Is cannabis the new wine? Chefs at a recent international conference had plenty of questions for a panel of cannabis cooking experts. With intense interest from accomplished chefs around the globe, this psychoactive herb seems ready to take over the fine dining industry. Here’s why world-class chefs and restaurateurs want to jump on the green bandwagon.
Is cannabis the new wine?
Elise McDonough was recently given an incredible opportunity. McDonough is the mastermind behind The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook and is a longtime recipe columnist for High Times magazine. If anyone knows cannabis cuisine, it’s this woman.
In October, McDounough shared her canna-cooking expertise with a new audience. Earlier this year, she had been asked to mediate and put together a panel on cannabis edibles for the 11th annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress.
Chefs in attendance were the whos-who of fine dining. The audience included Michelin star and James Beard Award winners alike. The big topic of discussion? Cannabis is primed to be the new wine in haute cuisine. McDounough told the Observer,
There’s definitely intense interest in cannabis among chefs and hospitality professionals who see the potential for cannabis-infused products to rival the wine industry in its scope and profitability. – McDonough
Is cannabis the new wine? Chefs and restaurateurs alike seemed ready to jump into the expanding world of canna-business.
World-class chefs have a new token herb
McDounough’s panel consisted of founders of artisanal edibles companies, a chef who offers secret cannabis pop-up dinners, and big names in cannabis dining tourism. The audience had many questions for these experts, and they showed particular interest in the flavor profiles and effects of varying cannabis strains.
Panel members and McDounough alike are optimistic that cannabis will be entering the culinary world sometime in the next decade. She explains,
I think in five to 10 years as the laws change, you’ll see many high-end restaurants adopt cannabis programs much like the wine programs they currently offer. After all, allowing patrons to smoke or vaporize cannabis during a meal or before being seated will pique their appetites and encourage increased spending, which creates another large revenue stream for the restaurant industry.
Cannabis adds an extra layer to the culinary experience. Every cannabis strain offers a unique blend of bold flavors and aromas. Developed pallets will be able to detect the citrus in MK Ultra and the sweet pine in a classic OG Kush.
Yet, the herb has another trick up its sleeve. Cannabis gives chefs the opportunity to cultivate distinct moods throughout the dining process. McDounough is correct. A jolly good time and an increased appetite are bound to encourage customers to sit back, spend more, and wholeheartedly enjoy their dining experience.
All of these factors make cannabis a major herb of interest in the restaurant world. It’s not often that chefs get to add a formerly illicit and utterly delicious ingredient onto their menus. Not only is this a great money-making opportunity, but the world of cannabis cuisine is ripe for artistic innovation.
Hoping to become a cannabis chef? Don’t forget to check out HERB’s cookbook!