A Top Chef Winner’s Pot Dinner

Top Chef champion Hosea Rosenberg, winner of season 5 of the televised culinary competition, is keeping on the cutting edge of foodie trends by incorporating cannabis pairings into his farm-to-table, local, seasonal style. While serving medicated food in a restaurant setting is still a no-no in Colorado, inviting guests to a private event and offering cannabis along with artisanal cuisine is quite legal. A collaboration led by Headquarters cannabis retailers, 3 Chicks Bartending and Rosenberg’s Blackbelly restaurant, last night’s Harvest Dinner combined high-end cuisine with cocktails and cannabis for a classy night of socializing. Guests were bused to the dinner location at Boulder’s Shupe Homestead to avoid any intoxicated driving, and medicated foods were not served.

Chef Hosea describes himself as a cannabis supporter who enthusiastically voted in favor of Amendment 64, saying “I’m super excited to do this dinner. We do a lot of farm dinners, but this is the first of it’s kind where there’s actually an event open to the public that’s paired with cannabis.” Hosea shared how budtenders from Headquarters would be serving as weed sommeliers for this dinner, explaining each pairing decision, where the strain comes from, how it was grown, why it tastes the way it tastes, and why it was selected to accompany each particular dish.As guests arrived, they were greeted with a refreshing tomato and watermelon gazpacho, along with a zesty appetizer of grapes rolled in goat cheese and chopped pistachios. These starters are accompanied by cocktails, either a Wise Man, made with Caprock organic gin, sage, grapefruit and lemon; or a Rose’s Thorn, composed of organic vodka, cucumber, ginger and lemon. After guests mingled, sampling food, drinks and cannabis, they were seated for the first course.

A seasonal fall salad of baby root vegetables, peppery mustard greens, chevre, and sunflower seeds is paired with rose wine from southern France and a Lambsbreath cannabis that Chef Hosea describes as “refreshing and light with a citrus note.”

A “more intense and spicy” OG White was selected to pair with the main entree of Boulder County flatiron steak, potatoes and squash, charred corn and herb sauce, supplemented by a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley.

Hosea planned for an intensely satisfying dessert, because of the appetite enhancing properties of cannabis. “Even though diners are getting food, I think they’re really going to crush dessert!” the chef exclaims, “so we made an espresso chocolate ganache with house-made graham crackers and house-made marshmallows, for sort of a deconstructed S’Mores.” Dessert is served alongside Matanuska Tundra or Harlequin, accompanied by Marley coffee or orange liqueur.

“We want to leave everyone satiated and mellow,” Hosea says, explaining how he hopes guests will come away from the dinner “thinking of cannabis as more than a recreational drug, and part of a bigger experience that leaves them relaxed and more open-minded.”

Rosenberg is open to actually integrating cannabis into his food someday, saying that he would consider medicating meals for special events and off-site dinners once “legalities work out as far as what people can do and where it can be consumed.” More notable chefs will move into the cannabis space once they see the success of ventures like the Harvest Dinner, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their overall business. “We don’t want to confuse our customers,” Hosea explains, “I don’t want people to worry about accidentally getting dosed if they go to the restaurant.”

With the success of the first Harvest Dinner, which sold out immediately and garnered a long waitlist, Hosea says another cannabis pairing dinner is already being planned. “We’re the guinea pig here, but I think a lot of other chefs will consider doing it.”

To get on the list for the next Harvest Dinner, contact kendal@masonjareventgroup.com

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