Meet The Chef Breaking Down Cannabis Stigmas One Meal At A Time

Cannabis culture has long been about greasy munchies like Funyuns and Totino's Pizza Rolls rather than fine dining. But one chef is trying to change that by infusing marijuana into haute cuisine. Christopher Sayegh -- a.k.a. "the herbal chef" -- specializes in adding a cannabis twist to every dish.

"I am trying to give people a cerebral experience," the Los Angeles based chef told AFP recently. "But I'm also really careful in how I take them along on this journey....I am literally changing people's brain chemistry as the dishes go on. By the third course you feel it a little, by the fourth a bit more and by the fifth course, you're starting to hit your groove."

Delighting the minds as well as the tastebuds of diners means keeping the courses balanced. Sayegh likens his work to conducting an orchestra. "It's like a symphony. I have to make sure that as the come-up is happening, the dishes correspond with that and as it's coming down, the same happens."

He's also cautious about potency when crafting recipes. After all, marijuana packs a bigger punch than parsley. "Cannabis is not like any other ingredient," he said. "You have to be extremely careful because not only does heat play a very important role when cooking with cannabis, but you're also taking people on a trip, literally, and you have a responsibility to make sure it's done right.”

Because of state laws, Sayegh can only serve card-carrying medical marijuana patients in California. But if the Golden State legalizes recreational marijuana this November, he plans to expand his business. Sayegh's multi-course meals range from $300-500 per person and include items like medicated oysters, cannabis infused falafel and other middle eastern treats.

He also does some impromptu cooking online. If you want to see him in action, check out his webseries 'Pot Pie' on PRØHBTD's youtube channel. For each episode, he meets with influencers who challenge him to make gourmet dishes with whatever random ingredients they bring over. He adds one mystery ingredient to each creation and, of course, mixes in some cannabis as well. Check it out.

h/t Deccan Chronicle


Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis β€” and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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