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Arts and Entertainment

This Is What It's Like To Attend A Seven-Course Cannabis-Infused Dinner

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“Wait...B.Y.O.B doesn’t mean ‘Bring Your Own Bud?” Any other day this question would elicit the mildest of scoffs from me. But when it’s asked on 4/20, it’s honestly just astute reasoning.

In a penthouse in downtown’s Art Deco fixture, the Eastern Columbia Building, blunts were liberally rolled and passed around as smokable appetizers while Chef Robert “Bean” Castañeda and his staff scurried around the kitchen in a Food Network-worthy montage of chopping and sizzling and plating, preparing a decadent seven-course meal with one crucial ingredient: cannabis.

The occasion? A “Pot-Up,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Legalization is the name of the game and as a result, cannabis dinner parties have exploded in popularity. Using the same plant that accounts for more than half of all U.S. drug arrests, elaborate gastronomical soirées are thrown as chefs bridge the gap between culinary and cannabis. VICELAND even has an entire series, Bong Appétit, dedicated to the rising trend.

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Like any self-respecting party looking to achieve the highly sought after “chill vibe,” 90s hip-hop dominated the playlist while attendees shuffled around the penthouse combatting lethal levels of cotton mouth. But the battle paid off once dinner was served. Chef Bean is no stranger to pop-up dinners and has become ubiquitous with the process through his Living Breathing Kitchen dinners that take place across Los Angeles. For the stoner holiday, he and his team impressed with rich flavors like wasabi caviar, squid ink crema, micro-orchids (yes, that’s a thing), and more. While some of the dishes combined multiple overpowering ingredients that were unfortunately lost, Chef Bean still mastered subtlety through courses like his arancini, which harmoniously played with the creamy lightness of Manchego cheese and cashews.

The dinner was nothing if not wildly on-brand for those who identify as the ethically blazed; tables were adorned with hemp napkins from local hemp clothing retailer Recreator, while the artful plating quietly beckoned one to open up Instagram to document the casually bourgeois evening, but chances were that you were too high to take a clear enough photo. Conversation flowed easily because as it turns out, people are incredibly warm when they’re stoned and fed. And because each bite allowed one to stay comfortably baked, you better believe the chats were laced with goofy laughter and introspective discussion about the universe. The munchie haze was thick, to a point where one of my dinner companions revealed how she was breaking her typical vegan and gluten-free diet for the evening. “It’s a cultural experience!” she rationalized. And she wasn’t wrong.

Living Breathing Kitchen Supper Club presents regular pop-up dinners in downtown Los Angeles. Check out their Facebook page for more.

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