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Two-star chef launches range of cannabis-based recipes at Brussels restaurant

Chef David Martin from restaurant La Paix, Anderlecht, Brussels. (BELGA PHOTO AUDE VANLATHEM)
06:16 16/06/2022

Two-star chef David Martin is currently testing out a range of cannabis recipes, Bruzz reports. With this, the owner of La Paix restaurant in Anderlecht wants to use the whole plant and not just the hemp seed, which is currently already used in the culinary world. According to him, the plant offers "a completely different palette of flavours".

Cannachef, as the new gastronomic concept will be called, is expected to offer a range of products such as ice cream and praliné from 2023, provided that they receive approval from the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC), which applies strict rules for the use of cannabis.

The cannabis to be used in the recipes contains only 0.18% of the psychoactive substance THC and comes from fields in the south of the country. The plant grows very easily and is harvested before it starts to bloom.

"We are still in the experimental phase," said Martin. "We decided to use the leaves of the plant instead of just the seeds, which basically have a rancid smell first before revealing their herbaceous aroma. From those leaves we have made an oil that tastes like lemongrass and cucumber and is very spicy. There is a fun side to working with a plant that is still unknown in taste."

David Martin presented his concept for the first time to a select group of gourmets on Wednesday in collaboration with Nex Gen, the supplier and producer of the cannabis. The chef served a seven-course menu, including hemp leaf oil with lemon and caviar, veal fillet with pickled cannabis leaves, a nougatine with roasted hemp seeds and a chocolate soufflé with cannabis praliné.

"The idea is to destigmatize the plant,” he said. “We are doing this tasting so that people become aware of the different flavours that cannabis can offer."

Written by Nick Amies