By Emma Pearson @emma_pear
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Videographer / director: Joel Forrest
Producer: Emma Pearson, Ruby Coote
Editor: James Thorne
Chris Sayegh was in the second year of his medical degree when he decided to combine his love for fine food with his penchant for cannabis.
The 24-year-old ‘Herbal Chef’ from L.A. infuses the drug into every serving at his ten-course fine dining experience.
His customers include everyone from accountants to congressmen who enjoy five star munchies for up to $500 a head.
Chris says that diners are changing their brain chemistry with each bite, creating a ‘cerebral experience’ thanks to the highest quality ingredients – and a helping of weed.
Now Chris is hoping to open the first ever Cannabis restaurant next year in California – where the drug is widely available and legal to use recreationally.
Chis said: “In my opinion cannabis really has a place in this world to change it for the better and change it monumentally.
“Using cannabis responsibly and in moderation allows you to achieve an overall healthier lifestyle than what you are living now without it.
“When I dropped out of school to do this everybody thought I was crazy, rightfully so, but they didn’t understand the vision that I had in my head, and I was super driven to achieve my goals.”
Chris, who has cooked in Michelin star restaurants, says that he first discovered the health benefits of cannabis after studying it during his time at medical school.
He then decided to combine his medical research with his love for food to take fine dining to a higher place.
Chis said: “Through my studies I figured out that cannabis can be literally used for anything – the medicinal side is so vast that it blows me away.
“Cannabis affects the endocannabinoid system, which controls the energy flow to all of the major organs.
“When your organs are running properly and when everything is running smoothly, the body reaches homeostasis.”
Since dropping out of university in 2002, Chris has served up his cannabis cuisine to thousands of food-lovers.
And his customers include people from all walks of life.
Chris said: “The type of people that come to the dinners are in such a wide variety that there is no common denominator other than they want an amazing food experience.
“I get everybody from actors and actresses, to racing teams to congressmen.”
Chris gauges the tolerance of each of his diners by asking everyone to submit a questionnaire.
He then carefully measures the amount of cannabis he adds to each course, allowing the patron to get suitably stoned depending on their preference.
And he goes to great lengths to ensure diners are given a memorable experience.
Chris said: “One of the worst experiences that you can have with cannabis is eating too much of an edible, so that is something that I am direly trying to avoid.
“That way my guests have a pleasant experience and they want to come back more.
“It’s a gentle push with each course, so that they stay in this plateau of euphoria and that is where I want them at and at the end.
“I have an ambience going on, there is music, there is art, there is all these different factors and layers that go into it to create an experience rather than just dinner. It really is unique.”
Chris sources his cannabis from a lab, where it is tested and prepared for him to add to his food.
Now Chris is hoping to expand his business and plans to open the first cannabis restaurant in the world in 2017.
He said: “I’m getting calls from all over the world to do dinners and it has brought me some very interesting experiences to say the least.
“I grows every day and I do bigger and bigger events every time.
“It’s a sensory experience, it’s about elegance and finesse – not just getting super-stoned.”