Bacanora chef fires up Phoenix collab with Tumble on exclusive weed strain | Phoenix New Times


Bacanora chef fires up collab with Tumble on exclusive weed strain

The culinary and cannabis worlds of the Valley collide with an exclusive strain from Chef Rene Andrade and Tumble. It's Puro Amor.
Bacanora owner and chef Rene Andrade teamed with Tumble by Timeless on a potent strain and co-branded pack of pre-rolls called Puro Amor.
Bacanora owner and chef Rene Andrade teamed with Tumble by Timeless on a potent strain and co-branded pack of pre-rolls called Puro Amor. Tumble
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Bacanora, this year’s Best of Phoenix winner for Best Restaurant, is known for its wood-fired food that Chef Rene Andrade and his team cook with what he calls “puro amor” — pure love.

Now, Andrade has collaborated with Tumble by Timeless on a limited-edition cannabis strain called Puro Amor. It brings the same handcrafted attention and sense of place as his nationally renowned eatery, which was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in this year.

The culinary and cannabis worlds regularly commingle to create THC-infused edibles, yet rarely do such collaborations yield strains. But with the cannabis industry’s new emphasis on terpenes — the aromatic compounds found in cannabis — partnering with a chef adept at crafting tantalizing flavor profiles just makes sense.

Andrade’s love of fire and smoke for adding extra oomph to his dishes pairs magnificently with the distinctive flavors and aromas of the strain. Created to recall the citrus of the Sonoran Desert, Puro Amor is layered with the rich sweetness of Mexican vanilla and the floral notes of Arizona tarragon.

“We want everybody to enjoy it,” Andrade said. “I do smoke weed, and I love it. It’s such a beautiful product. It’s something I actually enjoy.”

The dual-branded package contains three half-gram infused pre-rolls for about $30 (before any discounts). It eschews Tumble’s usual green-and-white palette for a weathered dusty brown with the Bacanora logo.

“We really wanted to incorporate that culture and feel that (Andrade’s) curated at Bacanora,” said Ben Garcia, brand manager for Timeless.
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Bacanora Chef Rene Andrade, who uses smoke to season food, teamed with Tumble by Timeless on a smokable cannabis product.

An idea is sparked

Garcia said the idea for a chef collaboration began when he was talking with a colleague and she mentioned she enjoys a glass of wine while cooking dinner. He recalled thinking to himself, “When I grill, I like smoking a joint.”

Meanwhile, Andrade was friends with Josh Rhodes, artist liaison for Timeless, who introduced him to its cannabis products. “I started doing edibles because I couldn’t sleep,” Andrade said. “I’m not a drinker. I see it, a lot, as a meditation for me.”

Originally from Sonora, Mexico, Andrade said his culture is opposed to weed, so he was scared of it and only tried it for the first time about two years ago. But he found cannabis has medicinal benefits.

“You can put your thoughts together, and you can go to sleep and actually rest,” he explained.

Rhodes introduced Andrade to Rocky Huang, founder of Scottsdale-based Timeless. The company started in 2011 as a streetwear brand and began producing cannabis products under the name Timeless Vapes in 2013.

Huang and Garcia saw an ideal fit for Bacanora under the Tumble brand because of the handmade craftsmanship pervasive in both.

“Every joint that goes out, each one gets placed on the scale by someone who’s hand-packed it themselves,” Garcia explained.

And all of Bacanora’s grills are handmade by Andrade, his business partner, Armando Hernandez (also of Tacos Chiwas), and Hernandez’s brother, Jonatan Hernandez.

“Not only do we recognize the handcrafted nature of the food that he serves but the instrument he uses,” Garcia said.

As a tie-in, Tumble is running an online contest through Nov. 30 to give away a smaller version of a Bacanora grill. The winner will be notified on Dec. 1.

The prize is “literally custom-made by us with brick in the center,” Andrade said, adding that it’ll outlast whoever wins it.

“It’s emotional and also very important for us to make sure we can give something made by the owners,” he noted. “It’s a very, very cool grill. We’ve been doing this for a very long time, so we do it right. We don’t cut corners.”
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Want to sear a bone-in ribeye like Chef Andrade does? Tumble by Timeless is giving away a handmade grill like the ones used at Bacanora as a promotion for its co-branded pre-rolls.

Collab cross-markets food, weed

As with beer collabs, which cross-promote brands or businesses, Tumble found a foothold with foodies thanks to the Bacanora product. Not a lot of cannabis brands target that sector, Garcia explained, but Tumble's Instagram saw a bump in engagement after being featured on foodie accounts.

Garcia hopes in turn the strain will introduce weed enthusiasts to one of the Valley’s best restaurants. (Pro tip: They may want to take a couple of puffs to mellow out before heading out to stand in the notorious line that forms each night.)

“We want to give our consumers experiences that they might not have otherwise,” Garcia said. “We felt Bacanora is such a great experience for anybody, whether you smoke cannabis or not.”

Just days after its release in mid-October, product sales were a success, and the feedback was “tremendous,” Garcia said, adding that it’ll probably sell out by December at the latest. Customers like that it’s unique and potent, he noted.

While other chefs already have approached Tumble about doing similar co-brandings, this effort with Bacanora was a limited edition and may be the only time the two businesses will collaborate on a pre-roll.

However, Garcia added, “Never say never.”
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