Nestled in the rolling green hills of Napa Valley is a lovely home owned by two of my favorite customers from my days bartending in Brooklyn. These two have made quite the inviting and stylish home in Wine Country.
Between the two roaring fireplaces there is a long wooden dining table, a walk in wine closet and a kitchen stocked with every kitchen gadget imaginable, this was the stage for High On The Vine.
This cozy home was the perfect setting for this chilly, January evening. Guests were met with a glass of sparkling rosè, and it wasn't long before my guests had rose in their cheeks.
My server for the evening, Maureen, Moe to friends, welcomed each guest with a smile and a glass of bubbles. Moe and I met on my first chef gig out of culinary school. 20 years of friendship later and now we were across the country from where we first met, and she was welcoming my guests like they were old friends of hers too.
My photographer was Alex Knowbody, a family man and excellent event and product photographer from San Jose. He took all of the beautiful photos that you see here. His enthusiasm and kindness was just what my guests needed to feel comfortable in front of the camera. To see more of his work go to www.Alexknowbody.com/blogg/
There is something in the air in Napa, it feels like you have been transported to the hillside of some farm town in Europe, but then you drive 5 minutes away and see the specialty Target, Whole Foods and all of the creature comforts of suburbia. I can see why it is a dream for any chef or wine maker. The people there are so excited about food and the wine enthusiasm is everywhere!
And this group was no exception.
Once everyone arrived, we started our dining adventure with a toast and a toke.
This helps level the playing field, and puts us all on the same page.
We toasted our flutes filled with a sparkling rose, a Chandon Sparkling Reserve Pinot Noir Rose, to start our dining adventure.
Chandon makes Sparkling wines that are the bubbles version of "Affordable Luxury",this winery was the first to take French ethic and technique and brings it to California's Napa Valley.
Hosting and individually dosing each dish. I started the dinner with a joint and a toast, a phenotype of Mendocino Purp, a locally hybridized strain that has a very distinct grape flavor paired beautifully with the sweet and floral Sparkling Rosé.
I individually dose each dish with 5mgs of THC or less to insure the comfort of each guest.
The first course of this culinary adventure was a simple soup.
A lemon, artichoke heart and Leek bisque topped with herbed Olive oil that includes 5mgs of THC, as well as 15mgs of Select CBD Lemon Ginger CBD Drops
The cracked pepper, lemon and fresh green flavors of this bisque all paired so well together and with the Lemon Haze joint that accompanied this dish.
The peppery beta caryophyllene and Limonene notes of this locally grown happy and hazey strain played perfectly with the flavors of this fresh and rich soup.
Plates and flutes were cleared and then we moved on to our 2nd course, a purse made of nutty and crispy whole wheat phyllo dough that was brushed with 4 mgs of THC infused vegan butter, and filled with spicy Soyrizo surrounding a sweet Amarena cherry. The rich, sweet and spicy filling and the paper thin, crispy phyllo covered all of the flavors and textures you want when you get a little THC in your system. Crunchy. Salty. Sweet.
The Amarena cherry was a pleasant surprise to even the cherry haters of the group, and gave a perfect texture and sweetness paired so perfectly with the sweet floral and white pepper notes of our second wine.
2013 El Corazon Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer from Mendocino County. A full bodied, spicy and fruity Anderson Valley 2015 Corazon Gewurztraminer was perfectly paired with the peppery beta caryophyllene and Limonene terpene notes of the indoor grown Super lemon Haze that we passed around the table.
This pairing, along side the rich,spicy and fruity 2nd course, made a bouquet for the sense of my guests.
Then we adjourned for a brief intermission.
Guests got to mingle under the stars, strings of cafe lights on a beautiful patio. The intermission is to give pause for digestion, reset the dining area and give guests a moment to use the restroom, check their phone and stretch their legs.
Upon return guests were met with a wide mouthed Burgandy glass that held Elyse Wineries C'est si Bon - medium bodied and well balanced, and soft tannins. This low acidity wine is a blend of varietals that are found in the south of France and in the Sierra foothills.
Notes of herbes de provence, clove, berry, earth and spice, this paired so well with acidity and herbs in our main course.
Layers of hand made Vegan pasta and fresh sauce with an Oyster Mushroom "parmesan" and pan fried baby wild mushrooms. The crispy mushrooms were first marinated over night in cashew milk which added depth and texture. Those were then topped with Follow your Heart Parmesan and served on a stack of fluffy and creamy handmade pasta that had been layered with an organic vine tomato sauce that was dosed with 4 mgs of decarboxylated Super Lemon Haze and 10mgs of CBD Olive oil.
This dish felt both light and decadent at the same time!
The basil, oregano and herbaceous notes paired perfectly with our next wine that has notes of "herbes de provence and berry", and a low acidity that carries the fresh tomato flavor of the sauce.
We finished the meal with a Charcoal, Banana and Almond nice cream that had a beautiful grey color, topped with 3 mgs THC that was hidden in a single source dark chocalate magic shell. All of that sat atop a rich, chocolate banana cake that had been dosed with 15 mgs of @select_CBD Lavendar drops. (Served with warmers of extra chocolate on the side!)
The charcoal in this grey dessert was to absorb the toxins from the alcohol and make for no wine hangover and comfortable digestion.
I consider my guest not only for the time we spend during my event, but also the next day. Checking in with them to see how they are feeling and giving after care. This is an important element because I want the experience with Cannabis that my guests have should make them feel cared for.
Because this meal was plat based my guests digested it a bit faster, which helps insure no residual Cannabis sluggishness the next day.
I myself am not vegan, actually, I was very excited to make a medicated cheese plate from the Napa valley...but the requests that I got to make another dinner focused on vegan food was overwhelming! I love making vegan food, especially when it comes to dosing the food with cannabis. Plants go with plants, and a vegan meal usually means quicker absorption. I can not serve dosed meals with some plates vegan and some with animal fats, everyone would have very different experiences, and I like a more controlled experience.
In an attempt to favor all foods and types of guests I am going to make all of the dinners that I am the chef and dosant for vegan, unless otherwise requested, and my brunches will be vegetarian. (And of course I am open to making any and all types of foods for private catering!).
This has more to do with absorption of Cannabinoids than dietary choices.
But be sure you know....my vegan dishes can please even the most selective Carnivore.
Come to one of my dinners and see for yourself!
"The Green Bowl"
A green bisque made of roasted artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, leeks, fresh lemon and peppercorn
"The Fat Sack"
A bag made with crispy, flaky and nutty, whole wheat phyllo dough with a filling comprised of fresh cilantro, parsley, cinnamon and rich and spicy soyrizo all surrounding a sweet and surprising Amarena Cherry
"Let's Get Fried"
Oyster Mushroom Parmesan, served with pan fried baby wild mushrooms on a bed that is layer after layer of fluffy handmade pasta and a sauce made of roasted vine grown tomato, basil and decarboxylated Lemon Kush.
"Smoking Banana Peels"
A rich, chocolate banana cake infused with Select CBD Lavendar drops, & topped with Grey Charcoal Banana Nice Cream topped with single source dark chocolate THC magic shell
Check out what we were listening to during the dinner.... These are strain playlists that I made to accompany the high that comes with some of my favorite strains!