Chris Sayegh’s special ingredient is a bowl of fresh greens.
His plant of choice is neither spinach nor lettuce. Kale? Forget about it. A salad will always have its place in his menu, but his thumbs are green from an herb uncommonly found in the kitchen: cannabis.
Sayegh studied molecular cell biology in UC Santa Cruz, and became fascinated by how the brain worked under the influence of cannabis. Today, he runs The Herbal Chef, a service that mostly caters private meals to groups interested in the culinary experience the herb offers.
“There is music setting a tone. There is terpene (plant) extracts in my centerpieces that are creating an aroma. There is art everywhere that is creating and stimulating conversation. So now it becomes an immersive experience where you are present in the dining experience,” Sayegh said.
His clients pay a cool AUS$700 (US$528) or more, on average, for a 12-15 course dinner adding up to a 10 milligram dosage. The objective is not to get people stoned, but to create a one-of-a-kind experience, hence the hefty price tag.
And with the recent progress recreational cannabis use has made in California and other states, there’s no limit to the heights Sayegh and others who share the same vision and creativity can reach.