The latest in dope things that chefs are bringing to the table are cannabis “infused” multiple-course dinners. What a time to be alive! With recreational marijuana gaining speed in way of legalization it’s about time that it’s recognized in fine dining culture. Garden to table has taken on a whole new meaning with the inventive and elegant cannabis-themed dinners, and they’re a beautiful thing of the very near future for all of you Foodbeast marijuana enthusiasts.
Chefs are collectively one of the most creative groups of people in today's society, so it's no surprise that they're continuing to find ways to introduce new and exciting techniques in the culinary industry.
One young California chef, Chris Sayegh has established quite a name for himself as the “Herbal Chef.” Born in New York, educated in Santa Cruz, and trained in Michelin-starred restaurants, he cultivated a successful career combining cannabis culture with his passion for cooking after growing tired of the pot-brownie edible scene. Sayegh has a background in molecular gastronomy so naturally, the science behind the infusing of ingredients with THC was something he found intriguing.
Said "infusing" consists of using cannabis oils and a vaporizer to very literally, infuse any ingredient with THC. This results in a strategically dosed ingredient that makes up an entire dish, therefore yielding diners with a precisely desired high.
Sayegh hosts these unconventional pop-up infused dinners around LA for $200-$500 a seat with the catch being, according to LA Weekly, “can only be hosted by a medical collective of which all diners are a member.” So you've got to be a part of the club. Other cannabis pop-ups around NY and LA occur at undisclosed locations and are held in "secret," but not for long.
A little taste of what you can expect from a pop-up hosted by Sayegh include dishes like: confit carrot gnocchi with cannabis infused pea emulsion, NY strip steak with parsnip puree and a “medicated” red wine reduction, and a sticky toffee pudding with toasted coconut and cannabis-infused chocolate.
Now, I'm the kind of person who will order dessert before the main course, (some of you will call this gluttonous, I call it "priorities") so this is like music to my ears as dessert is often my most highly valued course of a meal. I fully embrace the opportunity to experience one of my favorite things like dessert in an entirely new way: getting high by way of THC-infused sugar.
Chefs across the globe are beginning to incorporate these infusions and other techniques and influences of the herbal dining in their upscale and multiple course diners. The primary focus still lies heavily on the use of fresh ingredients and unique dishes, as the cannabis infusions are only a way to elevate the fine dining experience to make it that much better.
Some other big names in this cannabis cooking game include: Melissa Parks, who helped write the cookbook Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis, which teaches us how to make cannabutters and cannaoils, then use them in various recipes.
Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg orchestrates another kind of elevated herbal dining experience with his “strain-pairing dinners.” He prepares several courses and appropriately pairs each dish with a complimenting strain. According to High Times, one of the parings at a Harvest Dinner hosted by Rosenberg included the use of a "more intense and spicy" OG White paired with the main entree of Boulder County flatiron steak, potatoes and squash, charred corn and herb sauce, supplemented by a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. Rosenberg is also the guy behind the cannabis infused YOGA BRUNCH in Colorado this past August.
An expertly paired and prepared cannabis brunch following yoga with a view is something that likely came out of my dreams.
Come November, I sincerely hope that we are all fortunate enough to experience one of these extra special cannabis dinners as they'll likely be popping up somewhere near you.