooking became another form of art for me.”
His “Experiences,” which he founded with a friend and parter @thehoney.pot_, are definitely about much more than simply eating; they strive to touch upon every sense, focusing on communion with the natural and metaphysical realms. “Food can be simple or complex. It’s what your senses go through while you have that meal—that’s what makes it an experience,” Chef Hamilton added. The first “Experience” offered an abundance of sensory richness, featuring a five-course elemental dinner, with each course representing an element of nature, ending with Love as the fifth element—fitting for an event meant to bring people together. “It’s about connections, vibes, your other senses and knowledge,” said Hamilton. We want people to leave knowing that for a few hours they actually connected with someone and something.”
Across the board, Hamilton’s intentions resonated with attendees. “The beautiful thing about “The Experience” is that it doesn’t only elevate your palate but the ambiance and the personal attention elevated the soul,” said CBD consultant and promoter Apollonia Soul. “I think it’s really fitting that they called it “The Experience” because there’s no other way to describe what happened today,” said an anonymous guest. “The blend of the elements like Earth, Water, Air and Fire really defined the intricacy of fine dining. The cannabis community in New York is like no other, and tonight was special for all of us.” —
For more information about Chef Shawn Hamilton and details on the next “Experience,” visit Hamilton’s Kitchen at hamkitch.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram. Special thanks to Kreaky Products for additional material – follow @kreakyproducts on Instagram for the latest in healthy lifestyle products.–Eden Gordon is a New York-based writer, editor, and songwriter. She has contributed to Catalyst, The Columbia Spectator, Untapped Cities, and Lilith Magazine, among other publications. She currently studies English at Barnard College and is the creator of the multimedia zine Crossroads. Follow her on Instagram at @edenariel117.