Did somebody say munchies? Plan before you party this 4/20.

One chef poses with her apron, highlighting the competition and partnership

Challenge accepted! Chef’s get suited up for the competition | photo by Sammy Spence

 

If you had to use Doritos, Reeses, & popcorn to create the best munchie, what would you make?

 

Yesterday, we buddied up with Lyft, local media personalities, cannabis retailers, and safe streets partners for a cooking showdown to answer that question, but more importantly, raise awareness around impaired driving and get the word out about safe ride options this 4/20.

 

But first! A discount for you.

 

Before diving into the details of our quirky event, let’s cut to the first part of the chase: as part of our ongoing Vision Zero safe ride partnership, new and existing Lyft riders across the region can get $4.20 off a ride on April 20, using code 420SEA19.

 

Taking transit, befriending a designated driver, cabbing it, sleeping it off – these are all also solid options. Bottom line, don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been partoking (⬅️ see what we did there) in 4/20 festivities.

 

We threw it down for a really, really great cause.

 

Our own Sam Zimbabwe joined Lyft’s Todd Kelsay and Seattle Police Department’s Lt. Phil Hay for some opening remarks, reminding us all of the critical issues at hand, and of the opportunity we have to work collectively toward safer streets for all.

 

 

This was our second annual Baked! Munchies Challenge, a quirky spin-off of Chopped, but without Ted Allen (we did, however, get a pop-by from Tom Douglas!), bizarre secret ingredients, or an ice cream machine. And for anyone wondering, there wasn’t any cannabis consumption. We work for the government. C’mon now.

 

FROM THIS:

 

 

TO THIS:

 

An array of images showcasing the different dishes teams developed.

Some pretty gourmet looking plates emerged from the teams | photos by Sammy Spence

 

Despite the absence of special brownies, a lot of fun was had by all. It’s not often that we get to bring lightheartedness to the issue of traffic safety, particularly the topic of impairment. And there’s a good reason – it’s a serious issue.

 

For the past several years, we’ve seen impairment contribute to close to 20% of fatal crashes in Seattle.

 

Preliminary 2018 data indicate that 50% of fatal crashes on Seattle’s streets involved impairment. The trend at the state level is similar. Driver impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs is the number one contributing factor in Washington fatal crashes, involved in nearly half of all traffic deaths. Poly-drug drivers (combo of alcohol + drugs) is now the most common type of impairment among drivers in fatal crashes. The most cited combo? Alcohol and THC.

 

So, how can we help reverse this trend?

 

For starters, we can talk about it and educate folks, not just around the rules, but also the impacts of driving impaired, and the options available.

 

It may be legal to get high, but it’s not legal to drive under the influence. Of anything.

 

While some people may think cannabis can sharpen their driving skills and cause them to drive slower, quite the opposite is true. According to the CDC, marijuana can slow your reaction time and ability to make decisions, impair coordination, and distort perception – all key functions of driving. Check out this video from our friends at the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, featuring Vivian McPeak, Executive Director of Hempfest. Vivian and his wife, Kanti Selig both participated as Baked! chefs (and are our new BFFs).

 

Don’t believe these guys? Well, a few of us tested out some cannabis goggles, and our partners with the Seattle Police Department helped confirm our suspicions: driving under the influence of anything is not a good choice.

 

Media members testing out cannabis goggles to simulate impairment

SPD walks Michael King and Jim Dever of KING 5 Evening through a mock sobriety test as they experience what it’s like to be under the influence (you know, in case they’ve never experienced that before) | photo by Sammy Spence

 

Teamwork makes the dream work. 

 

And that’s what this event was about – teaming up with a variety of people and organizations, toward a shared vision of safer streets. We had local cannabis retail shop owners and advocates, an array of local media, MADD Washington, SPD, Public Health Seattle & King County, and of course, folks from SDOT and Lyft all working together. The hope is that we can continue to join forces to reach key audiences with information and resources so they can make informed, safer choices. Look at all these lovely people who came together for this important cause!

 

Gallery of event photos

Photos by Sammy Spence

 

So, who made the best dish?

 

These guys did – right here! A team comprised of SPD’s Patrick Michaud, KOMO’s Elisa Jaffe, Lyft driver and catering company owner Nikki Easterbrooks, and former chef Kanti Selig turned out the winning plate – a combo of savory tacos and a sweet side of chocolate and caramel covered matzo. They’re pictured below with judges Michelle Davis (MADD WA Chair), Guy Devillier (Lyft driver turned restaurant owner), Erin Combs (Lyft), and Emcee Ross Fletcher.

 

The judges pose with the winning team.

The winning team! | photo by Sammy Spence

The judges agreed, it had the highest degree of munchability.

UPDATE: Guy’s restaurant, That’s Amore, will be serving up a rendition of the competition’s honorable mention Dorito-topped mac and cheese this weekend (jalapeño for adults, nacho cheese for kids) made by Q13’s Ellen Tailor and team. AND, all proceeds from the sale of those dishes will go to MADD WA. We’re loving the partnerships formed within this event already!

All (very admittedly) corny pot puns aside, please do plan ahead if you plan to party on 4/20. Learn more about our Vision Zero efforts and our ongoing partnership with Lyft at www.seattle.gov/visionzero.

 

 

 

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