The Herbal Chef and his cannabis infused menus


Although the Netherlands is known as being the cannabis city of the world, we don’t have chefs pioneering with cannabis. As California prepares for the possible legalization of recreational marijuana in November, Los Angeles-based chef Chris Sayegh is on a pioneering mission to take haute cuisine to a higher place with his cannabis infused menus.

Chris Sayegh makes different cannabis infused menus

Sayegh, who is 23 years-old and worked in the kitchens of top restaurants in New York and California, explains that infusing cannabis into his recipes creates a whole new experience for diners. “To me, this is a cerebral experience. Whether you are choosing to intoxicate yourself with wine and have a different perception which is what alcohol does. And then cannabis is doing the same thing, you’re eating with a different perception with each bite, with each course, you’re literally changing your brain chemistry and you are viewing this food differently than you did five minutes ago, ten minutes ago,” he says. “It’s a whole experience that keeps evolving with you as the courses go on.”

Edible marijuana products are nothing new and the market for them has evolved into a multi-million dollar industry. Cannabis dining, on the other hand, is a relatively new concept and Sayegh wants to bring it to the masses, or at least for now, those with medical marijuana cards.

Using cannabis doesn’t make the menu cheaper

To infuse his cooking with marijuana, Sayegh uses cannabis oil containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive element of cannabis that has been extracted from the cannabis plant. He also uses a “vaporizer” to infuse some of his ingredients with THC. “You’ll never taste the cannabis in my cooking unless I specifically want you to taste it and it’s because it’s not a pleasant taste. And also, tasting that oil, you really … it throws off the whole flavor of the dish,” explains Sayegh, who micro-doses his dishes to the desired potency of individual clients. The price tag? You have to pay around $500 per person!

“I love the idea. I mean cannabis is something that’s part of my everyday life so to be able to infuse it into 5-star meals is basically a dream come true. I don’t have to have, you know, chocolate and sugar and all the other things that cannabis is infused with these days. I mean this is the lifestyle I would like to live with, you know. This is the cannabis I would love,” says Keilani, who uses medical marijuana.

Cannabis inspires chefs

We have seen more initiatives around cooking with cannabis. In 2013 fashion brand Stussy created a cookbook around the typical Dutch ingredient, weed. And in 2014 to celebrate the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, the mini sushi chain ‘Hapa Sushi’ has introduced a special weed-food pairing menu to show guests that weed goes well with sushi. We preferred the culinary joint from our Dutch chef Jonnie Boer.

Website: The Herbal Chef  

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