The next phase in cannabis edibles is chef-driven and local

Enrique Olvera has raised his moles for many years, adding a wonderful blend of black, red and green chilhuacle peppers with seeds and seasonal fruit to create a complex, ever-changing flavor. You can enjoy it mostly at Pujol, his Mexico City restaurant, but not at the chef’s Damian restaurant in the Arts District; Those in Los Angeles hoping to try a mole can be delivered directly to their door in the form of a CBD-infused chocolate bar.

Olvera is one of many chefs recently partnering with cannabis brands to bring a more compelling edge to the feed market, a smokeless industry that has grown in sales since its inception. COVID-19 outbreak begins. By the end of 2020, even Martha Stewart is entering a career with a line of CBD gum, drops, and ribbons.

Olvera’s partnership with Rose – an agri- and ingredient-based cannabis production company based in San Francisco and LA – most recently resulted in his pastry chef, Huerik Palos, flying in Bay Area with a container of moles. At the time, it had been around for 2,714 days.

Rose co-founder Nathan Cozzolino says Olvera brought him to some inspirational ideas: What if he could recreate a michelada, but trade the bitterness of beer for bitterness. , the herb of cannabis, then covered with frozen edible cubes of THC – dried celery powder and salt? Or recreate the flavor of mezcal boiled pears, topped with anchor peppers. And then this: After hearing that Rose was growing cherries on land on a 10-acre farm in the Sierra foothills, Olvera proposed developing a cola syrup from scratch with Palos to mix it with farm fruit, recreating the taste of nostalgic Coke bottle. gum.

A selection of Turkish-style cannabis-infused treats from Rose Delights.

Rose often collaborates with chefs to create delicious Turkish dishes, including (clockwise from left): Enrique Olvera’s THC laced with mezcal boiled pears; Dominique Crenn’s CBD edibles features apples with passion fruit; Bar Part Time’s “canned wine”, THC Delights is made from two wines; and Ojo Rojo Peanut Butter Soufflé infused with THC by Enrique Olvera.

(Silvia Razgova / For The Times, Prop Styling / Jennifer Sacks)

As a chef, the possibilities seem endless; As a consumer, the brand’s limited Delights, whose texture lies somewhere between jelly and Turkish delights, offers new collaborations every few months. For Rose, quick turnover is not a marketing gimmick. It’s a way to reimagine the feed industry with farm-fresh produce instead of synthetic flavors.

“A lot of products in space are thought of once and then manufactured millions of times. We have many ideas and we produce it a few times, then move on to the next one,” Cozzolino said. “Considering everything has to do with seasonal produce and seasonal cannabis, the idea of ​​always changing with the seasons makes a lot of sense.”

At Rose, your 5mg Delight may contain tomatoes from Dirty Girl Produce in Santa Cruz or stone fruit from Blossom Bluff Orchards in Parlier, California. It could be a collaboration with LA chefs and confectioners like Fat & Flour’s Nicole Rucker, who uses apricots, poppy and lemon verbena in her CBD block, or the producer Nünchi’s Lexie Park haute jelly maker, whose THC block has mixed yuzu and Chino strawberries with coconut milk.

San Francisco’s Dominique Crenn, by Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn, has teamed up with bright CBD squares with passion fruit and freshly pressed apples. The San Francisco Bar Part Time winery, in partnership with Santa Cruz Stagiaire Wines, contributed a portion of fermented Sangiovese and Viognier grapes, creating THC edibles’ playful Canned Wine flavors. The ingredients are combined with taffy-like pine resin – the result of hydraulically pressing cannabis flowers sourced from the family farm and elsewhere, an effort to support small farms run by the family. self-governing family at all levels.

However, despite the growth in interest and sales of gourmet treats, it can still be difficult to find an audience.

“It was an uphill battle,” Cozzolino said. “People say, ‘Oh, people don’t want to pay $35 for a box.’ I’m like, ‘I object, because I pay $30 for a bottle of natural wine at any natural wine store.’ Whenever I uncork a bottle of wine, I pay $30, and it lasts me less time.”

Given California’s role as one of the country’s main agricultural producers as well as one of the country’s largest cannabis growers, it seems surprising that the industries have not been broadly linked. widely followed in 2016, when the state legalized recreational marijuana. Cozzolino cites obstacles for smaller operations to enter an industry that supports large corporations with huge output. When stocking products, dispensaries tend to favor larger brands that often operate without seasonal constraints.

Some collaborations in the edibles space use aged produce but add local flavors as a finishing touch. Kiva, a larger snack company that offers chocolate bars, mints, and marshmallows, sells breaded chocolate bars year-round, but for 4/20 the company has become a great food with Chocolate Munchies Bars and ingredients like Fruity Pebbles and chips, often created by its in-house development team. This year, Kiva teamed up with Yeastie Boys Bagels founder Evan Fox to create a 100mg THC Munchies Bar inlaid with the same home-made bagel condiment used at their food truck. Fox.

Kiva's Everything Bagel Munchies Bar, founded in partnership with LA bagel food truck pioneers The Yeastie Boys.

Kiva’s Everything Bagel Munchies Bar, created in partnership with LA bagel food truck pioneers, The Yeastie Boys, features savory seasoning sprinkled on 5 mg minced THC dark chocolate puree.

(Silvia Razgova / For the Times)

“Kiva and I hooked up to film last year,” said Fox. “I originally had the idea of ​​seasoning everything, but Kiva took it a step further and brought edible chocolate to the table, and that’s unquestionable.”

Miller’s edibles are stocked in more than 720 distribution points across California, but for a limited edition product like this, Miller estimates it can be found in around 200 – or ordered online through the company’s website. Kiva. Fox will also appear at four restaurants in LA on April 20, giving away a bagel with every purchase at the bar.

Kiva's Everything Bagel Munchies Bar, founded in partnership with LA bagel food truck pioneers The Yeastie Boys.

The partnership between Kiva and The Yeastie Boys was as organic as one might imagine: After tasting the palate, Kiva employees satiated their delight at a food truck parked in Silver. Lake.

(Silvia Razgova / For the Times)

The Yeastie Boys bar marked the brand’s first product collaboration with an LA chef and restaurateur, and it was as successful as one could imagine: After trying the Kiva product, the members, in Kiva’s marketing team indulged their own passion at the food truck parked at Silver Lake. Kiva’s chief marketing officer, Steve Miller, who frequents the truck, said.

Finding the right fit for a good collaboration can be harder than it appears, he adds. Many chefs aren’t willing to work with cannabis products, says Miller. “There’s always that thing ‘cannabias,'” he said, adding that Kiva is always open to cooperation.

One chef battling cannabias is Chris Sayegh of Santa Monica’s new Nostalgia Bar & Lounge; he is also the founder of Herbal Chef, a catering and consulting group run by a private chef who cooks with cannabis.

“The mission has always been to define botanical medicine, and the backbone has always been great food, drink and hospitality,” says Sayegh.

Sayegh has been researching the medicinal uses of ingesting cannabis for about 10 years, gradually shifting her career goals from being a doctor to being a chef, focusing on incorporating preventive medicine into her food. me. He hopes to serve THC and CBD in his restaurant once it’s legal; Currently, he is continuing his traditional multi-course dinner series through the Herbal Chef members-only dinner club and working on a new line of retail CBD products.

The first will be CBD drops for home baking, slated to release in June. It’s so concentrated with CBD that to achieve 50mg per serving of macaroons, the addition of liquid won’t hurt. affect the ratio of the formula. Then there are CBD products designed for cooking, with heat resistance up to 400 degrees, and CBD drinks.

The Herbal Chef Baking CBD hemp extract oil is pictured on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

The Herbal Chef Baking CBD Hemp Oil. Creator Chris Sayegh said: “If people get more sophisticated and savvy in the industry, they’ll want products like this.

(Silvia Razgova / For the Times)

Sayegh is tracking the winds of change in cannabis consumption, legislation and misconceptions; he believes that uses such as home cooking offer untapped business potential.

“There’s a lot of ready-to-eat consumer goods, which is great – that’s what the market decides people want – but as people become more sophisticated and savvy in the industry, they’ll want products like like this,” he said. “They’re going to want to stay home and add it to what they’re doing and we just want to be able to give them the strength in their pantry to do that.” The next phase in cannabis edibles is chef-driven and local

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