COOK­ING WITH CANNABIS

Ottawa Magazine - - WINTER 2018 - BY JARED YOUNG

Chef Mike Der­ouin cre­ates the ul­ti­mate cannabis-in­fused meal

It’s of­fi­cial — cannabis is le­gal in Canada. And while edi­ble prod­ucts have yet to be reg­u­lated, chefs across the coun­try have al­ready be­gun to ex­plore the culi­nary pos­si­bil­i­ties that cannabis-based in­gre­di­ents of­fer. And they’re do­ing much more than just bak­ing pot brown­ies. Take this dessert, for ex­am­ple: charred bour­bon peaches that will be topped with a cannabis-in­fused Chan­tilly cream. The cannabis strain used here is Mango Haze, which has great anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties that help re­lax the body — mak­ing it per­fect for the fi­nale of a multi-course din­ner. Sound in­trigu­ing? On the fol­low­ing pages, lo­cal chef Mike Der­ouin pre­pares three cour­ses, each with its own strain of cannabis, and dis­cusses how best to strike a bal­ance be­tween the tastes and ef­fects of this bur­geon­ing prod­uct.

Mike Der­ouin, founder of Mesh­back BBQ,

has been cook­ing with cannabis in­gre­di­ents for years and, over that time, has mas­tered the sub­tle art of bring­ing mar­i­juana to the din­ner ta­ble. While he has honed his craft cater­ing ex­clu­sive late-night din­ners, changes in mar­i­juana laws — which will soon in­clude ed­i­bles — are bring­ing cannabis cui­sine into the lime­light. But there’s more to cook­ing with weed than sim­ply find­ing a way to make the psy­choac­tive drug palat­able. “First and fore­most, it’s about the food,” he says. “If it doesn’t taste good, then what’s the point?”

Pre­par­ing a multi-course cannabis meal pre­sents unique chal­lenges. “First of all, you don’t want to limit how much food you can serve or how much peo­ple can eat, so know­ing the char­ac­ter­is­tic ef­fects of each strain is im­por­tant.” To this end, Der­ouin uses cannabis as a sea­son­ing as op­posed to a pri­mary in­gre­di­ent, which gives him more con­trol over both its ef­fects and how the flavours in­ter­act with other in­gre­di­ents. “You want to pair the right strain with the right dish, and that means find­ing com­mon flavour pro­files. Oth­er­wise, the cannabis is just a nov­elty.”

— Jared Young

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