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Chef Holden Jagger, Los Angeles, CA Instagram: @ChefHoldenJagger While the infused trend has deep roots in culinary cannabis, a recent trend toward cannabis pairings—wherein a dish is paired with a specific strain of cannabis as one might pair a wine with food—has taken off in California. One of the leaders of this movement has been chef, cultivator and ganjier Holden Jagger, whose events company, Altered Plates, specializes in creating high-end private dining experiences for some of Southern Cali- fornia's most exclusive clientele. "With infused dinners, it's all about the dish in front of you, and it just so happens to get you high. I prefer to celebrate the flavors of the plant, which are abundant, and you can only do that with a pairing dinner," explains Jagger of his methods. But as all chefs know, creativity is key in any kind of cooking, so Jagger's recent endeavors have surrounded exploring ways to introduce the non-psychoactive parts of the plant into his dishes. "Cannabis is a vegetable, and as a chef, it would be irresponsible if I did not seek to find flavor hidden in the leaves, stems, seeds and even the male plants," explains Jagger. "Not everything on this plant will get you high, and I'm interested in playing with those elements. "You can get hemp seeds in restaurants around the country," con- tinues Jagger. "They will be sterilized, and a 'straight' chef couldn't sprout them to put into a cracker or bread, nor could they toast them to taste the warm nutty oil hidden within the seed. I'm in a unique position as a cannabis chef and cultivator, because I have the opportunity to play with the plants at various stages of their growth. Just like a chef who grows his or her own produce, I can take inspi- ration from what the plant is telling me." —Karen Moneymaker Chef Holden Jagger offers private cannabis dining experiences that put the plant first. P HOTO: ALTERED PLATES 7 2 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t Mason Jar Events by Kendal Norris, Denver, CO Waiting in line at The Clinic, one of Denver's upscale dispensaries, first-time Mason Jar attendees nervously whisper amongst themselves, unsure of what to expect. A veteran Mason Jar guest over- hears and assuages their fears: "You'll love it," he whispers with confidence. "There's nothing else like it in Colorado." After picking up a jam-packed goodie bag and loading onto a luxury bus, the party begins, and by the time we've arrived at the art warehouse space in Boulder, all nerves have been assuaged by copious amounts of first- or second-hand smoke. Tables are arranged with luxe décor, appetizers are flowing out of the makeshift kitchen and concentrates company Olio offers tastings of their Sleeping Monkey and Cherry Diesel extracts (Cherry Diesel really tastes like cherry, by the way). In the corner, a group of well-heeled women share a joint and watch an artist create a painting live. "I wanted to create a space where we can bring all of these elements together in a very high-end way," comments Mason Jar founder Kendal Norris. "After all, this is Colorado; we're leading the way." With a Latin-influenced menu created by Chef Jamey Fader of Denver's Big Red F Restaurant Group, each course was paired with a cannabis product, ranging from fresh flower to extracts to edibles. In these uncommon pairings, which explore flavor-matching beyond the bud, Norris aims to showcase the diversity of the mod- ern cannabis industry. "I feel that there is still so much to explore," she explains, "and we're only just beginning." —R. B. At Denver's Mason Jar Events series, a beautiful spread is accom- panied by a variety of cannabis products and dishes created by some of Denver's top chefs. Kendal Norris is the founder of Mason Jar Events in Colorado. PHOTO: DOG DAZE PHOTO

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