An Infused Evening With The Herbal Chef

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I left the office early to prepare for the long trek to Los Angeles during rush hour. Not much will motivate me to brave a ride from Orange County to LA on a weekday, but this wasn’t just any weekday. And this wasn’t just any event.

It was Valentine’s Day and I had scored two seats at one of the food experiences at the top of my foodie bucket list — a cannabis-infused dinner prepared by Chris Sayegh, founder and head chef of The Herbal Chef.

Tucked away in a hilly Los Angeles neighborhood was an inviting home with a long table set for dinner guests. Gradually, each of the five couples took their seats. None of us knew each other and none of us had ever consumed an entire infused meal before. We didn’t know what to expect.

Thankfully, Chris was there to guide us through the whole process. Chris and his team are dedicated to cannabis education, he explained. Too many people have gone down the edible rabbit hole only to leave with a distaste for infused foods because they’d consumed too much and had an overwhelming experience. Our entire meal contained about 10 mg of THC, as well as CBD-only courses to balance it all out.

Over the course of the meal, I experienced a gradual warming of my body that ended with a state of ultimate relaxation — but not sedation. For someone who passes out hard after eating a 25-mg gummy bear, it was a nice change of pace to eat cannabis and not need a soft bed nearby.

To add to the pleasant sensations, dry ice and essential oils combined to create a haze that washed over the table and added to the sensory experience, starting with lavender oil for the first course, then orange oil to brighten up the rest of the meal. Courses were paired with small amounts of wine, but I think everyone in attendance found the food quite a bit more interesting.

Dinner culminated with the attendees and culinary team mingling on a patio and relaxing in giant bean bags and a comfy sofa to the alluring sounds of Brendan O’Hara. I could not have asked for a better Valentine’s Day.

Now, here is where I could dive into a full narrative about each delectable bit of the meal, but I won’t do that to you. You’re here to see pictures. So, here they are.

herbal-chef-appetizers

The appetizer round consisted of clam ceviche with a tomato, saffron and cucumber foam; shrimp toast filled with prawns and burrata cheese and a pork rillette with mushroom aioli.

herbal-chef-pea-veloute

Appetizers were followed by a pea veloute with smoked pancetta and yellow foot mushrooms.

herbal-chef-lobster-bolognese

This noir goodness is lobster bolognese with squid ink pasta and basil. Prior to eating this course, the group took short puffs from vape pens by Eden Extracts filled with Sunset Sherbert distillate.

herbal-chef-foie-gras

Buttery foie gras accompanied by blood oranges, asparagus and a mini brioche toast slice.

The Herbal Chef’s take on surf-n-turf contained a Hokaido scallop over Wagyu steak topped with black truffle and a black trumpet mushroom sauce. Chris showed us the beef prior to cooking so we could see how perfectly marbled the steak was.

herbal-chef-lamb-wellington

The lamb wellington was presented with lamb jus and mint chutney. This particular recipe included a Middle Eastern spice blend called Hawajeh, which is close to Chris’ heart.

herbal-chef-coconut-creme

The first of two desserts, this coconut creme over crisp apples was a refreshing reprieve from the rich flavors that came before it.

herbal-chef-chocolate-strawberries

You can’t have Valentine’s Day without strawberries and chocolate. They took it a step further and added honey ice cream over sesame seeds and Pop Rocks, fruit leather triangles and espresso mascarpone.

About Author

Since receiving her Journalism degree from California State University, Long Beach, in 2005, Lesley has traveled throughout the West Coast, South and Midwest to develop her multimedia content production skills at companies including the Long Beach Press Telegram, Suburban Life Media, the American Cancer Society, Illinois News Network and the Los Angeles Times.

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