Food vendors sell with personal touch

Food vendors sell with personal touch

The recession hasn’t stopped some entrepreneurs from breaking into the specialty food market. The Fancy Food Show in San Francisco was ripe with new companies marketing their products — but not necessarily for huge profits.

On the other side of the convention center is a very unexpected exhibitor. Beck Maxwell is the vice president of Volcano Vaporization System in Oakland, Calif. His product hit the market in 2003 — but not the food market.

BECK MAXWELL: It was widely adopted by the cannabis community as a non-smoke means of delivering the active ingredients in cannabis.

People who recognize the vaporizor stop at his booth, perplexed. Then Maxwell demonstrates the device’s culinary uses.

He puts a pinch of cloves and tangerine peel into the machine. The air around the table fills with a fresh scent of spices and citrus.

CONVENTION GOERS: Oh! Cool. Check it out.

Chefs visiting the table have been impressed with how the Volcano might change the high-end dining experience. Award-winning chef Grant Achatz has used it at his restaurant in Chicago.

MAXWELL: He fills a vapor balloon with a lavender aroma. He places that inside of a pillowcase, and then perforates that pillowcase. And the plate of food is placed on top of that. The aroma is slowly released during the course of the meal and it really infuses the palate of the diner.

Retailing at nearly $700, the Volcano Vaporizer may take some time to catch on in culinary circles.

Back to the MAPS Homepage

Vaporizers aren’t just for inhaling marijuana vapors anymore – they are also good for creating enhancing aromas for the culinary elite.