Meet CAC Taunton's Executive Chef, David!

Name: David Topian 
Title: Executive Chef 
Hometown: Watervliet New York 
Years in Cannabis: 2 years 

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I started cooking professionally when I was 16 years old and eventually graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1988 with a degree in classical French cuisine. After school, I worked in various French restaurants in upstate New York, where I became highly interested in baking and pastry. In 1994, I relocated to Boston where I was the pastry chef at the Top of the Hub Restaurant after which I accepted a position at the Ritz Carlton in Boston as  Assistant Pastry Chef.

For a decade after the Ritz, I was the Director of Research and Development for a national wholesale pastry company where I oversaw all phases of product development. I established product portfolios for Wegman’s, Trader Joe's, Wholefoods, Starbucks, Kroger amongst other global brands. Most recently, I was the Executive Pastry Chef for Legal Sea Foods Restaurants where I developed a pastry and beverage program for all 35 locations. Now in cannabis, I’ve taken the same approach that I’ve always had to pastry: Use the finest ingredients to craft the most consistently delectable creations for everyone to enjoy.

What led you to cannabis after your position at Legal Sea Foods?: The challenge of applying cannabis  to sweet and savory products that are the highest quality. 

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about cannabis recently?: All the testing and checks and balances that have to be correct and in place before products can be developed and sold.

What is the most difficult part of your job?: Making sure the millions of pieces of edibles are consistently dosed. 

What is the most rewarding part of working of your job?: Knowing that the product I make helps other people. 

Do you have any hobbies or collections? : I collect electric guitars, and have an interest in model railroading!

Where do you go to learn more about cannabis?: My peers and colleagues I currently work with and now and in the past.

What’s your favorite CAC product right now?: 5mg Strawberry Shield Tablets.

Meet CAC's Edibles Kitchen Supervisor

Name: Jennifer
Hometown: Westport, MA
Years in Cannabis: 7 months

What did you do before this and how did it prepare you for your role today?

I worked my way through college as a cake decorator which taught me how to be precise and creative. Previously, as a cake decorator I enjoyed making people happy with my creations. I'm thrilled that I'm still able to do that now with my work in the CAC kitchen.

Why did you decide to become a chef? What other back-of-the-house positions have you previously held?

I’ve always enjoyed baking and knew that I wanted to do something with my life that I loved, made me happy and enabled me to make others happy as well.

Where and how were you trained? Did you go to culinary school? What credentials did you earn through your culinary studies?

I received my degree in Food Service Entrepreneurship as well as Baking & Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales University. Many of my studies were hands on labs such as french pastry, specialty cakes, chocolate & confections, specialty cakes and many more. I also took many business, leadership, and management classes which have helped me tremendously with being the kitchen lead. I am able to lead my staff so we can all work together efficiently and effectively as a team. 

Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?

Out of all of the chefs I have worked with, Chef David Topian that I work with now here at Commonwealth, is one of the most well-rounded experienced chefs that I’ve met and had the pleasure of working with. I’m honored to be able to learn from him everyday. 

What is your favorite cuisine to eat? What is your favorite cuisine to cook?

My favorite dessert to eat is creme brulee. My favorite desserts to make are cheesecakes and eclairs 

What trends are you seeing in the marijuana infused products (MIPS) industry?

High dosed tasty edibles. Healthy alternatives, fair trade, organic and vegan products. Becoming more popular for individuals who don’t like to smoke. Wide variety of edibles, more options. Chocolate covered blueberries and espresso beans and fruit chews and even 2 oz drinks. 

Have you ever cooked with cannabis at home?

I have made a few products in my own home like brownies, cupcakes, and rice krispies 

What is your favorite edible produced by Commonwealth Alternative Care?

My favorite edible that we make is our new peanut butter cups. They are made with direct trade chocolate and are completely vegan 

Favorite delivery method? e.g.  smoke, dab, vape, eat, topical

I enjoy smoking flour and dabbing our concentrates. Our concentrates here at Commonwealth, in my opinion, are some of the best around. 

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about cannabis recently?

There are so many different ways to use cannabis and depending on which method you choose is going to differ its effect. I’ve also been learning more about the different strains and the different effects they have on you as well.

Where do you go to learn more about cannabis? (please be specific)

Co-workers and Leafly

What is the coolest new cannabis-related gadget you’ve seen recently?

New cannabis related gadgets that i enjoy using are my dab pen, a puffco, and a pax 3

What do you like most about working at Commonwealth Alternative Care?

I love coming to work everyday because I enjoy making products that will help people. All my coworkers are very happy to be at work and it’s a great environment to be in. I have lots of room to grow with this company and I am very excited to see what my future holds here.