The Herbal Chef aka Chris Sayegh has been in the cannabis scene for several years. Prior to entering the marijuana industry, the molecular biology student turned chef worked under some of the best chefs at Michelin starred restaurants in Los Angeles. After leaving the University of Santa Cruz, Chris went to Melisse’s head chef and explained his dream, who ultimately gave him a chance. He worked for no pay for three months, soaking up all that the chefs had to offer. Every Wednesday, he spent the early hours of the morning wandering farmers’ markets, learning about ingredients, menus, and the reasons behind choosing them.
He entered the cannabis world after falling in love with the plant back in college. When asked why he got involved with marijuana he explained, “It was a natural synergy. It felt so right and it was combining two of my favorite things [cannabis and food], so why not!”
He began hosting private dining parties in 2013, and as they say, the rest is history. Chris said, “The point in creating The Herbal Chef was to elevate the perception of marijuana and elevate consciousness. I am so tired of being called a stoner or looked at as lazy or unmotivated. I am just really tired of this herb having such a bad reputation.”
The Herbal Chef offers a full line of edibles including everything from ice cream and sorbet to marinara and pesto sauces, baked goods, and much more. However, perhaps the most innovative idea to hit the edibles market, thus far, is his new line of nutritional infused frozen dinners. The Herbal Chef’s CBD/THC Frozen Meals are infused with Hemp CBD, Whole Plant CBD or THC designed to provide necessary nutrients while medicating. “Why put medicine into things that may hurt you… I want to have a line of healthy meals that taste delicious,” proclaimed the chef.
He went on to explain that the inspiration behind this idea was a family friend who suffers from stage IV cancer and explained how hard it was to maintain proper nutrition while undergoing chemo. After treatment he is lethargic and cooking is typically out of the question. Not only do the strong chemicals from the chemo drain the nutrients out of patients, but also the inability to properly feed the body makes it hard for patients to muster up energy to cook for themselves. Chris thought there must be a better way to help patients using two of his favorite things, cannabis and food. Thus, the idea of infused frozen meals came to fruition.
If patients choose to use THC or CBD to help with symptoms, smoking is not always the preferred method. In fact, 10 out of 10 doctors recommend edibles over smoking. By creating the infused frozen meals, The Herbal Chef has crafted a way for sick patients to quickly medicate all the while fueling their bodies with vital nutrients. Eating is no longer a task with The Herbal Chef’s THC/CBD Infused Frozen Dinners, “They [patients] don’t have to worry about it. Cooking is not laborious; they can pop it in the oven or microwave, eat and get their medication all in one punch, explained The Herbal Chef.”
Price points for the medicated meals range from $13-$15 retail and will be sold through his website theherbalchef.com, and they are working to get the hemp CBD meals into local markets. Currently, they are taking pre-orders for meals online and are set to launch this month. A sample menu may include quinoa stuffed chicken breast with steamed vegetables. Each meal will contain between 200-500 calories and will be made out of the highest quality products with no preservatives. “The only preservatives you will ever see in my food are Vitamin E, lemon or vinegar,” declared the chef.
First, they are launching an array of dinner items and will shortly branch into breakfasts, snacks and desserts. In the future, they will have a nutritionist on staff to help create specifically designed meal plans to suit the individual’s needs. Although, these products fall under the edible market (which we know is severely under regulated in most states) all ingredients are of the highest quality and will be held to FDA standards – even though the FDA does not recognize cannabis as a supplement.
This young chef has not stopped there, he also operates infused private dining events including his own Stoney Supper Clubs. According to Chris, these events are “designed to push a person out of their comfort zone, while creating a thoughtless atmosphere; a place where one can go and not think, everything is already thought out and all they have to do is enjoy the experience,” he said.
The supper clubs usually include a cocktail hour with handcrafted cocktails and live art intended to stimulate intellectual conversation. Immediately following, is a 6-course meal each paired with top of the line bud and wine. Ultimately, the night ends with a blunt and whiskey bar. The next Stoney Supper Club is on October 17th in Echo Park.
These events aim to bring like-minded people together to experience all that cannabis, food, and networking have to offer. Additionally, Chris hosts ultra exclusive private dining occasions. To pre-order The Herbal Chef’s CBD/THC Frozen Meals or to inquire about any infused dining opportunities please go to: theherbalchef.com