“Cannabis Chefs” –professional chefs who use cannabis in their cooking or as pairing for their food—are transforming the foodie scene and have caught the attention of the media worldwide. It helps that most of them are media savvy and know how to market themselves. So groovy “space brownies” have now given way to a sophisticated gastronomy that has more to do with artsy new cuisine than with hippie culture (not that I’m dissing hippie culture).
Many of these chefs are not only innovative and creative spear-headers, but also have graduated from prestigious schools and won distinguished awards.
GreenState, a really great cannabis news site, recently interviewed chefs from New York to California who graduated from “elite culinary schools”, have worked in “Michelin-starred kitchens” and won prizes such as the James Beard Award, and have jumped into the cannabis cuisine trend. The featured chefs are Mindy Segal, Michael Magallanes, Payton Curry, Miguel Trinidad, Holden Jagger, Scott Durrah, Chris Sayegh a.k.a. “The Herbal Chef”, Andrea Drummer, Coreen Carroll, Jaime Lewis and handsome-handsome-handsome Jeff Danzer, also known as “Jeff The 420 Chef” and “The Julia Child of Weed”.
In fact, Chris Sayegh did not begin as a chef. According to his website, The Herbal Chef, “he is a science and biology student who turned to the chemistry of food”. Enjoying his concoctions is not about getting high; rather, it is, according to a recent interview, about “creating a new dining experience”. He is now about to open his new restaurant in California: Herb. It is slated to be—arguably—the first cannabis restaurant worldwide. Among the dishes that he has offered—this according to British news outlet The Independent, is “cannabis-infused mint chutney, New York strip steak with parsnip puree, and spiked red wine reduction”.
Los Angeles Chef Aaron Ziegler, owner of Bull & Dragon, also offers cannabis infused dinners, reiterates the idea that it is not about getting high: “All the courses are very carefully dosed” he explains to The Independent. It appears that no more than 10 or 20 milligrams, or the equivalent of a high-grade marijuana, is consumed in a meal. Some chefs, in fact, use marijuana without THC, that is, the main high-inducing component.
Last, but not least, I would like to highlight chef Andrea Drummer,
a graduate from Le Cordon Blue and formerly the executive chef of the Los Angeles’ Ritz Carlton Hotel. Drummer begin to offer weed-infused gastronomy events through her own dispensary, Elevation VIP Cooperative. In the latest episode of Fine Dining with Cannabis (a series featured on the Facebook page “The Well-Rounded Life”), Chef Drummer says, “I think the most common misconception is that I am just out here to get people high. There is so much more to what I am doing. I want you to have a full-on dining experience.” One of her guests explains that the sensations she feels eating Drummer’s food is not feeling a high, it is “feeling nourished.” Watch the videos, y’all, the food looks sooooo good.
Warning: A valid medical cannabis card or cannabis use registration is required for all dinners in the states where they are legally allowed.
About the Author:
Trudy Mercadal, Ph.D
New Orleans born with a Latina background, I am a writer, social historian & cultural studies researcher with a doctorate in Comparative Studies. My focus on community and popular culture. Main interests are the ways in which people express identity through arts—such as music, graffiti, and magazines—and their consuming practices, that is, the what (and how) they buy, ingest, eat, and wear. In my personal life, I am a dedicated urban mini-farmer and, also, a certified cheese maker who makes a truly kick-ass grilled cheese sandwich.