A Gathering Fit for a King

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Attending a cannabis or CBD-themed event in a relaxed, welcoming environment is an excellent way to meet fellow enthusiasts, learn about products, ask questions, and depending on the situation, try some samples. Talking with other people about their personal experiences and learning about what they know (or don’t know) can be extremely helpful for adults seeking information about cannabis and CBD products. Large conferences and events are great too, but small, intimate group events provide a valuable one-on-one opportunity. We had the privilege of attending a special wellness event encompassing the CBD lifestyle during last week’s  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

The quality, not the longevity of one’s life, is what is important.” ⎼  

Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.

The four-hour experience was an opportunity to celebrate the MLK holiday and learn about CBD in a warm and friendly way. Presented by The Suave Life and Chef Matt 2.0, a premier, award-winning cannabis chef, the event took place at the Rita House, a historic, old-Hollywood community workspace in Los Angeles. In keeping with Dr. King’s philosophy, hosts Matt Stockard and Rico Tarver brought folks together to help cultivate new relationships, celebrate Dr. King’s life and accomplishments, elevate our minds, relax our bodies, and move peacefully into the new year. Chef Matt and Rico didn’t disappoint. The four hours included amazing CBD-infused food, beverages, CBD product samples, one-on-one conversations, massages, yoga, and meditation. As you can probably guess, the mood was relaxed, communal, uplifting, and fully aligned with Dr. King’s spirit.

Chef Matt researched and prepared some of Dr. King’s favorite dishes and served a tremendous, CBD-infused gourmet brunch buffet. Unbeknownst to Matt, it was a family affair as Matt’s grandmother aunts, sister, and cousin arrived unannounced and helped with the event. It was also a birthday celebration for Rico’s wife, Jasmine, and another reason why a sense of happiness filled Rita House.

As expected, the food was absolutely incredible. So much so that I wanted a second trip through the buffet line. Knowing that the resulting glorious food coma would hinder my note-taking abilities, I somehow summoned the will power and left the kitchen. For the record, I felt it was my duty to happily sample everything on the special MLK Brunch Menu:


Bacon & Sausage


Southern Fried Chicken


Candied Yams

Collard Greens

String Beans w/potato


Peach Cobbler

Banana Pudding


Speak for Yourself

Chef Matt is versatile in the kitchen having won BBQ awards, Cajun/Creole awards, and ran several Hyatt Regency 5-star restaurants. I asked Matt about his approach to cooking and he told me that while his background is diverse, staying focused is really the key to his success. “In my life as a chef, I put blinders on to stay focused on my cooking. I support other chefs in a number of ways, but I want to stay true to my own path.” Matt’s mission is helping and teaching patients to medicate properly and function well throughout their day. “The idea is to infuse the proper amount of cannabis or CBD so people feel better,” Matt said after donning his official, monogrammed chef shirt.

On the beverage side, bartender Seanea Corvi from Last Call Bar Catering poured bottomless mimosas and I was curious about her approach to CBD-infused beverages and cocktails. She told me that “they’re perfect for this event because it creates a relaxed vibe. For the infusions, I use Chef Matt’s Infused Syrup in 5 mg, microdose amounts. We always encourage people to start slow as you can always add more.” For all chefs and bartenders out there, that sounds like good advice.

By mid-afternoon, the party was in a nice groove and guest Christyna Giles-Washington shared with me “that a central tenet of Dr. King was that access to what society offers is important. CBD is also about access to better health and wellness.” Fellow guest Janae Johnson said that “I’m a chef and a foodie and I am into wellness. Today’s event is the best of both worlds. It’s a change of pace and a different, welcome way to celebrate MLK, Jr.” Host Rico picked up on that theme and told me that “we wanted to provide a different kind of event so people can recharge their batteries and celebrate Dr. King.

That theme continued with guest Lee Hopcraft saying “it was a very welcoming and relaxed event that was also genuine and authentic. I was able to talk with a variety of diverse people which I really enjoyed.” Anita Boras from elevate cbd cosmetics summed it up best. “MLK Jr. reminds us to treat people how you want to be treated ⎼ to realize and own self-love is the most important thing we can learn and embody. Learning about CBD and now sharing that knowledge has been part of my life journey.”

As the event wound down, many people seemed to make a connection, and definitely had the opportunity to share great food, with great vibes, and learn more about the CBD lifestyle. Without a doubt, it was time well spent. Many thanks to Chef Matt and Rico for inviting me.

Are you interested in attending a similar event?  The Suave Life and Chef Matt 2.0 host regular CBD Sunday Brunches at the Rita House. Visit their sites or check Eventbrite for current event listings. If you go, share some photos with us on our social channels.

Philip Rebentisch is a writer and the Content Editor for Three Wells.

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