California chef Chris Sayegh is offering L.A. residents a taste of the high life. Sayegh is a traveling haute-cuisine cannabis chef who goes from house to house to serve hungry customers three-course meals (and sometimes, 10-course meals), with everything on the menu infused with marijuana.
But, like with anything else that seems a little too glamorous, there is a catch. Aside from the hefty price tag, which is around $500 per person, you’ll need to live in L.A. and have a medical marijuana card.
At just 23, Sayegh has already created a name for himself in top restaurants in New York and California, so he definitely knows his way around the kitchen.
According to Sayegh, making your way through his courses isn’t just a tasty experience, but a “cerebral experience.”
“You’re eating with a different perception with each bite, with each course,” Sayegh told Metro. “You’re literally changing your brain chemistry and you are viewing this food differently than you did five minutes ago, 10 minutes ago.”
These events are “designed to push a person out of their comfort zone, while creating a thoughtless atmosphere,” Sayegh told Edibles Magazine.“A place where one can go and not think, everything is already thought out and all they have to do is enjoy the experience.”
While edible marijuana products are nothing new, cannabis dining is a relatively new concept that Sayegh says he wants to bring to the masses.
“I was tired of eating brownies and Rice Krispies and stuff and I was like, I cook all the time, why wouldn’t I just put it in this? Why wouldn’t I put it in this? So I started experimenting and it really wasn’t until I started to break it down into a science that I realized that cooking with cannabis in a savory application was much, much different than baking with it,” Sayegh told IBT.
To infuse his cooking with marijuana, the Herbal Chef uses cannabis oil containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive element of cannabis that has been extracted from the cannabis plant. Sayegh 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,” he added. “Tasting that oil throws off the whole flavor of the dish.”
Sayegh says he prepared an elaborate and medicated three-course meal for his friend Keilani in his Hollywood apartment.
Keilani was treated to a first course of carrot confit gnocchi with cannabis-infused pea emulsion, a main course of New York strip steak with parsnip purée, and a medicated red wine reduction. For dessert, there was a sticky toffee pudding with toasted coconut and marijuana-infused chocolate.
Sayegh stages pop-up banquets around Los Angeles. Depending on the menu, his price ranges between $20 to $200 per person, according to his website.
Marijuana has been legally permitted in California for medical purposes since 1996, however, its recreational use is still prohibited.
The Marijuana Policy Project is currently supporting the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which will give voters the chance to end marijuana prohibition in 2016, and replace it with a more sensible system. According to the MPP, under the proposed initiative, marijuana would be regulated, taxed, and treated similarly to alcohol.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]