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Interview With A Michelin Chef Infusing CBD Into His World

  • Farah Nanji
  • -
  • 11 June, 2020
Interview With A Michelin Chef Infusing CBD Into His World

For this week’s blog, we sat down The Head Tailor at Tailored Wellbeing, James Barrett, who also happens to be a Michelin trained chef.

Tailored Wellbeing recently launched their vision into the CBD world with the mission to bring highest quality CBD products to the market, helping people to truly enhance their wellbeing. Their approach is innovative and unique. Firstly, their CBD is extracted in Colorado ensuring the highest quality grade oils are used. Secondly, through people like James who embody the finest levels of craftsmanship, they carefully select ingredients from rejuvenating places around the world, such as Alpine Mint ethically sourced from the French Alps, which blend into their products and stand true to the company’s core of designing everything around well being.

So James, let’s start by introducing what exactly your role is at Tailored Wellbeing

J: I’m currently the swiss army knife of Tailored Wellbeing. My title is The Head Tailor and my role encapsulates things like compliance and production, as well as crafting recipes and content for the blog around CBD.

When did you personally first discover CBD?

J: I first discovered CBD around 2014 in a previous role. CBD was still a murmur then. The buzz was predominantly coming from the e-liquid market through things like vapes initially. From there, the interest grew as I researched and understood more about it. I started to appreciate that this plant which is typically associated with getting you high, has incredible health benefiting properties. I’ve always had an interest in natural medicine and natural aid. I’m not someone that goes to doctors or takes antibiotics. I don’t believe antibiotics do you any good. For me my belief is that modern food and pharmaceuticals don’t cure issues, they just mask them. Since I’ve progressed further within the CBD world through starting my own consulting company. Many people have approached me with their own ailments and there seems to be an inherent trend that they’ll be prescribed one drug for one reason, their body becomes saturated by that drug, then they’ll be prescribed another drug to counteract those side effects and imbalances caused within the body's chemistry. From there they can quite quickly end up being prescribed with 10-12 tablets!

I can support this theory through a personal experience where my mother nearly died from the prescription of drugs over a 20 year period and it was CBD that helped her recover from the chronic ‘addiction’ of prescribed drugs. The doctors told her she could only take paracetamol, and I encouraged her not to continue doing this because the volume of paracetamol will inevitably have a negative impact on the liver’s function. It was the CBD that took away her pain, and ever since then she’s not only being physically well, but mentally positive and resilient.

I’m a huge advocate for CBD, I truly believe everyone should have access to it in order to balance our bodies chemistry and homeostasis. We have to consider today, now more than ever, the negative effects on the human body induced through work, diet and environment. Our bodies just cannot produce the cannabinoids it once used to because of the low levels of micronutrients in modern food and external environmental factors. Our bodies are in more of an acidic state than an alkaline state and most of us have become our own worst enemies to keep ourselves going in life.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. How did the founding team of Tailored Wellbeing come together?
J: I’ve known the two directors, Tom and Malcolm, for 5 years now. We met through one of their other businesses in the packaging and machinery industries. I bought a filling line from them and that's where the relationship started. Ever since then we’ve had a mutual respect, trust and appreciation for each other. They approached me last May as they wanted to launch their own CBD business that would be produced in small batches to ensure quality control and wanted my consulting company to develop their products for them.

How has Covid-19 affected your business and the industry as a whole?

J: It’s a bit of a mixed story with the industry. At the moment the positive effect is that there is a heavy focus on health and wellness, resulting in a lot of people buying CBD. However, many large established companies during this downturn are offering 50% discounts which I find quite alarming because firstly that tells me there’s an unhealthy amount of room on their profit margin, but secondly the question arises as to where they will go with their pricing after the pandemic ends? This is dangerous for the industry because it causes more confusion to the end user and it puts a mis-faith and mis-trust into the whole sector.

We launched our brand in March just as Covid was landing, so our sales were quite small and we couldn’t pursue the distribution channels we had arranged over the last year. Instead we’ve focused more on getting the message out about the mission of Tailored Wellbeing and the transparency of our products through the website, our blog and social media and we’ve seen incredible growth from it.

As thought leaders in wellbeing, what would be your top tips for people placing more of an importance on themselves during this time?

J: Focus on your diet, stay hydrated and get quality sleep. Stay positive, smile and don’t get washed away by the constant negative news in the press!

How can CBD best integrate with wellness through your products?

J: We have 5 different types of drops; alpine mint, berry bliss, electric lemon, tropical daze and cherry drops. Each of these are THC free and each flavour has a unique aromatic terpene profile that have their own organic compounds. For example our alpine mint blend is like taking a refreshing dip in a cool mountain spring. It brings with it focus, clarity and energy. Our electric lemon flavour compliments this nicely as it has uplifting and motivating terpene properties through it’s organic, zesty, compounds. Both of these oils are great for the morning. For sleep and relaxation, the terpenes found in our tropical daze and cherry oil drops amplify the calming effects of the CBD. Through our 5 oils I recommend picking 2-3 flavours to use throughout the day for different needs.

Tell me about the food integration through your Michelin expertise?

J: In my chef days, like many in the industry, I was burnt out by the insane hours which were typically around 95 hours a week. I got to work all over the world from Dubai to Scotland and my repertoire became quite diverse, as were the chefs I worked with and worked under. This influence has played a huge role in how I use CBD with my recipes. The first thing is understanding how CBD tastes, the flavour profiles of the dish and how to marry them with the products we have. For example our Thai Beef Spicy CBD Salad has a drizzle of our electric lemon oil. Secondly, you then have to consider when the right time is to bring the CBD into the recipe without diluting the healing properties of CBD, which is typically towards the end of the dish preparation. Naturally the effect won’t be as strong as orally taking the oil by itself, but you would still gain the same amount of effect as you would through a CBD gummy, and you can have a lot of fun creating dishes while supporting your body through CBD. The recipes I create for Tailored Wellbeing are typically super nutritious and designed for sharing with family and friends.

Where do you think lies ahead for the world after Covid-19?

J: I think Covid-19 has made people more aware of hygiene and mental attitude. As we move out of this I hope people will think more before they act and spend more time on their own wellness. With that being said, I reckon there will be an increased production in hemp over the next 5-10 years. Economically I don’t think retail will return to how we knew it to be and that may not be a bad thing.

Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor and listen to your body on what works for you.

Farah Nanji

Farah Nanji

Farah is a journalist, music producer, DJ and entrepreneur. She has been behind the scenes of the music, automotive and wellness industries for over a decade and loves to write about thought provoking content to improve mind, body and spirit. You can follow her on Instagram @dj.n1nja

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