In January 2019, in a time of majority prohibition, the National Restaurant Association published their annual list of culinary trends for the months ahead with Cannabis and CBD-infused Drinks and Food at the very top of its list. Immediately the country was put on watch.
“I had no idea what it meant,” says one member of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, “Cannabis is only medically permissible in Pennsylvania and there are a lot of grey areas when it comes to CBD in general, let alone infusion practices. And, these aren’t questions that are easily solved with a Google search.”
What is legally permissible and what isn’t? Is all Cannabidiol in the clear, or is it just one particular kind? Can restaurants and other hospitality owners manufacture their own, or must they buy the pre-packaged product in wholesale quantities? What do the comparable investments look like? These are only a few of the mind-boggling questions that are on everyone’s mind and only a sampling of the programming for an instructional CBD-infusion series making its way to the always sunny city this summer.
Mixing with CBD, on June 17th, and Cooking with CBD, on July 11th, promise to answer those questions and many more when celebrity tapster and culinary creatives Warren Bobrow and Christopher Sayegh are called to Philadelphia.
Mixing with CBD, on Monday, June 17th, boasts an industry-conscious hour-and-a-half, afternoon intensive alongside semi-local celebrity barkeep and author of “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations.” Scheduled for a non-competitive 1 PM start-time (you’ll be back behind the bar for happy hour!), Mixing with CBD offers citywide spirited professionals front row access to The Cocktail Whisperer’s secrets and tricks of the trade, inside one of Philadelphia’s premier hotspots, Vesper Sporting Club.
The buzz-worthy afternoon’s syllabus includes best infusion and dosing practices, as well as unprecedented pairing tips, and of course Q&A for group consultancy.
Cooking with CBD, on Thursday, July 11th, takes a leap to the back of the house when LA-based celebrity chef Christopher Sayegh comes to town for a day-long activation. But, this isn’t your Grandma’s cooking class. Here, between the hours of 3 PM and 5 PM in the afternoon, The Herbal Chef is put in the hot seat for a series of interviews and panel discussion on the evolution of the infusion industry, as well as how to spot and set present day and future trends. Next, Sayegh takes center stage for a comprehensive introduction and hands-on demonstration into the craft of preparing and infusing cannabidiol with everyday culinary concoctions. The day concludes with a six-course private dining experience, from Chris.
Yes, you read that right. Theory meets practicum for VIP ticket holders are welcomed to a personally prepared, plated and served six-course tasting menu from Chris and his award-winning culinary team. The evening event will be hosted at the all-new Collective Table (218 Market St 2nd Floor) in Old City. And, menu items are sure to exceed expectations under Chris’ trademark promise to locally source and prepare for the seasons. (Spoiler: Handcrafted CBD-infused ice cream is a real thing.)
“For me, when cooking with cannabis, whether that’s the full spectrum of the plant’s benefits or just the cannabinoid extracts like we’ll be using in this event, it’s really a whole body experience,” says Sayegh, “And CBD-prepared meals, with its non-hallucinogen relaxation effects, makes for a really delicious, uniquely nourishing moment. I was immediately intrigued when offered the idea. I think it is a really great, creative way to start the larger conversations and bring a progressive city like Philadelphia in on the action. This is the time that restaurant owners and chefs need to get started on creatively capitalizing on the booming market.”
Sadly, there will be no marijuana on deck for either of the events. Both the Mixing and Cooking with CBD installments feature only cannabidiol due to the still not-so-friendly statewide prohibition on recreational cannabis use. “Other, non-restrictive, cities are in the works though,” confirm the Philadelphia duo behind the conceptualization and presentation of the series, Eric Michael and Beth Lawrence, “Some would see Pennsylvania’s prohibitive laws as totally out of the question, but we just saw it as another opportunity to offer an innovative educational experience to one of Philly’s most provocative industries. Reminding the rest of the country, once again you can never count us out.”
Think you’ve heard this news before? You may have. Cooking with CBD was originally slated for May 13th and later moved to accommodate the larger, growing interest. Members of the PA Restaurant and Lodging Association can get a preview of what’s in-store during the two talks the disruptive duo, Beth Lawrence and Eric Michael, is scheduled for June 10th and June 20th.
General admission for access both events is offered at $75—or you can attend each individually; Mixing with CBD is $10 and Cooking with CBD is $69. VIP ticket holders are given unfettered access to both activations and reserved a seat at the table for the privately hosted, six-course tasting menu—prepared by Chris and his award-winning crew.