Having worked in Michelin-starred restaurants, top chef Christopher Sayegh is well known for his culinary skills. But now he’s becoming famous for using one very unusual ingredient in his food – cannabis.
And this controversial career choice is a big change for Christopher, as 5 years ago he was training to be a doctor.
He explains, ‘I became curious about cooking with cannabis after I started to dive into the science behind cannabis.’
‘I was actually at university and decided to drop out. My family did not like what I was doing at all. They’re very traditional. To even leave school and not do medical school was a big deal, to become a chef was a big deal and then on top of that, cannabis.’
It was through his medical studies that Christopher first discovered some of the medicinal benefits of cannabis, which inspired him to combine his two passions and start cooking with it.
‘Through my studies I figured out that cannabis can be literally used for anything, it’s insane. The medicinal side is so vast that it blows me away.’
Now, Christopher carefully infuses cannabis into every single course of his decadent 10-course dinner. But the experience doesn’t come cheap – and costs each guest up to $500.
Christopher justifies the price tag by explaining that his menu is as much about the experience as it is the food.
‘I would describe these experiences as cerebral experiences. To me it differs greatly from just getting stoned on your couch. One, you’re eating amazing food, and two, I’m really playing a symphony with everybody’s psyche. As they eat the first course they’re gonna receive a little lift. It’s a gentle push with each course so that they stay in that plateau of euphoria.’
‘One of the worst experiences you can have with cannabis is eating too much. That is something that I’m direly trying to avoid.’
So what does the future hold for Christopher and his controversial cooking?
‘We’re expanding in a very big way. Herb is coming in 2017, which is going to be the first cannabis restaurant in the world. I think there’s absolutely going to be more competition now that it’s legal. I am setting the standard for anyone who comes after me.’
‘In my opinion cannabis really has a place in this world to change for the better and change it monumentally.’