The 420 Issue: Chef Wendy Lopez says April’s En La Mesa Dinner will be a joint effort

A grass-roots affair at Reyes Mezcaleria

Reyes Mezcaleria chefs (Wendy Lopez, center) and best buds
Reyes Mezcaleria chefs (Wendy Lopez, center) and best buds via Reyes Mezcaleria / Facebook

In recent years, a blaze of chefs have been using cannabidiol, or CBD, as a way to add a funky, earthy flavor profile to dishes. But beyond the dimension of dank it lends to food, CBD can calm, relax and can chill you the F out.

And the benefits don't stop there.

Not since the days of the steak eye-patch has a comestible been so effective at reducing inflammation and pain.

"We're going to get people relaxed and help them with their, umm, joint aches," says chef Wendy Lopez about a special 4/20 feast she's staging at Reyes Mezcaleria. It's part of her "En La Mesa" dinner program, a monthly chef's tasting series held inside the NoDo Mexican restaurant's private dining room.

At last year's weed-themed dinner, Lopez got her feet wet (and her hands sticky) with a five-course meal totaling a little over three grams of CBD. "People were kinda chill after the meal," she says. But this year's seven-course tasting will total about six grams of CBD.

"People are going to be super-chill after this one."

Lopez, along with chef de cuisine Jose Garcia, will craft courses using Hohm-Made CBD that'll find its way into butters, oils, creams and marinades. "It'll be a joint effort," Lopez jokes.

"We're doing a bread course with a hemp and oregano rub along with a serving of hemp butter," she menu-teases. "We'll also serve fried oysters, which will first be soaked in CBD-infused buttermilk that we procure from the heavy cream so that nothing goes to waste. It'll be lit!"

The first three courses will feature Hohm-Made's "Sour Lifter" in loose flower and butter form, while the final four will use their "Super Sour Space Candy" in oil form.

Lopez and Garcia will come out swinging before mellowing out on the last few courses.

Lorena Castro, who serves as Good Salt Restaurant Group's beverage director overseeing the programs at Seito Sushi, The Osprey, The Monroe and Reyes Mezcaleria, is even working on infusing CBD into mezcal for the dinner's included pairing.

Additional menu highlights include duck carnitas with ramp huarache, queso fresco, mâche, ninja radish, fava beans, pickled ramps and Fresno chilies; soft-shell crab and Kurobuta pork belly with ñoquis de masa; and veal flank matambre with fresh truffle, purple artichoke, ramp puree and salsa bearnesa.

Dessert, of course, will only sweeten the pot.

About The Author

Faiyaz Kara

Orlando Weekly restaurant critic since 2006.
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