James Beard chef turns to pot

mindy segal
Mindy Segal Facebook

James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and restaurateur Mindy Segal is exploring a possible new career path for culinary pros: Developing marijuana-based recipes.

The chef-owner of Chicago’s Hot Chocolate restaurant has teamed up with a legal pot grower in Illinois to develop THC-laced snacks and treats for the state’s fledgling medical-marijuana trade.

The line will include chocolate brittle bars, granola bites and a chocolate drink intended to be served warm. All will be infused with the active ingredient from marijuana, which proponents of legalization prefer to call cannabis.

The products will be branded with Segal’s name and sold in medical-marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. Her partner, Cresco Labs, intends to broaden distribution in the future to five states where marijuana is legal.

"We've all heard the expression 'it tastes like medicine' but there's no reason it has to," Segal said in a statement announcing her new side job. "We’re developing this line of products to be consistent every time and absolutely enjoyable to eat."

Segal, who will continue to run her Chicago restaurant, is the latest restaurant professional to find opportunity in the burgeoning legal-pot field.

Twenty three states have legalized the consumption of marijuana under at least some circumstances, and four—Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska—have approved the recreational use of weed.

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