Wed. Oct 21st, 2020

Famous chef learns how to cook cocaine

While trying to distance from the illegal drugs campaign, President Rodrigo Duterte, however, still could not help but talk about the evils of “shabu infestation” in the Philippines. Whenever it comes to mind, President Duterte lashes at what he calls as “bleeding hearts” among human rights advocates taking up the cause for drug personalities allegedly victimized in extra-judicial killings (EJKs).

President Duterte is particularly piqued at criticisms here and abroad that his war on drugs targets only the small fries who are mostly the poor ones. “Just because you are poor, you are excused from apprehension…? Rich or poor, I do not give a shit,” President Duterte fumed.

Furthermore, President Duterte pointed out, the rich in posh exclusive villages like Forbes Park in Makati City take much expensive cocaine. The Chief Executive argued wealthy drug lords belong to organized crime organizations like Bamboo Gang, the Hong Kong Triad which are running their illicit business remotely from outside the Philippines.

One of his favorite story is how shabu, mostly smuggled from China, causes paranoia and destroys the brains of the person addicted to it. Unlike shabu, President Duterte noted, heroin and cocaine are derivatives of poppy. “Hindi masyadong nakakasira ng utak,” the President quipped.

He, however, did not say from what medical authorities he got this information. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) described “shabu,” or methamphetamine hydrochloric (HCL), is a type of amphetamine, also known as the “poor man’s coke.” Meth, however, is a man-made substance from several chemicals and then crystalized.

Methinks, President Duterte would be surprised also to learn that cocaine has the same effects to the addict’s mental faculties as shabu does to its users because they are cooked the same way. This I learned while browsing Facebook that I stumbled upon a brief portion of ITV video with famous British celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay who featured a different kind of a cooking show.

While I’m not good at cooking, I love watching the cooking competition TV show programs by this famous British restaurateur. Ramsay is the host of the popular television cooking shows “Hell’s Kitchen,” the “Master Chef,” and lately, the “Junior Master Chef.” The video turned out to be a two-part documentary where Ramsey was looking into the cocaine industry.

In the first episode shown last week, Ramsay explained a friend who died due to cocaine addiction was the reason why he did this investigative undertaking instead of sharing his food concoction from secret ingredients that made him one of the top chefs in the world. He travelled across the globe where he went in one of the secret “little labs” where cocaine is clandestinely produced under the cover of the lush jungles of Colombia.

“Any professional chef worth his salt goes to the source,” Ramsay pointed out. “So I want to know what goes into this drug,” Ramsay was further quoted saying.

So off he flew to Colombia, a country known as a major producer of coca plants and source of cocaine, an illegal narcotics product. Ramsay trekked to an unnamed jungle that appeared to be located in a very remote mountainous place. He was taken there by a man he calls as “Jose.” From the video, “Jose” appears to be a small-time cocaine “cook” who showed Ramsay how he produces liquid cocaine out of freshly cut coca leaves.

Cocaine – or coke for short – is described as a strong stimulant that is addicting. According to Wikipedia, cocaine is commonly snorted, inhaled as smoke, or as a solution injected into a vein. Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation.

Accompanied by his camera crew and by “Jose,” Ramsay arrived at a tent place with cut-up coca leaves spread on the ground. Jose” shows them his covert coca plantation and took them to his secret “little lab” in the middle of a jungle. Like an episode of his cooking show, Ramsay watched as “Jose” demonstrated to him the process of making liquid cocaine and shared him the recipe.

But the documentary did not say how long the process was done. In brief, this is how he cooked it. Roughly chop into small parts a large quantity of coca leaves, add a few cupfuls of cement, then sulfuric acid, put in a barrel, douse with gasoline, and leave to marinate. Then add 20cl of battery acid, and siphon off the clear cocaine water from the bottom of the barrel. Finally, add a sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda, simmer gently, skimming off scum, then leave to rest. Voila! Pure grade cocaine in liquid form.

“This is how cocaine is made and it’s shocking,” Ramsay exclaimed in obvious disbelief.

While “Jose” does the cooking, Ramsay was doing his usual talking and commenting on each step of cooking and describing it as “very complicated process which involved many chemicals.” And as every chemical is added, Ramsay turned more graphic. He called sulfuric acid as “delightful ingredient” in his typical British sarcasm. Ramsay exclaimed “the next shocking ingredient” when battery acid was added.

“When you see the bright white of that finished product – anyone thinks it looks classy, sophisticated, then they boast and show off to their mates and the arrogance of taking it – I’d just love to bring them here right now to show how it is done,” Ramsay tells his unseen audience. “I m appalled. The cement is hard enough but the sulfuric acid, this mixture is put into a barrel and doused in gasoline,” Ramsay noted with flabbergast.

By the way Ramsay described the finished cocaine product, it would seem he refers to the very expensive powdered stuff more popularly sold and used in the United States and nearby markets for Colombia’s most smuggled illegal drugs.

The methods by which this cocaine is “cooked” in Colombia seemed to hew closely to how President Duterte described how shabu is cooked here in the Philippines.

Their common ingredient is battery acid. Eeew!

 

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