Four of L.A.’s top chefs converged at sunset on Saturday, June 23, in the hills overlooking the city for a cannabis-inspired culinary evening hosted by Bong Appetit’s Ry Prichard.
“It’s exciting to be hosting this cannabis event and spreading the love with these amazing chefs,” Prichard said as he tended to about 250 amiable attendees in the sprawling four-level house on a hill overlooking the Moraga Vineyard. “We’ve got Sam Udell from the food truck WholeSam, chef Chris Oh, Manny Mendoza from Herbal Notes cannabis pop-ups and chef Dean Barker from Catch L.A.”
Guests were greeted on the front porch by the intoxicating aroma of Mendoza’s sizzling Wagyu rib cap carne asada tacos, made with cannabis tortilla, escabeche and salsa borracha. For vegetarians, Mendoza created a pupusa de hongo with cannabis masa, and a crunchy pickled cabbage curtido. He put a verde twist on his vegan pozole, made with tomatillos, green chilies and chayote, and topped it with weed chips.
“Making pupusas is one of my favorite pastimes,” Mendoza told L.A. Weekly. “Mine are half Mexican and half Salvadoran, with asparagus, roasted mushrooms and broccoli topped with micro fuchsia and cilantro greens. I really want to elevate the cannabis conversation at the dinner table.”
On the Asian front in the living room, chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage fame debuted his new Magic Panda candy while dishing out kimchi polenta and Korean-braised short ribs.
“The pink panda is chef-driven, Asian-infused and tastes great,” Oh squealed as samples were passed around the room in overflowing trays. “And you get high!”
Around the corner in the kitchen, chef Barker was carefully constructing towers of Cannabis Causa — charred Spanish baby octopus, aji amarillo potatoes, cubed avocado, radish, cilantro and chili threads with a CBD guajillo chili oil. His peach and pluot cannabis carpaccio boasted yellow peaches, purple plums, crumbled pistachios, Korean red pepper, fingerlime lemon THC oil, Meyer lemon CBD vinaigrette, fennel, dill salad and shaved truffles.
Down the candlelit stairs to the open deck, folks were lining up once again for the magic of WholeSam’s. Udell was in deep demonstration mode serving up her crispy herbed potatoes with EatGreen L.A.'s vegan THC ranch dressing and salsa aioli, while cannabis sommelier Andrew Freedman was pairing ganja with the grape on a lower level overlooking canyons of towering eucalyptus trees.
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CBD-infused cocktails flowed freely, including the BDSM, made with Slow & Low Whiskey, grapefruit, rosemary and a dose of lemon skunk. For vodka lovers there was the d’Outre Mer, a shaken concoction of Ketel 1, cocchi Americano, peachy Giffard Peche, pineapple and lemon skunk.
Other edible highlights included Lizzy Tish’s organic High Tea Cookies (rose pistachio, lemon chamomile and chocolate Earl Grey with sea salt) in varying milligram contents of premium THC extract in a traditional English display garnished with marigolds.
Arcane Revelry produced the event, which also brought together 16 vendors sharing their wares, including Shaluminous hemp soap, Lit.Club, Blunted Objects, Eat Green L.A. juices, and Therapy Tonics and Provisions coffees and teas.