The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is at the forefront of a culinary revolution. With the ongoing discussions surrounding recreational marijuana regulations in New York state, chefs are gearing up to experiment with a new ingredient – cannabis. At the heart of this revolution is chef Nathan Koscielski, an assistant professor at the Institute, who started the Culinary Cannabis course two years ago.
In this groundbreaking course, the first of its kind within the State University of New York (SUNY) system, students learn to use every part of the cannabis plant. Koscielski’s goal is to impart a comprehensive understanding of cannabis so that the students can venture into the world of cannabis-infused cuisine with confidence.
The course goes beyond the stereotypes often associated with cannabis use. It’s not about getting high, but rather about understanding the potential health benefits and exploring the culinary possibilities of the plant. Students like Claire Antonio and Sarah Randall are excited about the potential applications of cannabis in fine dining, as well as the incorporation of cannabis into various meals, from breakfast to dinner.
To prepare the students, the course covers various aspects of working with cannabis, including food preparation, mathematics, science, and the technology required to create cannabis-infused dishes. The Institute has already trained over 60 students in Culinary Cannabis, and Koscielski is looking forward to expanding the course into a lab class, where students can gain hands-on experience.
The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is also collaborating with Niagara County Community College, which offers courses on how to properly grow, cure, and dry cannabis. Together, they aim to establish the country’s first true farm-to-table cannabis model, revolutionizing the culinary industry and breaking down the stigma surrounding cannabis.
As more and more states in the US embrace the legalization of marijuana, courses like Culinary Cannabis are shaping the future of food. Koscielski believes that the introduction of cannabis as a new ingredient in the kitchen is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for chefs, and he is excited to be at the forefront of this movement.
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