Climbing the curved staircase into the private, dimly lit restaurant and bar of the Escala hotel in Belltown evoked a feeling of elegance. How could it not? With wait staff politely showcasing the savory mushroom tart hors d’oeuvres, the bar tenders’ friendly cocktail presentation and immediate warm greetings from the hosts, you couldn’t help but feel welcomed and enticed.
The delicious local wine helped guide conversation amongst guests as the kitchen staff buzzed in the background, wafting waves of the coming grandeur to visitors. While many a downtown hotel saw wine and food pairings that evening, none were quite like this, the first of a new generation of events. This was a cannabis, wine and food pairing.
So much more than the stoner-on-the-couch cliché, the cannabis industry is rapidly excelling and expanding—and the culture is too. Just as you wouldn’t serve a sommelier a Bud Light, cannabis connoisseurs have a taste for the finer things. When you consider the relationship between agriculture, food, wine and cannabis, it’s shocking we haven’t married them sooner. This was the inspiration behind A Culinary Journey: Exploring the marriage of food, wine, and cannabis.
Everyone from politicians to press came together to experience the magic. The brainchild of Eric Gaston, owner and co-founder of The Evergreen Market, this event paired local wine, courtesy of Kerloo Cellars, with a delicious four-course Northwestern meal cooked with a special ingredient—cannabis. Chef Ricky Flickenger of Mortar and Pestle delicately prepared various infusions for each course using kief from Green Barn Farms, providing low-dose, tasty treats. The entire meal consisted of roughly 8-10mg of cannabis, more if you had the delicious cocktails, creating a fun, yet sociable buzz. Just as with food and wine, everything should be in balance.
With perfectly served portions and an open social climate, the evening couldn’t have gone smoother. The liveliness of conversation across the 50-seat table was booming, and everything from local politics to the fine-tuned craft of enology could be overheard. The eclectic and intellectual group of people, the venue, the wine and the cannabis-infused food made for a culinary and cultural experience that was bar none. Cannabis has a new face, and this one has space for everyone.