Nine US states have legalised the recreational use of cannabis and another 30 have approved it for medicinal purposes. And with more than 2,500 strains, each with its own flavour and character profile, it was only a matter of time before serious chefs started infusing cannabis into gourmet concoctions. The latest trend is for haute cuisine supper clubs in private homes and converted warehouses. Less speakeasy, more smokeasy, perhaps.
Aaron Ziegler, former executive chef of Wolfgang Puck, is one of the many Angeleno chefs setting up shop as ‘weed sommeliers’ — or gangiers. His six-course dinners in private residences take place every Friday and Saturday, starting at $130 (£100). Andrea Drummer, former executive chef at LA’s The Ritz Carlton, recently launched Elevation VIP, a pop-up dispensary. Her sell-out ‘tray-passing events’ of weed-infused finger food start from $50 (£38) a head.
The Herbal Chef
Chris Sayegh is getting ready to open Herb, a high-end cannabis restaurant, in Santa Monica, California. He also offers overnight packages at a private villa in Malibu, starting at $500 (£387), with a bespoke cannabis menu. Expect dishes like lamb chop with THC-infused mint chutney.
Dominican chef Miguel Trinidad’s exclusive underground supper club, Sinsemil.la, is the hottest ticket in New York City. The menu is locally sourced and seasonal with organic marijuana varietals balancing the flavours. Seats at the highly exclusive table, from $250 (£193).
In 2015, high-profile pastry chef Mindy Segal partnered with Cresco Labs, the largest medicinal cannabis cultivator in Illinois, to create a line of edibles, including THC-enhanced chocolate brittle bars and a drinking chocolate mix.
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Published in the Jul/Aug 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)