I knew that I would be in for a treat when I found out that I would be attending an underground affair hosted by a pop-up restaurant company that pairs gourmet meals with what they describe as “intermezzos of cannabis.” To say that I was looking forward to it would be a gross understatement and, thankfully, I was not disappointed by the experience at all.
Within about two minutes of arriving at a secret location in San Francisco for a highly-anticipated afternoon at The Cannaisseur Series’ event High Tea, a woman dressed in all white had corralled the gaggle of strangers congregating outside of the venue for a group photo. We didn’t know each other in the slightest but through the blessing of the bud, we were instant friends (or at least chummy associates) for the rest of the day while we gleefully indulged in a specially-curated cannabis and culinary experience.
Executive Chef Coreen Carroll and her husband Ryan Bush started The Cannaisseur Series back in 2015 in California, where they began with a dinner series that featured a four-course meal paired with cannabis. Now, two years later, their events have evolved from just sit-down dinner to brunches and stand-up events like High Tea, where attendees were able to mingle inside the spacious warehouse area or wander outside into the pre-spring sunshine.
The event featured local sponsors and vendors like Flow Kana, Vapexhale, Alchemy, Kamala and Zen Potion who also provided some swag for the gift bags that were handed out at the end of the party. There was also a small fleet of microdose cannabis-infused appetizers being served including corn and tomato bruschetta, spiced lamb meatballs, avocado mousse toast and almond matcha tea cakes. Then, of course, there was the seemingly endless buffet spread of gorgeous foods prepared by Executive Chef Coreen and crew which included house made granola, Asian quinoa salad, carrot coconut curry soup, tea sandwiches, radicchio chopped salad and various cheeses, meats and veggies — to name just a few.
The crowd was a completely random mix of ages and lifestyles from senior citizens to empty nesters down to bright-eyed college students. I spoke briefly with a man who was a retired NASA engineer that never missed an opportunity to attend a cannabis event. He was eager to get to the social smoke because he liked when the crowd gets into what he referred to as “giggle mode” and, sure enough, once the flower started flowing the already chill mood somehow became even more pleasant.
Flow Kana provided three different strains of flower for the afternoon in between eating beginning with Green Crack (15.9 percent THC), a bright and super uplifting sativa that noticeably changed the energy of the room, followed by CBD strain Harle Spring OG (12.8 percent CBD) for a nice mellow, balancing effect. The last strain of the day was OG Strawberry, a sweet indica that complemented the dessert spread with its subtle berry flavor.
It’s hard to name the highlight of the afternoon. The cannabis was outstanding, the freshly-prepared food was absolutely decadent and mouthwatering (hats completely off to Executive Chef Carroll and crew), the atmosphere was organically buoyant and the gift bags provided at the end (with full size products) were a delight.
I came to the party alone but by the time I was leaving, I had more than a handful of people to say goodbye to and laughed to myself about it on the way out as I sailed home. Though each cannabis event is a little different, there are a few things that each one has in common — nine times out of 10 they’re going to be some of the most casually intimate, naturally welcoming and genuinely friendly social events that anyone will likely ever attend. And this one definitely lands near the top of the list.
TELL US, have you ever been to a cannabis and culinary experience?